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Position announcement: Postdoctoral scholar in food systems modeling at Tufts University

Posted: June 28, 2016

An outstanding candidate is sought to work on an original research project supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture entitled, “Overcoming Supply Chain Barriers to Expanding Northeast Ruminant Meat Production.” The incumbent will work with the Principal Investigator to examine whether current infrastructure limits the expansion of small and medium-scale meat production in New York and New England.

Required Education, Experience and Skills:

Applicants must have experience with agricultural, environmental, or ecological modeling and a Ph.D. in a relevant field. Experience using ArcGIS and spreadsheet-based modeling are also necessary. Applicants must be willing to work in an interdisciplinary environment that involves regular communication with investigators in other fields and occasional communication with stakeholders. Knowledge of forage production systems and/or ruminant meat production systems is desirable.

Duties and Responsibilities:

An outstanding candidate is sought to work on an original research project supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA Award No. 2016-68006-24744) entitled, “Overcoming Supply Chain Barriers to Expanding Northeast Ruminant Meat Production.” The incumbent will work with the Principal Investigator to examine whether current infrastructure limits the expansion of small and medium-scale meat production in New York and New England.

The research program and training will be directed by Dr. Christian Peters, Associate Professor in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. The overarching goal of the project is to understand the capacity of regional agricultural land and processing infrastructure to expand grass- based, ruminant meat production for local and regional markets.

The postdoctoral scholar will work with Dr. Peters to assess the current and potential biophysical capacity to produce ruminant meat in the region. Capacity will be estimated on an annual basis, but will also consider spatial and seasonal variation in biological productivity. Data from the biophysical modeling will be used assess the biophysical capacity to expand ruminant meat production in the region and will inform economic supply chain modeling performed by other project investigators. Assessment of biophysical capacity will use geospatial analysis, among other modeling approaches, and the postdoctoral scholar is expected to play a lead role in developing this part of the project.

Scenario analysis will be used to address some of the uncertainty that exists in the region’s food system. The project will take a participatory approach to modeling, in which stakeholders are engaged at the outset to provide input on scenario design. As a member of the research team, the postdoctoral scholar is expected to participate in the planning and delivery of the scenario planning workshop.

Additional Information:

The position is for a one year period, with an anticipated start date of September 1st, 2016, noting that a later start is negotiable. The ability to work in the US is required in order to apply for this position.

Contact Information:

Please send CV, cover letter and three references to Faculty Coordinator, Jennifer Zahradnick ().