Postdoctoral Associate

Apply now Job no: 505444
Position type: Full-Time 12-Month
Department: 080300 - FWRC-Wildlife,Fisheries&Aquaculture
Location: Main Campus - Starkville, MS
Categories: Professional
Position Open Date:

Position Function:

This position is through the Mississippi State University Quantitative Ecology & Spatial Technologies (QuEST) Laboratory and the Geosystems Research Institute (GRI). The successful candidate will be primarily advised by Drs. Melanie Boudreau and Garrett Street (Mississippi State University), in collaboration with Dr. David Augustine (USDA-ARS). The Postdoctoral Associate will work closely with co-investigators and other personnel within Long-Term Agroecosystem Research network to examine relationships between cattle foraging behavior and grazing distribution in relation to heterogeneity in forage resources and cattle management decisions. In particular, researcher will be tasked with the following stakeholder objectives:
(1) Develop a behavioral accelerometer classification for cattle behaviors within this study system
(2) Examine the potential for accelerometer validation using extremely fine-scale GPS data
(3) Examine the influence of management practices (stocking rates, stock density, rotation decisions) and heterogeneity in forage resources on cattle grazing distribution, and feedbacks to plant community composition.
The researcher is also encouraged to answer new avenues of interest using the collected very-high resolution spatial and behavioral datasets over broad extents and scales. Given the large amount of data, the candidate must also have the capability to conduct work in common programming environments (R, Python, C++) within a high-performance computing environment when needed. The candidate will also be required to publish 2 or more peer-reviewed publications from this work. In addition to project duties the candidate will be expected to take a leadership role in the QuEST lab. Further information on the Central Plains Experimental Range LTAR research site can be found at:

Salary Grade:  UC

Please see Staff Compensation Structure or Skilled Crafts and Service Maintenance Compensation Schedule for salary ranges.  For salary grade UC, these positions are "Unclassified" and salary ranges are determined by the hiring department.

Department Profile:

Mississippi State University is ranked as one of the top research institutions in the United States; MSU is among only 2.7% of universities in the U.S. that hold the Carnegie Foundation R1-Very High Research Activity designation. The National Science Foundation has MSU ranked No. 12 nationally (top 5%) in Agriculture and Natural Resources Conservation expenditures with more than $109 million spent annually. The 35-member faculty within the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture leads one of the most productive research programs in the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University. The department has a highly collegial and productive group of faculty, post-doctoral fellows, research associates, and Extension associates that help make the department one of the premier institutions for applied wildlife, fisheries, and aquaculture science in the nation.

Area of Specialization:

Cattle Precision Agriculture and Quantitative Ecology

Anticipated Appointment Date:

March 2023. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Working with stakeholders to complete the identified project objectives related to animal movement and behavior
Participate in oral and written communications as needed to interface with participating scientists and stakeholders
Disseminate knowledge in primary literature (expected min. 2 publications) and at conferences and meetings
Participate in QuEST Lab meetings and mentorship activities

Minimum Qualifications:

Ph.D. in quantitative ecology, biology, statistics, applied mathematics, or other related fields
Demonstrated experience in quantitative ecology (particularly landscape and movement ecology) and computer programming
Excellent written and oral communication skills

Preferred Qualifications:

General background in spatial ecology, animal movement, accelerometry, cattle precision agriculture, and/or species distributions
Demonstrated history of publication and collaboration
Ability to work independently and as part of a trans-disciplinary team

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Excellent written and oral communication skills

Instructions for Applying:

Link to apply:

Applications must include: 1) cover letter, 2) resume or Curriculum Vitae, 3) one-page statement of interest and expertise, 4) contact information for three references, and 5) academic transcripts with social security numbers redacted. Applicants must complete an application through the MSU HRM website,, but should also email a copy of the cover letter and resume/CV directly to

Contact Person: Melanie R. Boudreau
Contact Phone: 662-325-2297
Contact Email:

Screening Date:

March 3, 2023 until filled. 

Restricted Clause:

Position is contingent upon continued availability of funding.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

MSU is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, gender identity, status as a U.S. veteran, and/or any other status protected by applicable law. We always welcome nominations and applications from women, members of any minority group, and others who share our passion for building a diverse community that reflects the diversity in our student population.

What do I do if I need an accommodation?

In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with Mississippi State University, please contact the Department of Human Resources Management at tel: (662) 325-3713 or

If you have any questions regarding this policy, contact the Department of Human Resources Management at (662) 325-3713 or Upon request, sections of this job listing are available in large print, and readers are available to assist the visually impaired.

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