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Postdoctoral Scholar of Aquatic Biodiversity

Expiration Date: 

Postdoctoral Scholar of Aquatic Biodiversity
Cardinale Lab, Penn State University

I am seeking a Postdoctoral Scholar to join my research group at Penn State University to work in one of two areas of research:

  • Freshwater biodiversity and ecosystem services. This area focuses on quantifying how biodiversity, primarily of lower trophic levels (e.g., algae and invertebrates), influences various types of ecosystem services (e.g., water purification, carbon storage, erosion control) in lakes and streams. Work in this area could include (i) developing and parameterizing models of ecological production functions, (ii) performing manipulative lab- or field-based experiments to determine how biodiversity, species composition, or functional traits affect ecosystem services, (iii) quantifying the monetary or non-monetary value of ecosystem services in freshwater habitats, or (iv) completing data syntheses to summarize what is known about biodiversity’s role in regulating ecosystem services.
  • Linking coexistence theory to ecosystem functioning. This area of research seeks to predict how ecosystems function based on models that describe why species coexist. The work uses Modern Coexistence Theory as a template to understand how niche differences and fitness inequalities among species in a community influence the production of biomass, efficiency of trophic interactions, and stability of interacting populations. Work in this area will focus on lab- and field-based empirical tests of predictions from models of species coexistence, followed by model refinements and improvements.

The successful candidate will have considerable liberty to pursue work within either of these two ongoing areas of research. The individual will join my research group in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Penn State University. The individual will also interact with other PIs, Postdoctoral Scholars, and graduate students participating in Penn State’s Water Initiative, as well as a cross-campus biodiversity initiative led by PSU’s Sustainability Institute.

Individuals must have a Ph.D. in Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Environmental or Ecological Economics, or related field with degree requirements complete by the application date. A strong publication record and experience working in freshwater ecosystems is required.

Application. On the Penn State Human Resources page (, applicants should click on the link ‘Academic & Faculty’ and then search for REQ_0000010920 or ‘Postdoctoral Scholar of Aquatic Biodiversity’. After clicking ‘Apply’, candidates will be asked to create an account. Once an account is created, applicants should provide a cover letter, curriculum vitae, the names and contact information for three references, three representative publications, and a statement of research interests (separately, or together as one pdf).

Applications are due by April 5th, 2021.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.