Recovery Ecology Post Doctoral Associate - San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

15600 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027, USA Req #3312
Monday, June 10, 2024

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a nonprofit international conservation leader, committed to inspiring a passion for nature and creating a world where all life thrives. Empowering people from around the globe to support our mission to conserve wildlife through innovation and partnerships, we support cutting-edge conservation, and bring the stories of our work back to our two world-famous front doors — the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park — giving millions of guests, in person and virtually, the opportunity to experience conservation in action. The deep and extensive knowledge gained from more than a century of experience in wildlife care, health, veterinary services, nutrition and conservation makes us invaluable in the global effort to save species. Our team members play a crucial role in driving our conservation efforts forward and bringing us closer to a world where all life thrives.

The Post-Doctoral Associate oversees research projects and performs a variety of assigned research and diagnostic activities, while completing post-doctoral training in a specialized area of scientific research. This position reports to Scientist level or higher in the Conservation Science & Wildlife Health department.


  • Oversee assigned research projects.
  • Collect, process, and enters research data.
  • Perform experiments and measurements.
  • Interpret and analyze research results and revises procedures as necessary.
  • Establish and maintain databases.
  • Document research methodology and results.
  • Prepare progress reports.
  • Conduct and oversee investigations of study subjects.



The Burrowing Owl Recovery Team at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has an opening for a full-time, 3-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in ecological population modeling using bioacoustic data and machine learning-backed detection and classification to develop approaches for monitoring burrowing owls and other affiliated species in southern California. Working closely with the Recovery Ecology and Population Sustainability Conservation Technology Teams, the Fellow will work to pioneer the application of bioacoustic monitoring of grassland ecosystems and work collaboratively to develop protocols land managers and agencies can use to support regional monitoring of burrowing owls and associated species, with opportunities for retrospective analyses of more than 10 years of ecological and population data on burrowing owls in southern California. Qualifications include a PhD in Ecology, Computer Science, Wildlife Conservation and Management, or similar field of study, strong quantitative skills, experience in collecting, processing, and analyzing passive acoustic data, and experience developing detection and classification models for such data using machine learning approaches and/or other methods of signal processing. Ideal candidates will demonstrate a strong record of collaborative research and productivity, have experience analyzing passive acoustic data for taxa specific detections and patterns in biodiversity, and incorporating these data into population models. The Fellow will have opportunities to work with a multidisciplinary team within the department of Conservation Science and Wildlife Health, including population and reproductive scientists, conservation geneticists, behavioral ecologists, veterinary scientists, pathologists, and clinicians, as well as a diverse collaborative network of academic, agency, and non-profit partners dedicated to burrowing owl conservation within a complex management and policy landscape.


    • Position responsible for ensuring compliance with established guidelines.


    • Post Doctorate or Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine or equivalent specialized training required.


    • Specialization area preferred. (i.e. population biologist, demography, or genetics)
    • Able to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
    • Able to operate moderately complex computer software programs
    • Demonstrated ability to work with others in a diverse environment.
    • Knowledge of science communication or interpretation of scientific concepts.



  • Free admission to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • Family Passes
  • Complimentary Tickets
  • Local and In-House Discounts
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Wellness Program



  • Location: Escondido, CA
  • Position Type: Salary Full-Time Non-Exempt Position
  • Salary Range: $71,200 to $78,760

Be an ally for wildlife by joining our team!


At San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, we thrive on celebrating our differences. Diversity is vital for the benefit of our team members, our guests, our community, and our wildlife.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, or other legally protected status.


If you require a reasonable accommodation to complete an application, please email your request to and provide the job title and location to which you are applying.


As a Federal Contractor, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is required to participate in the E-Verify Program to confirm eligibility to work in the United States. 


San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a drug free workplace.

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Location on Google Maps
  • 15600 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027, USA