We seek a research associate to play an important role in a quantitative
project examining the application of meta-analysis (MA) in ecology and
evolution. MA is a powerful tool that plays a critical role in science and
informs policy. We have identified several potential issues in the
application of MA which may be exacerbated by the nature of ecological data.
We seek to ascertain conditions under which different MA methods work best,
including methods developed during the project, given the characteristics of
ecological data. This will be done with experiments using simulated data
with known properties; characteristics of data (e.g., sample sizes, how
variation is allocated among sources) and MA method (e.g., effect size
metric, variance estimators) will be systematically varied. By probing
performance under known conditions, the results will reveal the conditions
in which each method can best be applied (e.g., is efficient, relatively
unbiased, and provides valid assessment of uncertainty). This will yield
« best practices » for ecologists and make the application of MA in ecology
more reliable and robust. The postdoc will work as part of a team that
involves James Bence and Scott Peacor (Michigan State Univ.), Craig Osenberg
(Univ. of Georgia) and graduate students. The postdoc will be hosted at
MSU’s Quantitative Fisheries Center (QFC), and have opportunities to
interact with QFC staff working on a range of quantitative ecological and
natural resource issues. The incumbent may use this as an opportunity to
perform MA on a topic of their choice in a way that compliments the ongoing

PhD in statistics, ecology, evolution or related discipline with a strong
record of research productivity in quantitative methods is required.
Preference will be given to candidates with strong programming skills, and
strong mathematical, statistical, and ecological background.

$47,500 per year plus benefits. Initial appointment is for 1 year with
possibility of extensions for subsequent years on an annual basis.

Closing date:

All applicants must apply via www.jobs.msu.edu search posting # 5131.
Please submit your CV, letter of interest, and transcripts (unofficial).
Inquiries about the posting can be directed to Dr. James Bence
([email protected]). Please CC Dr. Scott Peacor ([email protected]). Please
include CV with inquiries.