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The Applied Behavioral Ecology Lab Tech

Interested in animal behavior and aquatic ecology? How about creating innovative approaches for managing invasive species?

The Applied Behavioral Ecology Lab of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University seeks full-time (40 h per week) temporary (April-Aug) research technicians to assist with research projects related to the behavioral ecology of invasive sea lamprey during their annual migration into Michigan streams. Projects in 2022 are focused on understanding how a chemical alarm cue (perceived predation risk) affects habitat selection and movement ecology. Our work is dually focused on creating new, high quality science that tests fundamental hypotheses about animal behavior and creating novel means to control the invasive population of sea lamprey in the Great Lakes.

Research technicians will be engaged in running behavioral experiments in rivers, building and installing acoustic telemetry systems, surgically implanting telemetry tags, maintaining sensitive lab and field equipment, data collection and analysis, fish husbandry, and preparation of chemical stimuli. Our studies often take place overnight, as the species is nocturnal. Technicians will also have opportunities to interact with Federal (US and Canada) agency partners, stakeholders, and local residents. Technicians will be working from the MSU East Lansing campus and/or the United States Fisheries and Wildlife Services (USFWS) Ludington Biological Station. Housing is provided when overnight travel away from East Lansing is required. Transportation to field sites provided in laboratory vehicles from East Lansing. Hourly wage is $12.

Desired Qualifications:

Completion of two or more years of college-level coursework in fisheries, ecology, biology, or a related discipline. Applicants should exhibit a strong work ethic, be self-motivated, conscientious, enthusiastic, and capable of working in a team setting. Conditions in Michigan during spring-summer can be inclement (i.e., warm, humid and “buggy”). Applicants should be comfortable with working in these outdoor conditions, and able to work throughout the night. You must hold a valid driver’s license. Experience driving four-wheel drive vehicles in rough terrain and hauling / trailering isbeneficial, but not required.


Research plans have been created to maximize safety and comply with COVID-19 guidelines including providing appropriate PPE, adhering to social distancing and sanitizing workspace and equipment. Please note that changes may occur that impact the field season; flexibility is appreciated. Vaccination (including booster when eligible) against COVID-19 is required for employment at MSU. Visit the MSU COVID-19 website for up-to-date information.

How to apply:

In a single PDF, please provide a brief cover letter outlining your interest and suitability for the position, and an up-to-date CV. Please make sure to include: 1) your name; 2) a permanent mailing address; 3) telephone number; 4) email address; 5) education, including descriptions of relevant classes; 6) work or volunteer experience related to the job role; and 7) up to three references with contact information.

Email your application packet and any questions to Kandace Griffin at griff665@msu.edu. Application review will begin on March 2 and continue until all positions are filled.