2-year Postdoctoral Associate Position, Mpala Research Centre, Kenya, and the University of Florida.The Palmer Lab (www.thepalmerlab.com ) is anticipating an opportunity for a post-doctoral associate in the Department of Biology at the University of Florida.
We are seeking a postdoc to conduct research on the consequences of mutualism disruption by an invasive ant in Laikipia, Kenya. In Laikipia, native mutualist ants defend the dominant tree Acacia drepanolobium from browsing by wild mammals, including elephants, which can destroy whole trees. In return, trees provide food (nectar) and housing (swollen thorns). The invasive big-headed ant is disrupting this mutualism by killing native ant species, leaving the trees undefended against the destructive effects of elephants and other wild browsers. In the absence of browsing, however, trees may benefit from the invasive ant because it does not consume metabolically costly nectar rewards. We are interested in the consequences of this mutualism disruption for savanna dynamics, particularly as they relate to tree cover and demography.
The post-doc will spend at least 6 months of the year in the field in Kenya based at Mpala Research Centre (www.mpala.org), and the remainder at the University of Florida, and will assist with the teaching of a field ecology class in Kenya in May. While the post-doc will be involved in the primary goals of the proposed research, he or she will also have the opportunity to develop research that complements the core focus of the project.
Desired qualifications of the Postdoc: (1) a Ph.D. in ecology, wildlife biology, or a similar field; (2) a strong publication record; (3) excellent references; (4) demonstrated abilities in writing, oral communication, and statistical skills; (5) experience working independently in remote field sites; (6) intellectual creativity and
self-motivation to conceive, design, and implement independent work under remote field conditions; and (7) demonstrated ability in communicating with rural landowners and other stakeholders. International experience is a plus.
The postdoc will be advised by Dr. Todd Palmer (http://www.thepalmerlab.com ); our lab focuses on a variety of ecological questions, primarily in the ecology and evolution of mutualism, and the consequences of extinction for savanna ecosystems. Field research will entail 6+ months per year for two years at the Mpala Conservancy and Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya. This project is being conducted in collaboration with Drs. Jake Goheen and Corinna Riginos.

To apply for this position, please send a single pdf attachment (file name formatted as lastname_firstname_postdoc.pdf) to [email protected] containing (1) a cover letter/statement of interest; (2) a CV; (3) copies of graduate transcripts; (4) up to 3 relevant publications; and (5) contact information for three references. Please use the subject header .Postdoctoral associate application ». Review of applications will begin 20 January 2016. We expect the postdoc will commence work in Summer or Fall 2016.

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Corinna Riginos, Ph.D.
Research Ecologist
http://www.corinnariginos.com
phone: 307-413-2280

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