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Curator, Entomology

Natural History Museum, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Salary commensurate with experience.
Closing date
Sep 28, 2023

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Life Sciences, Zoology, Other
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) seeks a Curator (Assistant or Associate level) of Entomology to lead its research on insect and terrestrial arthropod biodiversity, oversee the growth and care of its collections, and provide content for a variety of public programs. The successful candidate will conduct collection-based research in evolutionary biology and/or ecology broadly defined and will be a leader in the care, growth, and use of museum collections with demonstrated interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaborations. This is a rare opportunity for a unique position at a globally recognized natural history museum. 

The NHMLAC’s entomology collection is one of the institution’s largest, and has approximately 6 million specimens of insects, spiders, and other terrestrial arthropods. It is also the largest collection of its kind in Southern California with specimens from all over the world. It is particularly strong in its  holdings of ants, phorid flies, scarab beetles, and moths from North and Central America; and also includes a large and growing collection of arthropods in Cenozoic and Mesozoic amber, currently numbering approximately 3,000 pieces.  

The Curator will be expected to build an active and publicly appealing research program that includes field expeditionary work, and oversee the management and continued development of the entomological collection, lead all programs on insects and other terrestrial arthropods, and supervise staff and volunteers of the Entomology Department. The successful candidate will have a record of outstanding research, excellent communication skills, and a demonstrated ability to engage the public and stakeholders. Experience with the care, management, and operation of natural history collections is highly desirable. 

A Ph.D. and a strong track record of peer-reviewed publications focusing on evolutionary biology and/or ecology are required. Additionally, the successful candidate is expected to develop working relationships with local universities; mentor interns, students and postdoctoral fellows; strengthen the NHMLAC’s presence in key professional and governmental networks; and maintain and sustain research through competitive grants and/or other funding from external sources. The Curator will be expected to participate actively in a broad range of museum activities, including exhibits; education; community science research, projects, and programs; educator and volunteer training; public communications; media interactions; and fundraising activities. The Curator must have the vision and capability to build a research program that can be integrated with the NHMLAC’s ongoing efforts to understand local biodiversity and shape the collections and research in ways that activate their scientific and public appeal. 

This position calls for recognized research expertise and leadership in areas of high arthropod diversity globally, such as the Neotropics. Qualified candidates are expected to have research interests that span the globe. However, this position will also emphasize urban studies as this complements existing research and outreach strengths and builds upon  established relationships with local organizations and community members developed by the NHMLAC’s Urban Nature Research Center (UNRC) and Community Science Office. The UNRC engages in research that examines the effects of urbanization on wildlife, often using community science (= citizen science) approaches for surveying urban biodiversity.

The NHMLAC is especially interested in candidates whose background and experience have prepared them to contribute to our commitment to engage with and include culturally diverse audiences in the museum and in the sciences. The NHMLAC values and endeavors to support diversity, equity, inclusion, and access within its organization and communities. Candidates who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), neurodivergent, a woman, a person with a disability, a veteran, and/or part of the LGBTQAI+ community are welcome and encouraged to apply.

This is a full-time position with a salary and title (Assistant or Associate Curator) commensurate with experience. 

The application deadline is October 15th, 2023. The proposed starting date is July 1st, 2024, but flexibility is possible. Applicants should send the following information as a single PDF to Viviana Quintana at (include “Entomology Curator Search” in the email subject line): 1) a cover letter, 2) a 1–3 page vision statement of proposed research and collection development, 3) a 1–3 page statement of interest and experience in public engagement/outreach, 4) a statement of commitment to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the natural sciences, 5) a curriculum vitae, and 5) the full contact information of at least three references.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Please, no phone calls.

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