Research Associate 1

Connecticut, United States
01 Jun 2020
End of advertisement period
01 Aug 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

Position Focus:

Reporting to the Program Manager and the PI, the Research Associate will join a team of researchers and informaticians in building, managing, and analyzing biodiversity datasets. The candidate will be responsible for maintaining rigorous data standards and retains the scientific integrity of new data being uploaded to the Map of Life database. The candidate will generate data products, prepare and upload data, liaise with data partners and experts, and work with the data mobilization to oversee the digitization of spatial biodiversity information. They will work closely with the other team members to make sure that data products are being delivered in a timely and efficient manner. They will document procedures and communicate progress in an organized and logical manner.

Supporting species distribution modeling efforts and developing and incorporating methods for migratory species.

Developing and implementing new modeling workflows and executing existing modeling workflows.

Managing biodiversity data: assessing incoming datasets, preparing datasets to upload to the database, ensuring rigorous quality control, and uploading datasets to the Map of Life database.

Establishing new and maintaining existing connections with biodiversity and species experts, acquiring new datasets, and actively seeking and facilitating expert feedback on species distribution models.

Providing support for researchers and team members with spatial analyses using R and different GIS platforms.

Essential Duties

  1. Determine best methodology for achieving goals efficiently and in a scientifically robust way.
  2. Assess the data quality of datasets prepared by technicians and other data contributors to first evaluate whether any additional work is required in order to meet data standards. 
  3. Perform a series of data manipulation tasks using automated approaches utilizing knowledge of ecology and environmental sciences as well as programming knowledge and skills.
  4. Prepare spatial biodiversity datasets to match complete phylogenies. Perform comprehensive literature review of new taxonomic descriptions to identify changes to species distributions and delineating the spatial coverage of new and updated species ranges based on published locality information.
  5. Oversee the daily activities of the data mobilization team, made up of Yale student research assistants. Ensure standards and protocols are being updated and executed.
  6. Analyze and summarize data from various projects for use in scientific papers, grant reporting, and web visualizations. Identify data gaps to drive priorities for data mobilization team.
  7. Determine the most efficient and scientifically rigorous approach for analyzing and summarizing data. Provide recommendations to the full team to change protocols and advise strategic changes to data collection, processing, visualizations, and/or provisioning.
  8. Ensure and maintain the integrity of biodiversity information for scientific analysis and meeting data contributor expectations for any data interpretation and visualization.
  9. Performs additional duties as assigned.

Required Education and Experience

  1. Master’s Degree in a scientific discipline and one year of experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  2. Specialized training in Ecology or Environmental Sciences.

Required Skill/Ability 1:

Familiarity with Geographic Information Systems, specifically QGIS and ArcGIS. Understanding of field surveys with the ability to interpret data and experience as a field biologist. Knowledge of at least one programming language, preferably R, with the ability to acquire new programming languages and techniques.

Required Skill/Ability 2:

Well-developed written and oral communication skills and a well-developed record of scientific publications and presentations. Strong critical thinking, problem-solving, and organizational skills with the ability to manage multiple projects and processes simultaneously.

Preferred Education, Experience and Skills:

PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Experience developing species distribution models for migratory species.

Weekend Hours Required?


Evening Hours Required?


Drug Screen


Health Screening


Background Check Requirements

All candidates for employment will be subject to pre-employment background screening for this position, which may include motor vehicle, DOT certification, drug testing and credit checks based on the position description and job requirements. All offers are contingent upon the successful completion of the background check. Please visit for additional information on the background check requirements and process.

Posting Disclaimer

The intent of this job description is to provide a representative summary of the essential functions that will be required of the position and should not be construed as a declaration of specific duties and responsibilities of the particular position. Employees will be assigned specific job-related duties through their hiring departments.

Affirmative Action Statement:

Yale University considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, an individual’s sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a veteran, or national or ethnic origin; nor does Yale discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from sex discrimination in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Questions regarding Title IX may be referred to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, at, or to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 8th Floor, Five Post Office Square, Boston MA 02109-3921. Telephone: 617.289.0111, Fax: 617.289.0150, TDD: 800.877.8339, or Email:


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