The objective of this project is to assess the extent to which Tharp’s bluestar, Amsonia tharpii (Apocynaceae), is impacted by land use change (habitat fragmentation and loss) associated with the recent expansion of the Permian Basin Pipeline under development in southeast New Mexico and adjacent west Texas. Amsonia tharpii is endemic to this region, and it is suspected that plant reproduction and genetic diversity may be negatively impacted by oil and gas development. Critical to these efforts is a better understanding of the phylogenetic relationships within the genus Amsonia, which will determine the extent to which A. tharpii is genetically distinct from other taxa. Importantly, this work will inform the federal endangered species listing process and will determine best practices for federal agencies to use in developing buffer zones and other management approaches to limit impact on Tharp's bluestar and its pollinators.
The postdoc will be responsible for the following:
- Leading field and lab work (using high-throughput sequencing techniques including RADseq and HybSeq), analyzing data, and writing scientific manuscripts and reports.
- Working with key personnel and land managers to coordinate project activities
- Training and mentoring field assistants, interns, volunteers, and students, as agreed upon with adviser (e.g., Research Experiences for Undergraduates, as part of the Chicago Garden's REU program)
Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired:
- Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
- Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
- Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
- Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
- Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
- Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
- Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
- Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
- Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
- Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
- Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position.
- Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
- Is welcoming of new hires.
The ideal applicant will have a Ph.D. in botany, ecology, evolutionary biology, or a related field and relevant experience in some of the following areas:
- Next generation sequencing techniques and analyses for assessing population genetic parameters and target enrichment datasets
- Pollination biology and floral trait data collection and associated botanical inventory
- Data analysis and programming languages (R, Python, etc.), familiarity with Unix-based operating systems, and experience interacting with high-performance computing resources
- Writing scientific manuscripts and/or reports
- Mentoring early-career scientists (undergraduates, interns, etc.)
Experience with pollination biology and floral trait data collection and associated botanical inventory is desired but can be learned. Experience with the analysis of high-throughput sequencing data is preferred, but note that we are committed to providing an experience in which the successful candidate learns and masters new skills that will help further their career.
Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.
Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.
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