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Freshwater Research Ecologist

Kansas Biological Survey & Center for Ecological Research
Lawrence, Kansas
$70,000 per year + benefits
Closing date
Feb 18, 2024

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Aquatic ecology
Job Type
Organization Type

This post-doctoral scholar position is a cooperative effort between the Kansas Biological Survey & Center for Ecological Research and the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas (KU). We seek to recruit an outstanding scholar, with or without post-doctoral experience, who exhibits exceptional potential for establishing a productive and impactful research program that aims to advance fundamental knowledge of aquatic ecology and applicable to current and future problems facing freshwater ecosystems in Kansas and beyond. We define aquatic ecology broadly, encompassing genes to ecosystems, and inclusive of a variety of approaches to answering research questions, including incorporating Traditional Ecological Knowledge or Indigenous Science or community/citizen and use-inspired science focused on freshwater systems. Interest in or experience with collaborative research is highly encouraged. We seek candidates interested in a research-intensive career in academia and connecting with existing strengths at KU while building an independent research program. This position has initial funding for a 2-year period after appointment with the possibility of renewal based upon additional funding.

The Kansas Biological Survey (established in 1911) & Center for Ecological Research is a research center at KU and a state agency. The center’s mission is to serve Kansas and the global environment through world-class ecological research, education, and outreach. The center operates the University of Kansas Field Station (established in 1947) that is a member of the international Organization for Biological Field Stations and part of the National Ecological Observatory Network. The KU Field Station consists of >3,300 acres of land in various locations throughout eastern Kansas and a core field experiment station located eight miles north of Lawrence, KS. The main field station contains vast infrastructure to support aquatic research including a 3-hectare (13-m deep) reservoir within a protected watershed; an array of 100 ponds consisting of 75 tenth-hectare cells designed to facilitate experimental streams or land-water interface systems; and 80 mesocosms (11-m2 fiberglass tanks) to facilitate research in highly controlled field settings.

The Kansas Biological Survey & Center for Ecological Research is grounded in the understanding that biodiversity is essential to Earth’s ecosystems, and we embrace the human and ecological complexity that enriches our lives and promotes resilience in our world. We strive to grow a welcoming community with diverse lived experiences and a culture of listening in our research center. Applications are encouraged from members of underrepresented groups in higher education and/or research areas in STEM disciplines.

The successful candidate is expected to begin developing an extramurally funded research program through networking, collecting preliminary data, publishing, and seeking professional development opportunities. A mentoring committee focused upon the candidate’s area or research will be developed with the candidate to help them prepare for a research-intensive academic career. The mentoring committee will assist in identifying realistic goals for progress toward applying for and securing funding for research, providing feedback on research ideas, navigating extramural funding opportunities, and developing recruiting and mentoring strategies for working with undergraduate students. The mentoring committee will also provide feedback on grant proposals and encourage ways to maintain work life balance.



Ph.D. in biology, environmental science, ecology, or related discipline by start date of position. Ph.D. candidates that have all but defended their degree are acceptable at the time of application if the degree will be completed by the time of appointment.

Demonstrated expertise in aquatic ecology.

Demonstrated commitment to excellence in research as evidenced by coursework, dissertation research, publications, and/or research grants or awards.



Evidence of work to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM, as evidenced by service engagements, community building, or participation in society-focused mentoring programs, or related experiences.

Experience mentoring or directing research for undergraduate students.

Evidence of pursuing any kind of competitive award, grant, fellowship related to research (e.g., travel award, internal research funding, or national fellowship opportunities).

Current emphasis on or potential to contribute to water related issues of concern in Kansas or the wider Great Plains region.


Application Instructions

For a complete announcement of the position description and online application visit  

The following materials are required for a complete application:

1. Online application

2. Cover letter

3. Curriculum vitae

4. Research statement describing past research experience (inclusive of Ph.D. research and other important experiences); vision for building a future program, including a description of major themes; and examples and justification of possible mentors at KU who have potential to foster your success through collaborative research.

5. A statement that describes your contributions to fostering diverse, equitable, and inclusive opportunities to advance or promote excellence in your discipline through educational background, career development, or other experiences.

6. Contact information for three letters of recommendation.


Start date: August 15, 2024

Application opening: January 19, 2024

Application Review Begins: Review of applications will begin March 1, 2024 and continue as needed until a pool of qualified applicants is identified.


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