Assistant Professor and Curator, Breckenridge Endowed Chair in Ornithology

Saint Paul, Minnesota (US)
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications.
Aug 01, 2017
Sep 30, 2017
Job Level
Senior level
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type

Assistant Professor and Curator, Breckenridge Endowed Chair in Ornithology

The Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology and Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota invite applications for a tenure-track, endowed position in ornithology. We welcome applicants working in any area of ornithology with a focus on organismal biology and bird diversity.  We seek outstanding candidates who employ innovative approaches to gain insight on the ecology, biogeography, conservation, evolution, behavior, or systematics of birds. Competitive applicants will have interests in developing a research program that integrates different approaches, including natural history collections, field studies, experimentation, phylogenetics, modeling, and/or computation, among others.

Duties and Responsibilities

The successful candidate will develop a strong, extramurally funded research program in ornithology; lead curation of the bird collection at the Bell Museum of Natural History; contribute to the teaching mission of the Department; advise undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral research; and participate in professional service.  Also essential is the interest and ability to be engaged in public outreach. We are especially interested in a candidate that will collaborate on interdisciplinary research initiatives with faculty across departmental units and beyond. The University of Minnesota is committed to diversity and cultural inclusiveness, and women and members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Academic Rank

This is a tenure-track position; appointment will be at the rank of assistant professor.


Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications. This is a 9-month appointment with the opportunity to obtain summer salary from research and/or educational grants up to 2.75 months. The endowment for the Breckenridge Chair also includes some research funds dedicated to the position. Benefits include employee health, dental, and faculty life/disability insurance, social security, faculty retirement and opportunities for professional development, including sabbatical and semester leave opportunities. Benefits are described at

Essential Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in biological sciences
  • Demonstrated research emphasis in avian biology
  • Strong publication record in disciplines related to the position
  • Evidence of potential to initiate and sustain extramurally funded research
  • Collegiate teaching experience

Preferred Qualifications

  • Evidence of collections-based research experience and/or curatorial experience
  • Post-doctoral or faculty experience
  • Experience in public engagement and successful interactions with governmental and non-governmental organizations
  • Track record of interacting creatively, collaboratively, and productively with other scientists

Program Unit/Description

The Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology (FWCB) comprises a diverse and integrative group of scientists working on the population biology, ecology, evolution, genetics, conservation, restoration, and management of biological diversity. The collections of the Bell Museum of Natural History ( are overseen by faculty curators with research programs in phylogenetic systematics, comparative phylogenetics, historical biogeography, phylogeography, conservation genetics, biodiversity, evolution and natural-history museum informatics. Both FWCB and the Bell have close association with the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior and together with the University community at large, provide exceptional opportunities to develop strengths in research, teaching, and community outreach, including opportunities to build biological collections, direct field courses, and contribute to public education programs. Additional affiliated research and outreach facilities include the Cloquet Forestry Center, the Lake Itasca Biological Station, the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute, and the Biomedical Genomics Center. The campus is located in the heart of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area, which is rich in cultural and natural attractions.

The University of Minnesota is committed to diversity and cultural inclusiveness, and women and members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Background Check

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check.

 To Apply:

Applicants should submit the following materials:

  • Letter of application/intent describing interest or experience in research, teaching, curation, public engagement, and commitment to providing opportunities to underrepresented groups in organismal biology (maximum of 2 pages)
  • CV
  • Names/Contact information for three professional references (letters of recommendation will be requested after the pool has been evaluated)
  • Statements of Research and Teaching (Additional Documents 1 and 2, maximum of three pages each)

All applications must be submitted online at: ​  Enter 317978 in the Keywords box.  Candidates will have an opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach the letter and vitae. Additional documents should be attached after application by accessing your “My Activities” page and uploading documents there

Review of applications will begin on October 1, 2017; the position will be open until filled.

Nominations and inquiries should be addressed to: Dr. Andrew Simons, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology,