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Opportunity at EPA/Faculty Fellowship Program (EPA/FFP)

Mechanistic Modeling for Population-Level Chemical Risk Assessment


Environmental Effects Research Laboratory-FFP, Mid-Continent Ecology Div - FFP

RO# Location
AC.02.06.B8319 Duluth, MN 55804


Name E-mail Phone
Etterson, Matthew A 218.529.5158


The Mid-Continent Ecology Division of the US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development has an opening for a postdoctoral research associate. This is a full-time, 12-month position, with a funding period of at least two years (pending annual review). The candidate must have completed a PhD in ecology, ecotoxicology, mathematics, or closely-related field prior to the start date, and have familiarity with mechanistic population models for ecological risk assessment. Familiarity with common programming languages, including R and Matlab is advantageous, as is familiarity with the ecology of the proposed model organism/group.

The successful candidate will join a team of ecologists and ecotoxicologists (M. Etterson, K. Flynn, R. Johnson, and D. Hoff) to develop mechanistic models of chemical effects on vertebrate populations. Our research team specializes in the development of quantitative mechanistic models linking chemical exposure to adverse effects on animal vital rates (survival, reproduction, and growth). See Bennett & Etterson (2007) and Etterson and Bennett (2013) for examples of existing avian models from our lab. Our current focus is on development of ecological models for small, freshwater fish. Models for threatened and endangered species are of particular interest. Modeling efforts will be supported through parallel laboratory experiments to inform model development. Duties will include a combination of laboratory experiments, data analysis, presenting research findings at conferences, and manuscript preparation. The position will be located in Duluth, MN, but the candidate will likely collaborate with scientists at one or more of our sister labs (Narragansett, RI; Corvallis, OR; and Gulf Breeze, FL) and USEPA Office of Pesticide Programs in Washington, DC.



Etterson MA, Bennet RS: Quantifying the effects of pesticide exposure on annual reproductive success of birds. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 9: 590-599, 2013

Bennett RS, Etterson MA: On selecting surrogate endpoints for estimating pesticide effects on avian reproductive success. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 9: 600-609, 2013

As an example, the MCnest model and associated documentation are available at: and the Medaka Multi-generation test protocol providing data to inform fish models is found at:!searchResults;rpp=25:po=0;s=EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0182-0005;fp=true;ns=true


Mechanistic models; Population-level risk assessment; Birds; Fish; Threatened and endangered species; Pesticides; Ecotoxicology;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents
Level:  Open only to Senior applicants
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