Post Doctoral Scientist

Aug 15, 2017
Position Type
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution


Job Description Summary:

Dr. Amy Zanne’s research group at the George Washington Universities Biological Sciences department explores why and how plant community composition changes across ecological settings and what the ecosystem-level consequences are of these changes. Our focus is typically not at the species but at the trait composition level, as selection will be acting within and among species via their expressed functional traits. We ask whether particular plant traits or suites of traits lead to differences in plant distribution and performance to understand the linkage between structure and function. Additionally, we examine these linkages within an evolutionary framework, investigating where in phylogenies the greatest divergences in trait values occur, as well as whether traits change in a coordinated fashion across phylogenies.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Candidate will work with Dr. Amy Zanne examining carbon turnover from deadwood in tropical Queensland, Australia.
  • Project involves setting up and monitoring microbial and termite driven wood decay experiments.
  • Set up and monitor wood decay from blocks, including measuring trace gas fluxes at sites along a rainfall gradient in Queensland, Australia.
  • Measure chemical and morphological plant traits, including wood density and chemistry.
  • Set up and resurvey coarse wood debris at sites along a rainfall gradiant in Queensland, Australia.
  • Set up and monitor wood decay from blocks, including measuring trace gas fluxes at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia.
  • Analyze data and write manuscripts from the named projects above.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned. The omission of specific duties does not preclude the supervisor from assigning duties that are logically related to the position.
Minimum Qualifications:

Require’s a PhD in the field or in a related area.

Additional Required Licenses/Certifications/Posting Specific Minimum Qualifications: Preferred Qualifications:
  • Requires a PhD in a relevant field in Biology; including ecology working with microbes, plants and/or insects.
  • Applicants should have strong quantitative skills and be comfortable working in remote field and laboratory settings.
  • Ideally the candidate should have skills in insect identification, microbial DNA sequencing, running quantitative analysis in R, and/or measuring trace gas fluxes in the field and laboratory settings.


Campus Location: Foggy Bottom College/School/Department: Columbian College of Arts & Sciences (CCAS) Family Research and Labs Sub-Family Field Research Stream Individual Contributor Level Level 3 Full-Time/Part-Time: Full-Time Hours Per Week: 40 Work Schedule: M-F 8:30am - 5:30pm Position Designation: Essential: Employees who perform functions that have been deemed essential to maintaining business or academic operations. Employees are generally expected to work from home during an event and may be asked to physically report to work. Telework: Required Background Check Criminal History Screening, Education/Degree/Certifications Verification, Social Security Number Trace, and Sex Offender Registry Search Special Instructions to Applicants:

Dr. Amy Zanne, is asking applicants to have 3 recommendations emailed directly to her at her email id by the person providing the recommendation.

Candidates should be willing to spend considerable time working in Australia.

Internal Applicants Only? No Posting Number: R000353 Job Open Date: 08/18/2017 Job Close Date: If temporary, grant funded or limited term appointment, position funded until: 09/30/2018 Background Screening Successful Completion of a Background Screening will be required as a condition of hire. EEO Statement:

The university is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer that does not unlawfully discriminate in any of its programs or activities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Posting Specific Questions
Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

Applicant Documents
Required Documents
  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. Statement of Research Interest
  3. Assessment of Skills Relevant to Basic Qualifications
Optional Documents