The Ecological Modeler/Biodiversity Data Scientist is the technical lead on NatureServe’s Species Habitat Modeling Initiative, which aims to build and maintain a library of expert-reviewed high-resolution models of the habitat and distribution of rare and endangered species in North America. As such, the Ecological Modeler/Biodiversity Data Scientist is primarily responsible for building cutting-edge species habitat/distribution models, maintaining and developing NatureServe’s collaborative species habitat modeling workflows, and analyzing and visualizing models to showcase their potential applications for management and regulatory purposes. More broadly, the Ecological Modeler/Biodiversity Data Scientist will contribute to the analysis and visualization of NatureServe’s species and ecosystem data organization wide, with the aim to guide critical decisions on the management and conservation of the most rare and imperiled species in North America. The position will also be responsible for coordinating activities related to ecological modeling and data science around the NatureServe Network, including facilitating technical working groups related to NatureServe’s Modeling Initiative, leading the development and communication of modeling best practices, and presenting methods and outcomes to scientific and non-scientific audiences. We seek a candidate with demonstrated expertise using the R statistical and programming environment to fit species habitat/distribution models and integrate, analyze, and visualize large datasets on the distribution and conservation status of species and ecosystems from a variety of sources. 


  • Build models of the distribution and habitat of rare and imperiled terrestrial and freshwater species in North America.
  • Develop, streamline, and maintain NatureServe’s collaborative species habitat modeling workflows, including methods and tools for building statistical species habitat/distribution models and engaging experts in the detailed review of model inputs and outputs.
  • Synthesize and visualize model outputs, generate maps and summary reports to directly inform the conservation and management of rare and imperiled species. 
  • Process, integrate, analyze, and visualize NatureServe species and ecosystem data for a variety of projects and purposes.
  • Coordinate modeling and data science activities across the NatureServe Network.
  • Communicate modeling outcomes in oral, written, and graphic formats to scientific and non-scientific audiences.


      • Ph.D. in biology, ecology or related disciplines, with emphasis in conservation science.
      • Expertise in ecological modeling and biodiversity data science.
      • Exceptional oral and written communication skills.
      • Demonstrated record of academic publications and/or scientific reports.
      • Ability to juggle competing priorities.
      • Ability to clearly communicate complex technical information to non-technical audiences.
      • Strong organizational skills


      • Demonstrated expertise in species distribution models, ecological models, and geospatial analysis in the R statistical and programming environment.
      • Expertise in all aspects of biodiversity data science in R, including the integration, processing, analysis and visualization of large biodiversity datasets at the species and ecosystem levels.
      • Experience processing environmental predictor data from a variety of sources, including remote sensing and climate models.
      • Experience with SQL and SQLite.
      • Experience with automated reports in Rmarkdown, knitr and LateX.
      • Experience building interactive web-based applications and visualizations with R Shiny.
      • Experience in reproducible workflows, code version control and management (Git, GitHub).
      • Ability to develop sound processes for data management and documentation.



      • Experience with ESRI products, including ArcGIS.
      • Experience with Python and ArcPy.
      • Experience with High-Performance Computing and parallel programming in R in the cloud (AWS/Azure).
      • Experience with harvesting data from the web using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and web scraping.


      • Travel as required to perform project and/or company related tasks as directed.
      • The person in this position frequently communicates with network members, partners, and clients. Must be able to exchange accurate information in these situations.