Postdoctoral Research Scholar

The Department of Anthropology at Western Washington University (WWU) invites applicants for an NSF-funded Postdoctoral Research Scholar position investigating primate craniofacial anatomy under the supervision of Drs. Tesla Monson and Marianne Brasil. The postdoctoral research scholar will be contributing to a collaborative project studying the evolution of circumorbital morphology in hominids and other primates using 3D geometric morphometrics, with particular emphasis on modularity and integration. This is a full-time 2-year position. The anticipated start date is January 1, 2024.

Research (75%)
Collect and analyze 3D scan data from primate cranial specimens.
Meet weekly with PIs. Attend professional conference (AABA’s) to present research.
Year 1) Postdoc works with MA student in the Primate Evolution Lab (WWU) to collate 3D scan data from MorphoSource. Postdoc spends 9.5 weeks at the NMNH (NY) and 8 weeks at the AMNH (DC) collecting 3D scan data using the lab 3D scanner. Postdoc works with graduate and undergraduate students to process 3D data and set landmarks.
Year 2) Postdoc conducts statistical analyses and serves as lead author for two manuscripts from the project. Postdoc attends American Association of Biological Anthropology conference to present research.

Mentoring and Service (25%)
Throughout the appointment, postdoc works with graduate students and undergraduate students in the lab to provide educational opportunities in research. Postdoc participates in lab meetings and lab activities to promote community and provide mentoring opportunities. Postdoc will provide assistance with development and implementation of the public symposium (Year 2, IHES2025).

Must have:
Obtained a Ph.D. in biological anthropology, biology, anatomy, or a related field prior to the position start date.
Experience in 3D imaging, data management, and analytical tools including geometric morphometrics and other quantitative research methods.
Demonstrated experience with software packages such as 3D Slicer, R, or other similar programs.
Ability to travel to study original primate materials housed in various U.S. museums.
Ability to work effectively with and supervise undergraduate and graduate students in the lab.

Demonstrated knowledge of primate craniofacial anatomy and functional morphology, primate osteology, and fossil hominid biology. Demonstrated commitment to working with diverse students, faculty, and staff, and broader communities.

The postdoctoral research scholar must be in residence in the Bellingham area during the appointment. The postdoctoral research scholar must also be willing and able to complete extensive 3D scanning work at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC (2 months), and the New York American Museum of Natural History in New York City (2.25 months) for a total of 4.25 months (all expenses paid + salary).

All employees must comply with our Immunization policies, including Proof of Rubeola Measles Immunity within 60-days of hire. Please reach out to if you need information regarding medical or religious exemption and applicable accommodations.

Position salary is $60,000. Salary increases will be provided in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement, including a 4.5% increase effective September 16, 2024.

This is a 2-year full-time (12 month) position with benefits and healthcare. See for more information.

United Faculty of Western Washington

A cover letter and curriculum vitae are required and should address your experience related to the position responsibilities and the required and preferred qualifications. In addition to explaining how your research record makes you a good fit for the position, please describe any mentoring experience you have, and your mentoring philosophy. Please also detail any contributions you have made to DEIJ in the discipline.

You will be asked to provide contact information of three references.

Please email Dr. Tesla Monson ( or Dr. Marianne Brasil ( with any questions about the position or the application process.

Application review begins October 9, 2023; applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Start date is January 1, 2024.