Assistant/Associate Curator and Irvine Chair of Anthropology

Do you have a passion for cutting-edge biodiversity science, sharing it with broader audiences, and making a real-world impact?

The California Academy of Sciences seeks to fill three positions with Ph.D. scientists who do outstanding biodiversity/ecological science, focus on broader science communication & engagement, care about increasing diversity in science, are excited to connect their work to real-world sustainability outcomes, and want to change the world. This year, we are seeking candidates who work in biological or physical anthropology, herpetology, and the botany of western North America.

The Academy is investing aggressively in scientific research & discovery, and is hiring new scientists who will help us pursue our mission to “Explore, Explain, and Sustain Life” on Earth. Three new curators/scientists will be appointed to hard-money or endowed positions within the Academy’s research arm, the Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability (IBSS).

The Academy offers a unique and powerful setting to conduct scientific research and engagement. Housed in a Double LEED Platinum building in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the Academy combines a world-class natural history museum, a research institute, and educational center all under one roof. Facilities include outstanding research collections (with almost 46 million specimens); a world-leading digital planetarium/visualization studio; a premiere aquarium with nearly 40,000 living animals and unique culturing facilities; an indoor rainforest, living coral reef, and California habitats; numerous other public exhibits and educational facilities; and advanced research laboratories for genomics, specimen preparation, digitization, computer modeling, scientific visualization, etc. The Academy also has a powerful citizen science engine in iNaturalist, which engages global observers in high-quality biodiversity data collection.

The new curator/scientist hires will join nearly 100 other IBSS staff and students and help us address some of the world’s most pressing problems related to biodiversity conservation, evolutionary processes, ecosystem health, global environmental change, and sustainability – and communicate findings to stakeholders and a diverse public.

We seek candidates with skills in many different areas, including evolutionary biology, taxonomy and systematics, genomics, innovative methods for field- and collections-based research, ecology, and global environmental change, as well as big data modeling, GIS, and visualization approaches. Candidates who connect their work to larger sustainability challenges are of special interest, as we grow this aspect of our mission.

We specifically seek early-career candidates with a Ph.D. in a relevant field, a demonstrated publication record, and an independent research program. At least one year of postdoctoral research experience or equivalent is preferred. Exceptional mid-career candidates may also be considered. We also seek candidates with leadership in science communication and engagement, an interest in connecting their work to real-world sustainability applications, and an interest in increasing diversity in science.

The three positions are:
– Biological or Physical Anthropology: We seek candidates from a broad range of areas, including human evolution, paleoanthropology, environmental anthropology, forensic anthropology, primatology, or related natural science disciplines of anthropology. We are especially interested in anthropologists who have experience collaborating with biologists and environmental scientists. The successful candidate will fill the Irvine Chair of Anthropology.
– Herpetology: We seek candidates from a wide range of areas of herpetology, ranging from fundamental studies in evolution to applied research in conservation biology. Candidates who can leverage and build our outstanding herpetology research collections and aquarium facilities will be especially welcome.
– Western North America Botany: We seek candidates who specialize in western North American plants (especially Californian), examining a wide range of topics, including their evolution, diversity, ecology, or sustainability under global change. Candidates who could potentially work with our extensive research collections and our emerging California Ecosystems strategic initiative will be especially welcome. The successful candidate will fill the John T. Howell Chair of Western North American Botany.

Applications will be reviewed until positions are filled; formal reviews will begin November 14, 2016. We anticipate holding interviews in early 2017, with positions starting as early as July 2017.

To apply to the Assistant/Associate Curator and Irvine Chair of Anthropology click the Apply Now! button at the bottom of this page.

A complete application consists of: (1) Cover letter; (2) Curriculum vitae; (3) Three, two-page vision statements: one outlining your scientific background and research goals; another on your education & engagement experience and goals; and a third on the potential for real-world sustainability outcomes connected to your research; (4) Four examples of your work (two research publications and two outreach publications, media projects, etc.); and (5) Names and contact information of at least three references. You will be notified before references are contacted.

For submission questions related to Snaphire, please contact Elayne Graylow, Associate Director, Human Resources ( For questions about the position, please contact Dr. Peter Roopnarine, Search Committee Chair, IBSS ( In both cases, please have the email subject line begin with “Curator Search”.

The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to ensuring that all employees and applicants receive equal consideration and treatment, regardless of race, color, creed, gender (including gender identity or gender expression), religion, marital or domestic partner status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.