Postdoc, Data Science, and Web Developer Positions in Movement Ecology

Several positions are available associated with the Max Planck-Yale (MPY) Center for Biodiversity Movement and Global Change. The MPY Center, an International Max Planck Center, is a partnership between Yale University and its Center for Biodiversity and Global Change and the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Radolfzell.

The MPY Center supports research and training around the use of new technologies such as GPS tracking and remote sensing to address questions in ecology, behavior, and global change. Flagship Center projects include the Icarus initiative, a space station-based near-global GPS animal movement observation system, Movebank, which supports the management and integration of movement data, and Map of Life, an infrastructure integrating global species distribution information for research and conservation. The MPY Center’s research goal is to use individual movement data to address patterns and mechanisms in species distribution, species coexistence, environmental niche associations, animal migrations, and biodiversity change. Open positions, with a target start date of fall 2018, include:

Postdoc in Movement Ecology. We are seeking innovative thinkers with a strong quantitative background who are interested in using existing and, through Icarus, forthcoming movement data to address questions in the MPY Center remit. Qualifications for the position include include a PhD in ecology or behavior or a related field, past experience in collecting or analyzing movement data, a dedication toward conscientious and responsible work in a team, and strong communication skills. An ability to traverse community- and single-species perspectives and to address processes at different spatial and temporal scales are particularly welcome. The position offers thematic flexibility and in their application letter candidates should briefly describe their preferred area of activity. 1-2 positions are available with a contract length of 2 or 3 years.

■ Spatial Biodiversity Data Scientist. We are seeking a qualified candidate to help oversee the management and analysis of species occurrence information, including movement data. The candidate should ideally have PhD, or a Master’s degree and equivalent experience, in ecology, environmental sciences, or a related field. The successful applicant will work in a team of researchers and informaticians to build, manage, and analyze biodiversity databases. The ideal candidate will be a quick learner, conscientious, and detail oriented. Qualifications include experience in working with geospatial and biodiversity data and the PostgreSQL/PostGIS environment, and python and shell scripting skills. A background in spatial analysis and modelling is welcome. The position is initially for up to five years and may be extended beyond that period.

■ Web Applications Developer (full-stack). We are seeking a qualified, experienced candidate to participate in the architecture, design, development, deployment, and maintenance of MOL.org web applications and the APIs that support them. This is a unique opportunity to work in a collaborative environment and dynamic team that is developing technological solutions for conservation and research. See here for more information.

The positions will be based at Yale University, but will have close collaborative links to the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Radolfzell. The MPY Center will support workshops, training activities and exchanges linking the two locations, and Center postdocs and staff will be expected to engage in these activities. Yale University offers its postdoc and staff a generous package of benefits. Yale has a thriving and growing community of young scholars in ecology, evolution and global change science in the EEB Department, the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, the Peabody Museum, and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. The town is renowned for its classic Ivy League setting, 75 miles north of New York City.

To apply please send, in one pdf, a short cover letter, CV and contact info for three referees to michelle.duong@yale.edu. We passionately believe that a diverse team will enable a broader perspective and enhance creativity, and we strongly encourage applications from women and minorities.


The lab hires a handful of undergraduates each year to work on projects related to the Map of Life. If you are a Yale undergrad interested in the Map of Life project, or if you have any interest in developing some of the apps we use in our lab, email Kira McCall to learn more about the program.

Graduate Students

New opportunities are ongoing, some of them in the context of the new Center for Biodiversity and Global Change. Focal areas of recruitment will likely include biodiversity and remote sensing, animal movement, and spatial biodiversity change assessment.

Research Assistants

We are currently hiring student research assistants! These positions will be closely involved with the Map of Life and the new Max Planck-Yale Center, utilizing GIS tools and ecological understanding to map species distributions worldwide.

Find out more about the position here. These positions will be open until filled. For more information and to apply, please contact Kira McCall at kira.mccall@yale.edu.