Postdoctoral Fellow | La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

  • Position: Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Employer: La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
  • Qualifications: PhD in Biology, Geology, or a related field
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Application Deadline: the position is available until May 26th 2017
  • Queries and Applications:
Link: Click here to access the full text of the offer

Offer full description:

Holocene Paleoecology of Rancho La Brea

The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum (LBTPM, Los Angeles, California) seeks a Postdoctoral Fellow to conduct research on the  Holocene flora and fauna preserved in the La Brea Tar Pits.  The research project will focus on resolving the chronology and paleoecology of the Holocene taxa, with the aim of understanding changes in community composition and function across the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary.  Potential areas of research may include: biotic response to climate change; ecological effects of defaunation; morphological change, dietary adaptation, and range shift in response to changing environments; prehistoric human impacts on ecosystems; and other topics.  The Fellow will be encouraged to integrate their research with ongoing efforts at LBTPM and its parent institution, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, focused on modern and prehistoric extinctions, human-ecosystem interactions, and environmental change in southern California and worldwide.

The LBTPM is an active field site and research facility situated at one of the world’s richest Quaternary paleontological localities, with around 5 million excavated fossils comprising more than 600 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, mollusks, and plants spanning from at least 50,000 years ago to the present. These collections provide a truly unique opportunity to investigate ecosystem dynamics across major episodes of global climate change, anthropogenic disturbance, and extinction with the potential to inform conservation efforts in the face of similar challenges today.  However, despite more than a century of excavation and research at the La Brea Tar Pits, very little is yet known about the Holocene communities represented in these deposits, and how they differ from those of the Pleistocene.

In addition to the unparalleled research potential of the site, the LBTPM has a broad-reaching public face, with 350,000 visitors per year and substantial representation in popular and news media.  The Fellow will have the opportunity to contribute to public education about science through Museum-sponsored educational programs and citizen science projects, as well as through media interactions and informing the intellectual underpinnings of future exhibits.  The Fellow will also contribute to the curation of the LBTPM collections and will interact with excavation and laboratory personnel, developing skills in various aspects of museum science.

The Fellow will be supervised by Dr. Emily Lindsey, Assistant Curator at LBTPM, and will also work closely with Dr. John Southon at the Keck Carbon Cycle AMS facility at U.C. Irvine on radiocarbon and stable isotope analyses.

Qualifications:  PhD in Biology, Geology, or a related field; demonstrated research success; and excellent written and verbal communication skills.

The position is for 12 months with option to renew for an additional 12 months.  Competitive salary and benefits.

Interested applicants should send a cover letter, CV, and the contact information for three professional references to

The application deadline is May 26th.  Expected start date is Summer or early Fall 2017.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Please, No Phone Calls, No Fax.

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Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)