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Position Details

Academic Personnel

Postdoctoral Scholar - Parasite Ecology at the University of Washington

Position Overview

School / Campus / College: College of the Environment

Organization: Aquatic and Fishery Sciences

Title: Postdoctoral Scholar - Parasite Ecology at the University of Washington

Position Details

Position Description

The Wood Lab at the University of Washington seeks to hire a Postdoctoral Scholar in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. The candidate should be available to start between September 16, 2023 and February 16, 2024. The initial appointment will be 100% FTE for one year, with potential renewal for a second year. This position is supported by a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation for a project entitled, “Reconstructing parasite abundance in river ecosystems over the past half century.” The candidate hired into this position will have the opportunity to be at the forefront of a new sub-discipline: the historical ecology of parasitism.

The Wood Lab is dedicated to answering the question, “is the world wormier than it used to be?” Our new, NSF-funded project will address this question for the parasites of riverine fishes. We use parasitological dissection of liquid-preserved fishes stored in natural history collections to reconstruct long time series of parasite abundance, encompassing decades of environmental change. By carefully selecting specimens collected before and after the onset of a particular environmental impact (e.g., urbanization, pollutant inputs, climate change) in impacted and matched control areas (a before-after-control-impact or BACI design), we can discriminate change caused by the environmental impact from background change.

The project will involve

  • “field work” (i.e., parasitological dissections conducted at the Tulane University Biodiversity Research Institute in New Orleans, LA and at the University of New Mexico Museum of Southwestern Biology in Albuquerque, NM)
  • collaboration with an international group of senior parasite ecologists and ichthyologists
  • the chance to mentor graduate students and undergraduate REUs, and to engage with elementary-level STEM learners from around the country
  • the opportunity to be among the first to publish using a novel, powerful tool for understanding why and how parasite communities shift in response to global change

The salary for this position will be $65,508 per year, or as mandated by a U.S. Department of Labor prevailing wage determination.

Postdoctoral scholars are represented by UAW 4121 and are subject to the collective bargaining agreement, unless agreed exclusion criteria apply. For more information, please visit the University of Washington Labor Relations website.


The ideal candidate will:

  • have a PhD in ecology, at the time of appointment, with a dissertation primarily or entirely focused on parasitism
  • have no more than three years of total postdoctoral experience
  • have a high degree of statistical fluency (e.g., general and generalized linear models, mixed effects models)
  • have prior experience in parasitological dissection of vertebrates
  • have prior experience in handling natural history specimens
  • have a strong record of publications and presentations
  • adopt a rigorous and scholarly approach to their science, with evidence of this from presentations and publications
  • demonstrate informed curiosity, with the ability to generate novel scientific questions
  • find joy and delight in pursuing answers to questions in parasite ecology
  • be internally, intrinsically motivated to answer the project’s overarching research questions
  • be a reliable team member who collaborators can always count on to come through on their promises
  • be a respectful, professional, and generous team player who goes the extra mile to help their colleagues and maintains strong collegial bonds
  • be an effective mentor for junior colleagues
  • have a positive attitude in the face of obstacles or setbacks; have the professionalism to take these inevitabilities in stride
  • have excellent time management skills; accomplish research goals by creating realistic but ambitious plans and initiating open communication when plans need to be adjusted
  • have the willingness and the courage to discuss issues openly (i.e., to give and receive feedback, to celebrate successes, and to discuss ways to overcome challenges)


All applications should be submitted through Interfolio. The first application pool review will take place on 03/27/2023. To apply for this position, please include the following in your application:

  • a letter of intent explaining why you are a good candidate for this position.
  • a CV
  • pdfs of any written materials that demonstrate your previous research experience and your rigorous and scholarly approach to science.
  • contact information for three references.

For any queries, please reach out to Dr. Chelsea Wood at

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, gender identity or expression, age, disability, or protected veteran status.

Benefits Information

A summary of benefits associated with this title/rank can be found at Appointees solely employed and paid directly by a non-UW entity are not UW employees and are not eligible for UW or Washington State employee benefits.

Commitment to Diversity

The University of Washington is committed to building diversity among its faculty, librarian, staff, and student communities, and articulates that commitment in the UW Diversity Blueprint ( Additionally, the University’s Faculty Code recognizes faculty efforts in research, teaching and/or service that address diversity and equal opportunity as important contributions to a faculty member’s academic profile and responsibilities (

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Disability Services

To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 or

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements and Information

Under University of Washington (UW) Policy, University-compensated personnel must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof thereof, or receive a UW-approved medical or religious exemption. This requirement will be a condition of any offer associated with this recruitment. For more information, please visit

Apply now

The University of Washington is using Interfolio's Faculty Search to conduct this search. Applicants to this position receive a free Dossier account and can send all application materials, including confidential letters of recommendation, free of charge.

For help signing up, accessing your account, or submitting your application, please check out Interfolio's help and support section or get in touch via email at or phone at (877)997-8807.

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