Postdoctoral Fellowship in California Conservation Science

The UCLA La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science invites applications for its 2020 Postdoctoral Fellowship in California Conservation Science. We seek a postdoctoral scholar who conducts innovative biological research to work with the La Kretz Center and partner agencies to achieve outcomes that will direct and lead California conservation efforts.

Candidates may work in any discipline that provides the scientific underpinnings for the preservation, protection, management, or restoration of at-risk species, environments, or ecological communities in California. Our current research directions include:

  • conservation science at the urban/wildland interface, particularly biological invaders at the urban/wildland interface, behavioral attributes of introduced species, and the ecological and evolutionary effects of urbanization;
  • urban biodiversity, ecosystems, and ecosystem services with an emphasis on comparative assessments of urban biodiversity (phylogenetic, richness, and genetic diversity are key areas), evaluations of ecosystem services in the urban environment, and ecosystem ecology including carbon and/or nitrogen management and soil and water conservation; and
  • California conservation science that leverages networks of protected areas to answer questions about speciation, adaptive evolution, and species delimitation or uses these lands to understand the impact(s) of disturbance on species ecology, conservation, or behavior.

The successful applicant will be expected to collaborate with partner agencies and UCLA faculty to help deliver applied conservation outcomes. Thus, we seek Fellows whose research overlaps with a minimum of (1) UCLA faculty member who is a La Kretz affiliate and (1) agency partner in California (see below). Applicants should identify in their cover letter potential faculty and agency mentors to collaborate with on their proposed project; ideally those mentors will have already been identified. The Fellow is expected to work closely with their UCLA faculty mentor and agency partner(s) to produce the most impactful research possible. Our current list of possible agency partners includes:

  • The Nature Conservancy: Sophie Parker (restoration; urban conservation; invasive species)
  • Natural History Museum LA County: Jann Vendetti (ecology, evolution, urban natural history)
  • US Geological Survey: Robert Fisher (applied conservation; biodiversity; ecology and evolution)
  • US Bureau of Land Management: Mike Westphal (applied conservation, climate change)
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service: Cat Darst (endangered species recovery)
  • Nature Communities Coalition of Orange County: Danny Fry (science coordinator)
  • National Park Service: Katy Delaney (amphibian and avian ecology, evolution, and conservation)
  • National Park Service: Seth Riley (mammalian ecology, evolution, and conservation)
  • Department of Defense: Robert Lovich (conservation on DoD lands)


The La Kretz Fellowship is for two years, subject to review after the first year. The start date is on or about September 2020. The position offers full benefits, an annual research fund of $5,000, and an additional travel allowance of $1000 per year. Candidates who have recently completed their Ph.D. or will have completed it by August 2020 are encouraged to apply.


To apply, please send applications to as a single PDF file that includes (i) a cover letter, (ii) your CV, (iii) a research and management accomplishments statement (max 2 pages), (iv) a project proposal that includes potential La Kretz affiliates and agency partners, (max 2-pages, including references), and (v) two of your relevant publications. We also ask that you have (vi) two letters of reference sent, one of which must be from your Ph.D. advisor. Please arrange to have reference letters emailed to the same address with the subject line “La Kretz Postdoc letter for (your last name)”. The deadline for completed applications is January 19, 2019. Please e-mail questions to Brad Shaffer, Director of the La Kretz Center (