Postdoctoral Research Associate - Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health Group

Date: Jun 7, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10729 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security.


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will support the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health Group, Biodiversity and Sustainable Systems Section in the Environmental Sciences Division (ESD), Biological and Environmental Systems Science Directorate (BESSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).


The postdoctoral researcher will perform R&D in ecological connectivity, waterpower technologies, and socioecological priorities of Tribal and rural mountain communities. Selection will be based on qualifications, relevant experience, skills, and education. The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated and independent in conducting research under general guidance and is expected to prepare manuscripts for scientific publication and present the work to sponsors and at conferences. The individual will work in the Aquatic Ecology Lab ( as part of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health Group ( The Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health Group (BEHG) at ORNL strives to provide scientific knowledge and technical innovation to address highly complex and multi-faceted water-energy resource challenges. This position will support ongoing projects funded by DOE Waterpower Technologies Office.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Develop and implement functional connectivity models for aquatic and semiaquatic fauna (amphibians and fish)
  • Identify partial and absolute barriers to movement of aquatic and semiaquatic fauna within the Oconaluftee River Basin in western North Carolina
  • Conduct fieldwork to fill knowledge gaps in species’ spatial life history in the Oconaluftee River Basin
  • Explore hydropower potential within Tribal and rural mountain communities of Southern Appalachia
  • Interface with Tribal representatives to identify socioecological priorities
  • Identify knowledge gaps in socioecological vulnerabilities, evolutionary ecology of mountain stream communities, and propose future studies
  • Publish and present research results in journals and at conferences
  • Deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A PhD in ecology, evolution, environmental science, or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Experience in geographic information systems and spatial data analysis involving fish and wildlife
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, able to present and publish their research
  • A proven publication record
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively as part of an interdisciplinary research team


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Expertise in fisheries science and/or wildlife ecology research
  • Experience working at the interface of aquatic and terrestrial systems
  • Experience working with Tribal and/or rural mountain communities
  • Experience in R and Python programming
  • Experience developing or implementing individual-based models
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory 
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs


Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.


Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.

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This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

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ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

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