Conservation & Science Research Fellow

Cleveland OHCleveland Metroparks Zoo is accepting applications for a Post-doctoral Researcher to study microbial symbioses of a wide variety of zoo-housed species. We seek to recruit a researcher eager to examine genetic and environmental factors which influence host-associated microbial community composition and function with the goal of improving animal health.

A Ph.D. in microbial ecology, ecology, epidemiology, biology or closely related field is required at time of appointment; however, strong ABD candidates will also be considered. Candidates must possess excellent written and interpersonal communication skills. The successful candidate will be proficient in the use of R and have experience with bioinformatics programs such as mothur and UPARSE. Candidates specializing in metagenomic analysis and prior experience working with zoos are preferred.

This is a highly collaborative position. The postdoc with be working at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and the Ohio State University with Dr. Patricia Dennis (epidemiologist, DVM/PhD) and at Ohio Northern University with Dr. Katherine Krynak (eco-immunologist/microbial ecologist) as well as with zoo staff and collections across the country. Limited classroom teaching experience is also available for the interested candidate.

The position is full-time, fully-funded, and available for two-years following a successful one-year review. The candidate selected for this position must be able to meet eligibility requirements to work in the United States at the time the appointment is scheduled to begin and continue working legally for the proposed term of employment.

Regular and predictable attendance is expected and required. All Cleveland Metroparks employees must be prepared to work flexible schedules, including evenings, weekends, and/or holidays as required.

Assists the Director of Conservation and Science, the Director of Animal and Veterinary Programs and their teams to identify issues concerning the health and welfare of the animals under the care of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Assists the Conservation and Science, Animal Programs and Veterinary Programs teams in creating and implementing research goals that advance the Zoo’s mission.

Develops and conducts independent research to enhance the health and welfare of animals under the care of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Develops, maintains and manages external grants to support ongoing research.

Coordinates and facilitates sample collection and analysis for research projects.

Data entry and summary; keeps accurate and organized research database.

Presents research findings at scientific meetings and professional and public audiences; publishes in scientific journals.

Keeps direct supervisor promptly informed of key/significant issues or concerns.

Carries out duties and responsibilities in a safe and efficient manner to maintain a safe work environment and surrounding area for oneself, co-workers and public. Responds to hazardous situations and/or potentially unsafe conditions by taking corrective action as capable and promptly notifying supervisory personnel.

Updates and enhances own knowledge by involvement in continuing education for professional growth (i.e., attends relevant conferences, seminars, in-service trainings, and certification programs).

Assists with other research where appropriate, including providing advisement on undergraduate and graduate student research projects, supporting organization-wide research initiatives, and supporting conservation initiatives.

As assigned, helps to compile data, write reports and create/give presentations on research activities and survey findings.

As assigned, attends scientific seminars, conservation and science meetings, other relevant Zoo meetings, and other events as part of professional development.

Contributes to Cleveland Zoological Society and Zoo’s Conservation Education and Marketing divisions in increasing awareness of the Zoo’s research and conservation initiatives.

Participates in outside scientific organizations such as professional societies, committees, and universities.Performs related duties as assigned or apparent.



Doctorate Degree in veterinary medicine, conservation biology, ecology, zoology, or a related field required. Proven publication record required. Previous zoo or aquarium research experience preferred. Experience in teaching, presenting, training, and directing others preferred.

Must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license under the laws of the State of Ohio.

Basic understanding of ecology, epidemiology, and endocrinology for collaborative purposes.

Demonstrated commitment to wildlife conservation through management of zoo populations, and willingness to participate in the department’s team approach to research projects.

Proficiency with data entry and statistical analysis required.

Excellent time/project management and problem solving skills.

Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with stakeholders, including employees and the general public.

Ability to speak and write clearly, concisely and persuasively using correct grammar, spelling and punctuation with ability to communicate one-on-one or in group settings.

Ability to perform work with a high degree of accuracy and organization.

Management skills and strong business acumen, including problem solving, vision, ability to manage multiple programs and meet deadlines, collaboration, leadership, decision making and ability to analyze diverse facts and develop clear and concise reports and recommendations.

Ability to work cooperatively with others.

Proficiency in software programs including all Microsoft Office programs.

Mature professional attitude and considerable discretion, including ability to manage confidential information.

Ability to perform with considerable independence and initiative.


Work Schedule: This position is a 36 month post-doctoral fellowship funded by Cleveland Zoological Society. Must be able to work a flexible schedule.



Filing Deadline: May 22, 2017