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Potential postdocs

I am currently recruiting a postdoc:

Washington State University: Postdoctoral Research Associate in Avian Behavior and Endocrinology

The Watts laboratory in the School of Biological Sciences at Washington State University (WSU) seeks to hire a highly motivated postdoctoral research associate. This is an NSF-funded position to investigate the role of social cues in migratory timing and the endocrine mechanisms involved in transducing these cues. The project is being conducted in collaboration with Jamie Cornelius ( The position will be based at the WSU campus in Pullman, WA, USA. The postdoc will conduct some fieldwork (which may require extended trips to remote field sites), but the research will be primarily laboratory based, making use of experimental manipulations of captive birds. Work will involve field collection of birds (pine siskins and red crossbills), carrying out experiments, analyzing data, writing manuscripts, presenting findings at professional conferences, and co-supervising project personnel (including mentoring of undergraduate students). The overarching project includes both behavioral and endocrine components, and there will be some flexibility to tailor research activities and other aspects of professional development to the experience, interests, and goals of the postdoc, as well as the opportunity for the postdoc to develop related, independent avenues of research.The position is available as early as summer 2019.

More information about the Watts Lab can found at The School of Biological Sciences has a strong research presence in organismal biology, evolution, and ecology research (; there are many opportunities for interaction and collaboration. The surrounding area offers a variety of outdoor activities, and Spokane is roughly 1.5 hours to the north.

Required qualifications: Ph.D. in Biology or other relevant field

Preferred qualifications: Enthusiastic and self-motivated candidates with experience in animal behavior, endocrinology, ecological/organismal physiology, and/or avian systems will be given preference.  Experience working with live vertebrates, with behavioral data collection and analysis, and/or with endocrine and molecular techniques such as EIA hormone assays or quantitative PCR would be valuable. Strong oral and written communication skills, including the ability to produce peer-reviewed publications, strong quantitative skills, and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively with others will all be viewed favorably.

Compensation: Support (salary + WSU benefits) is currently available for up to 3 years. Initial appointment is for 1 year, renewable annually pending satisfactory performance and continuing availability of funding.

Application process: Interested applicants should send the following via email (heather.watts[AT]wsu[DOT]edu) as a SINGLE PDF document: 1) CV, 2) a cover letter including a statement of research interests and experience, and career goals as they relate to this position (2 pages maximum), and 3) contact information for 3 professional references. A formal WSU application and background check will be required of the selected candidate.

Questions regarding this position can be directed to Heather Watts (heather.watts[AT]wsu[DOT]edu).

Screening of applications will begin May 17th, 2019  and continue until the position is filled.


Prospective graduate students

I encourage prospective graduate students (MS or PhD) to get in touch with me sometime in the fall. Applications to the Graduate School are due in early January. I expect that students in the lab will pursue research related to one or more of the areas of focus within the lab (e.g., seasonality, social behavior, facultative migration, environmental/behavioral endocrinology). But students will be encouraged to develop research projects of their own design and to take the research in new directions. If you are interested in joining the lab or would like to learn more, please send me (heather.watts [AT] wsu [DOT] edu) an introductory email with (i) a description of your research interests and career goals, as well as past research experience, and (ii) a curriculum vitae that includes GPA and GRE scores (if you have them).

Prospective undergraduate students

If you think might be interested in participating in research in the lab, I encourage you to read about our research on this website and then send me an email (heather.watts [AT] wsu [DOT] edu) to discuss opportunities. It will be most useful if you can tell me a bit about your interests and career goals and why you are interested in working in our lab.