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New activities, events, and developments relating to the ETE Program at NMNH



ETE Postdoctoral Fellowship

Application Deadline: May 15, 2014

Applications are invited for a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in ecological community assembly and disassembly through time. This appointment provides a stipend of $45 K/yr and may be renewable for a second 2 years. The successful applicant will be expected to conduct independent macroecological research as part of an NSF-funded Research Coordination Network, “Synthesizing Deep Time and Recent Community Ecology,” which is investigating patterns and causal processes of animal and plant community assembly and disassembly over geological time and up to the present day. Duties will involve data management and analyses and involvement in the scholarly activities of ETE, including workshops, presentations at professional meetings, etc. In addition, the awardee will be encourage to lead one or more group projects that align with their interests.

General information about the ETE Program can be found at and about the Paleobiology Department at More information about the ETE – RCN can be found at

The ETE-RCN Fellow will be co-advised by Kate Lyons (, Kay Behrensmeyer ( and Nick Gotelli ( The position will be based at the NMNH in Washington DC.

Priority will be given to applicants who use recent and/or fossil data to understand factors affecting community structure in plants and/or animals. Applicants should have good communication skills, a proven record of research accomplishment, and knowledge of ecology, paleoecology, macroecology, or a related field. Fluency in R programming, expertise in modeling and spatial and temporal analyses, and a record of working with large databases are highly desirable. Knowledge of SQL is a plus. Applicants must have a PhD before starting the fellowship.

To apply, send as a single pdf including: (1) cover letter describing your interest in this post-doctoral position, relevant experience including R coding examples, and preferred start date; 2) a brief statement of research interests (3) curriculum vitae; (4) a pdf of publication or other outlet where R code was used. In addition, please arrange to have two letters of reference sent to Dr. Kate Lyons (

Application materials should be received by 15 May 2014, addressed to:

The Smithsonian Institution is an Equal Opportunity Employer.



ETE participates in the 2011 Natural History Research Experience Intern Program


NHRE participant Anikó Tóth spent her 10-week summer internship on an ETE project assembling mammal species lists for different areas of Kenya from early 20th century Smithsonian expeditions. Anikó used the NMNH Vertebrate Zoology catalogue, Google Earth, and early 20th century maps in the museum's archives to determine where the expeditions of those times (including one that included Teddy Roosevelt) collected their specimens. These were compared with late 20th century faunal lists to see how biodiversity has changed across time. These "site faunas" from specific areas and habitats also can serve as modern analogues for paleocommunities in the fossil record. Anikó is a senior at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA and is majoring in Biology and Applied Science. The ETE Program provided funding through NHRE for her internship, which is co-supervised by Kay Behrensmeyer and Kate Lyons. Anikó presented a poster on her work for NHRE and is now writing up the results of her study for publication.

Toth and Behrensmeyer work on google earth

Anikó begins work using Google Earth and the early 20th century maps to determine where the expeditions of those times (including one that included Teddy Roosevelt) collected their specimens.

ETE welcomes Tyler Faith

Tyler Faith is on contract with ETE during the Fall of 2011 to continue assembling and analyzing data generated by the first ETE workshop on Community Assembly and Disassembly. Some of these results will be presented in October at the 2011 Annual GSA meeting in Minneapolis, MN.

Links to past coverage of ETE scientists


S. Kathleen Lyons

Killing of methane-producing megafauna may have caused cooling 13,000 years ago

Evolution of Maximum Size in Mammals

Bill DiMichele

Four Square Miles of Carboniferous Forest Discovered

The World's Largest Fossil Wilderness

Above the Fossil Location

Coal Swamp Reconstruction

Mine View

Scott Wing

Mississippi to Montana: Plants Danced to Climate's Quick Tune

Fossil Leaf



Conrad Labandeira

Tales of Exinction and Recovery

Rick Potts

Skull fuels Homo erectus debate


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