Postdoctoral Researcher

Pending Final Approval of Funding
(Full-time Restricted One-Year Position)
(Role Title: Laboratory and Research Specialist I)

Position #: 00087 
Salary Range: Pay Band 3
Minimum Starting Pay: $32,000 
Location: Martinsville VA

We anticipate final approval of funding for a postdoctoral researcher in functional morphology to study adaptations for feeding and locomotion in extant mammals (particularly Sciurus nigerand S. carolinensis specimens housed in the Virginia Museum of Natural History (VMNH) collections.) This project will entail analyzing the shape of the skull and appendicular skeleton of specimens using digital photographs and geometric morphometric approaches.  We anticipate opportunities for additional projects in collaboration with other VMNH staff (e.g., entomology, paleontology and zooarchaeology). We expect the successful candidate to take the lead role in presenting results at professional conferences and in drafting and submitting manuscripts for publication.


  1. In consultation with VMNH curators, identify sets of specimens and analytical approaches to study specimens from VMNH holdings and collections housed by other institutions.
  2. Assist curators and other VMNH staff with activities related to storage, organization, and maintenance of specimens borrowed from other institutions.
  3. Photograph specimens, set landmarks, conduct statistical and geometric morphometric analyses.
  4. Maintain inventories and logs of specimens as they are being photographed and analyzed.
  5. Draft one or more manuscripts (text, tables and figures) for publication.
  6. Prepare and present talks and/or posters at professional conferences.
  7. Other duties as assigned.


  1. The position is Pay Band 3 (minimum starting pay $32,000, depending on qualifications and experience.)
  2. An excellent state benefits package (including health insurance and retirement) is offered and detailed at


  1. Ph.D. required by date of hire.
  2. Meticulous attention to detail and accuracy.
  3. Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  4. Excellent organizational and problem-solving skills.
  5. Ability to prioritize and to work independently.
  6. Demonstrated proficiency with digital cameras and imaging software.
  7. Demonstrated proficiency with Microsoft Office and relational database software.
  8. Expertise in geometric morphometrics.
  9. Expertise in comparative methods.


  1. Peer-reviewed publications using geometric morphometrics and comparative methods are strongly preferred.
  2. Familiarity with mammalian anatomy and mammalian systematics is also preferred.


The Commonwealth of Virginia online application is available at

Only online applications are accepted.  In addition to the online application, applicants must submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a statement of research and career interests and goals (no more than 3 pages), a list of publications relevant to the application, and names and contact information of at least three references. These documents may be attached to the online application. Applications will be accepted until position is filled.  Review of applications will begin after funds for this position have been approved.

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We are an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants are afforded equal opportunities without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, political affiliation, genetics, or disability. The successful applicant must furnish proof of identity and employment eligibility and is subject to a background check.