We’re hiring a post-doc!

Postdoctoral Scholar in Historical Ecology of Marine Parasites

Explosions of marine disease are now a regular occurrence: urchins in the Caribbean, abalone in California, and sea stars of the west coast of North America have experienced recent epidemics resulting in mass mortality. Is this apparent uptick in infection real, or an artifact of improved observation and reporting?

The Wood Lab at the University of Washington is "turning back the clock", generating primary data on the dynamics of marine disease over long time profiles, using liquid-preserved museum specimens of fish. We seek to hire a creative, accomplished, driven parasite or historical ecologist with a track record of high research productivity. The Postdoctoral Scholar we hire will perform research at the intersection of parasite ecology and historical ecology and will be based in Seattle, WA at UW's School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, with a start date of 1 September 2018.

The Postdoctoral Scholar will work at the forefront of this emerging discipline, collecting and analyzing new empirical data, analyzing extensive existing datasets, and designing new projects. Our lab is new and growing fast - read about this and other ongoing projects on our website and check out our recent publications for more details.

Applicants must have a background in disease ecology, parasite ecology, or host-parasite interactions. Historical ecologists with an interest in parasite ecology are also welcome to apply. Prior experience identifying parasites of fishes is not required, but would be advantageous. Applicants should expect to have a PhD before the start date of 1 September 2018. This position is funded for one year, with possibility of extension. 

Interested applicants should send the following as a single pdf:

1. CV

2. Contact information for three references

3. A brief (<2 pages) statement of research interests, as they relate to this position

Applications will be evaluated based on past research productivity, alignment of applicant's research interests with the objectives of the Wood Lab, and the individual's potential to excel as an independent researcher. Address applications to Dr. Chelsea Wood (chelwood@uw.edu), School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington. Questions about the position may also be addressed to Dr. Chelsea Wood (chelwood@uw.edu). Applications will be accepted until 15 April or until the position is filled. 

Interested in joining the lab as a graduate student?

First, a few words of advice.  Graduate school is a big commitment.  It is to your advantage to delay going until you have a very clear idea of how a Master’s or PhD will advance your long-term career goals.  I recommend spending a few years after your undergraduate degree is conferred doing stuff that helps you figure things out.  Maybe that means working as a technician in a lab, or doing a series short-term field work gigs, or taking a job that is totally unrelated to research.  If you continue to read the literature broadly and critically reflect on your experiences, you’ll emerge with a clear idea of your goals, and folks who arrive in grad school knowing what they want to get out of it tend to be the most successful graduate students.  Grad school is not going anywhere - it will still be around after you’ve taken some time to figure things out.  I highly recommend Robert Peters’ Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student’s Guide to Earning an MA or a PhD for folks considering grad school and for those who are already there.

If you’ve reflected on your experiences and have a clear idea of what you’d like to achieve as a graduate student, I’d love to hear from you.  Check out our Research page to read about current projects that are underway in the lab.  Although I expect my students to work on projects related to parasite ecology in marine and freshwater environments, there is plenty of room under that umbrella for new projects, so I welcome students who come with their own research ideas.  Please shoot me an e-mail (chelwood@uw.edu) telling me about your research interests and experiences and include a resume or CV. 

I am deeply committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in our field, so I especially encourage you to get in touch if you are a first-generation college student or a student from a low-income background, if you are a member of a racial or ethnic minority, if you identify as a woman or as LGBTQ, or if you have a disability.  UW is a great place for folks who are historically underrepresented in the sciences, with tons of opportunity to connect with others and with support resources across campus.

All prospective graduate students should plan on applying for graduate fellowships - these help pay for your tuition and salary (releasing you from teaching/research duties, which lets you focus on *your* research), make you a much more attractive candidate for graduate school, and they are some of the most impressive things you can put on your CV. One more benefit: nothing helps you sharpen and hone your research ideas like having to write them down. These are a few of the big grad fellowships you should consider (your eligibility may vary depending on your interests and background):

  1. -NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

  2. -Nancy Foster Scholarship

  3. -EPA STAR

  4. -Ford Foundation

Current openings for grad students: We may take graduate students in the upcoming round of graduate admissions. Please check out our departmental grad admissions page and get in touch with me if you are interested in joining the lab.

Prospective post-docs interested in topics other than the one listed above: If you have an idea for a post-doc project on parasite ecology, please feel free to get in touch - I would be happy to collaboratively develop a proposal for post-doc funding. In particular, consider taking advantage of a current “selected area” in the NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology: research using biological collections. A brand new, three-year post-doc opportunity through the Washington Research Foundation provides support for folks who want to work in partnership with Washington State start-ups. If you are interested in working on a parasite of humans, like Schistosoma, consider NIH’s Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA).

Undergraduate students: If you are interested in the ecology of parasites and want to do a capstone project, an independent research project, or to help out in the lab or field, please feel free to contact me at chelwood@uw.edu. I welcome undergraduate involvement in my research, particularly from students who have taken or are planning to take my Parasite Ecology course.

Prospective students

Parasite image above modified from Ernst Haeckel, Plate 75: Platodes, in Kunstformen der Natur, 1904

© Wood Lab 2016