Job Listings

Postdoctoral Associate

Virginia Tech
Job Location:
Blacksburg, Virginia
Environmental Science, Ecology, and Forestry

Job Description

We are seeking an outstanding researcher to join our interdisciplinary team studying microbial ecology and pathogen transmission at the human-wild animal-environmental interface. The position will be based in Dr. Kathleen Alexander's laboratory. The candidate will work with a cross- disciplinary, multi-institutional, international team of researchers investigating the dynamics of antibiotic resistant, zoonotic pathogens across complex landscapes and host systems (human, wildlife, domestic animals) in Alexander's field site in Northern Botswana (Chobe Research Institute, The work is funded under a grant from the National Science Foundation's CNH2: Dynamics of Integrated Socio-Environmental Systems. The candidate will have the opportunity to work with a large multidisciplinary team - co-PIs Monica Ponder, Kelly Cobourn, Adil Godrej, John Bock, Amy Pruden, Peter Vikesland, Eric Hallerman (Virginia Tech), and Doug Goodin (Kansas State), Andrew Cameron (University of Regina), and Teddie Rahube (BUIST).

Accumulation and movement of antibiotic resistance is a primary threat to humanity and a global environmental challenge. Antibiotic resistance in zoonotic foodborne pathogens is increasing, as are foodborne disease outbreaks in humans and animals. A critical gap exists in our knowledge of the non-linear processes that drive the dissemination of these pathogens across socio-environmental systems; phenomena identified even in remote landscapes absent of commercial agriculture. Our project seeks to investigate drivers and dynamics of zoonotic foodborne pathogens and antibiotic resistance movement across these complex landscapes and hosts.

The successful candidate will lead and participate in studies related to the investigation of the zoonotic foodborne pathogen transmission dynamics and antimicrobial resistance movement across the human-animal-environmental interface. Travel to the study site is a possibility depending on the work program of the candidate.

Required Qualifications

  • PhD in epidemiology, ecology, microbiology, molecular genetics, or related fields. PhD must be awarded no more than four years prior to the effective date of appointment with a minimum of one year eligibility remaining.
  • Possess excellent communication skills and be highly motivated, independent, and self-directed.
  • Must have laboratory experience in microbial studies, quantitative analyses, strong writing skills, and a record of peer-reviewed publications.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Strong background in zoonotic foodborne pathogen and/or antimicrobial resistance studies.
  • Experience with bioinformatic applications.
  • Experience with R.

Pay Band

Appointment Type


Salary Information

Commensurate with experience

Review Date


Additional Information

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check as well as documentation ofCOVID-19 vaccinationor receive approval from the university for a vaccination exemption due to a medical condition or sincerely held religious belief.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Dana Keithat dkeith@vt.eduduring regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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