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Assistant Professor – Applied Population Genetics

Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan
Salary will be commensurate with qualifications.
Closing date
Mar 13, 2024

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Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Genomics, Other Life Science
Position Type
Full Time
Job Type
Organization Type

The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University invites applications for a full‐time, 12-month tenure track Assistant Professor in Conservation Genomics and Molecular Ecology with 75% research, 15% teaching, 5% outreach, and 5% service assignment.  The position start date is anticipated to be fall 2024. The successful candidate will join a dynamic faculty, postdoctoral and student community in departmental and campus-wide programs with expertise in applications of genomic methods in natural resources management, ecology, and evolutionary biology, with a focus on natural resources management.


The Department seeks individuals trained in areas including but not limited to spatial genetic structuring and recruitment dynamics of fish and wildlife populations, population analysis using genetic information, statistical genetics, and genomic data analysis. Other skills and research responsibilities could include next-generation sequencing, transcriptomics, eDNA monitoring, diet metabarcoding, aquatic invasive species control, understanding stressor effects on fish populations using genetic data, bioinformatic analyses, and use of genetics data in improving hatchery fish performance. All areas that have the potential to significantly advance natural resources management and the sound stewardship of natural resources in Michigan, across the Great Lakes region, and nationally will be considered. This individual will teach graduate-level Conservation Genetics and a graduate or undergraduate course yet to be determined, alternating each year. We are seeking an individual that can maintain basic genetics processes already in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (see below) while using the MSU Genomics Core and other sources of resident research infrastructure to build a successful program.


Historically, the genetics lab in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife conducted genetic, and more recently, genomic research on fish and wildlife species of the U.S. Great Lakes region, on topics including (but not limited to) conservation, genetic diversity, gene flow, species movement, species distribution, population genetics, behavior, and diet.  Other research has focused on questions related to fisheries and hatchery management, species surveys and invasive species for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR).  The lab also carried out work on forensic cases for the MDNR law enforcement division.  The lab has served as a resource for other members of the department (and university) by assisting graduate and undergraduate students from other labs (that do not conduct genetic research) with their and providing resources and training and has collaborated on numerous projects with other groups both within and outside of the university.


The successful candidate will become part of the Partnership for Ecosystem Research and Management (PERM) cooperative program between the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University and the MDNR. As a PERM scientist, the successful candidate will be expected to build a program that is responsive to MDNR needs, while also using the PERM position to leverage broader research and outreach activities that support successful promotion and tenure in MSU’s system. Hence, expectations of PERM faculty include strong evidence of research (i.e., publications, grants, graduate students), teaching (effective course offerings, potentially scholarship of teaching and learning), outreach and engagement (e.g., interactions with stakeholders), and service (professional and withing the MSU community).


Required qualifications: An earned Ph.D. in conservation genetics, or a closely related field. A demonstrated record of activities in teaching, research, outreach and engagement, and university or professional service relevant to the position. An interest in working directly with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources – Fisheries Division on research and engagement.


Desired qualifications: Postdoctoral experience is highly desired. Competitive candidates should demonstrate an ability to develop a vigorous and independent, externally funded, and internationally recognized research program, demonstrate teaching scholarship and excellence by participating in undergraduate and graduate education programs in their area of expertise, demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, provide relevant service at Departmental and University levels, to PERM agency partners, and to the greater professional community.


The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife: The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife is an international leader in integrating research, teaching, and engagement to positively affect local, regional, national, and global outcomes in natural resources. Our work supports stakeholder efforts to conserve, sustain and value natural resources; improves natural resource sustainability; and expands understanding of basic science. By linking physical, biological, and social sciences to solve challenges related to the environment, terrestrial and aquatic organisms, and people, our department is unique within MSU and one of the top departments of its kind in the world.


Location: The position will be based at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, USA. Michigan State University (MSU) is one of the top research universities in the world and home to nationally ranked and recognized academic, residential college, and service-learning programs. MSU is a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, and scientists that provide regional, national, and international leadership in basic and applied research and excellence in teaching. In addition, consistent with its Land Grant origins, the MSU community pursues international engagement and provides strong extension programs that partner with diverse stakeholders to provide much needed research in the areas of food, energy, water, and the environment. MSU enjoys a park‐like campus with outlying research facilities and natural areas. The campus is in the city of East Lansing, adjacent to the capital city of Lansing. The Lansing metropolitan area has a diverse population of >500,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The University is proactive about its obligations under the ADA, and provides individual accessibility plans to students and employees with disabilities. Michigan State University is also proactive in exploring opportunities for employment for dual career families, both inside and outside the University, and respects all family forms. Information about MSU’s dual career and other support can be found at


Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Michigan State University is committed to achieving excellence by creating and sustaining an accessible and inclusive culture that values cultural and academic diversity. We are an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer. The CANR is particularly interested in candidates of all backgrounds who are committed to the principle that academic excellence is achieved through open access and proactive inclusion.  Candidates are invited to view the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife objectives around the topic of DEI here.


Salary and Benefits: Salary will be commensurate with qualifications. MSU offers a generous benefits package (details at here).


To Apply:  Applicants should submit materials to the Michigan State University Human Resources office (position #930636): (1) cover letter; (2) Curriculum Vitae; (3) statement of research interests; (4) statement of teaching interests and experience; (5) statement describing experience and future plans to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion; and (6) up to three reprints or representative peer reviewed publications. Applicants should also arrange for colleagues to submit three confidential letters of recommendation in support of their application.


Questions regarding this position can be addressed to the Search Committee Chair: Dr. Michael Wagner (, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.


MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. We actively encourage applications from, and nominations of, women, persons of color, veterans, persons with disabilities and other individuals who can contribute to the intellectual diversity and cultural richness at Michigan State University. MSU is committed to providing a work environment that supports employees’ work and personal life, and offers employment assistance to the spouse or partner of candidates for faculty and academic staff positions


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