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Opportunities for students and post-docs

Post Doctoral opportunities

Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Post-Doctoral Associate Position Description (1 July 2019 – 30 June 2021)

Location: Twin Cities

This position will be co-supervised by Dr. Gretchen Hansen and Dr. Dan Larkin

We are recruiting a postdoctoral researcher to join our multi-disciplinary team investigating the ecological and economic impacts of Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM; an aquatic invasive plant) under current and future climate conditions. We will use a multi-year dataset of species distribution and abundance, combined with simulated water temperature profiles, to model EWM abundance, and project changes in abundance under climate change scenarios. We will also link EWM presence and abundance to economic impacts, and develop an online decision support tool to communicate with stakeholders. The successful candidate will work collaboratively with our research team and combine multiple approaches to answer complex questions related to ecosystem change and aquatic invasive species, including machine learning methods, simulation modeling, economic analysis, comparative studies, and experimental approaches.

Responsibilities will include:

·       Lead and support research on aquatic invasive species ecology to uncover drivers of species abundance. This includes all aspects of the research process, including defining questions and objectives, performing data analysis and visualization, publishing manuscripts, and presenting/communicating results to a wide range of audiences (70%);

·       Work with project team and stakeholders to co-develop research questions, data products, and communication tools to support the incorporation of research results into management actions as appropriate (15%);

·       Assist with and collaborate on other projects, including grant writing, budget management, report writing, analytical support, and supervising students and/or technicians to support the general mission of the group (15%).


Successful candidates must possess (by the position start date) a Ph.D. in ecology, limnology, or a related field. A demonstrated publication record, quantitative analysis skills, interest in actionable science, and the ability to work both collaboratively and independently are critical. Preferred qualifications include experience or interest in machine learning techniques; experience in aquatic and/or plant ecology; familiarity with hedonic pricing models or other economic valuation techniques; an interest in solving complex, real-world problems; experience working as part of multi-disciplinary research teams; and experience working with natural resource agencies. 

Salary: $50,000 annually plus benefits. More information on benefits can be found at

To apply: Interested candidates should send a one-page cover letter describing their qualifications and interest along with their CV to Dr. Gretchen Hansen ( Review of applications will begin on April 30, 2019 and continue until filled. This position is contingent on funding. A formal advertisement is forthcoming and applications will be accepted through the University of Minnesota’s online application system following preliminary review of candidates.

Graduate student opportunities

Dr. Hansen will be accepting 2-3 graduate students to start in 2019. The official application deadline for the University of Minnesota Conservation Sciences and Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior programs has passed, although under some circumstances students can apply during the spring Semester and still be admitted. I am particularly interested in students with a strong interest and background in quantitative ecology and modeling.

Interested in applying? First, read this and this.

Next, poke around on this website. Learn about the past research done in this lab, and decide if your intertests line up.

Still interested? Contact Dr. Hansen with a brief statement of your interests, experience, expected availability, and your CV. 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Undergraduate opportunities

Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Undergrad Lab and field tech Position Description (10 June 2019 – 25 Aug 2019)

Location: Twin Cities

I am seeking an undergraduate lab and field technician to support ongoing research in the Hansen lab. This will involve lab, field, and office work in St. Paul and around the state of Minnesota. The primary responsibility of this position is field collection and data analysis of fish and invertebrate samples from lakes throughout Minnesota as a part of a multi-lake comparison of food webs supporting walleye and how they are affected by zebra mussel invasion. This position will involve extensive overnight travel throughout Minnesota.

Responsibilities will include:

·       Field data collections of fish and invertebrate tissue and water quality data in lakes across Minnesota in collaboration with Minnesota DNR (70%);

·       Processing of fish and invertebrate tissues in lab for stable isotope and mercury analysis (15%)

·       Assist with other lab, field, and office tasks as needed, including data entry, database management, literature reviews, written and oral communication of research progress, and other duties as assigned (15%).


Successful candidates must have a strong work ethic, interest in aquatic ecology, the capacity to work long hours in the outdoors under variable conditions, and the ability to work both as a part of a team and independently. Preferred qualifications include experience driving and trailering boats; experience with field or lab work; ability to identify fish and/or invertebrates; and experience with data entry and database management. 

Salary: $10-15/hour, depending on experience

To apply: Contact Gretchen Hansen, with a cover letter and resume.