Thomas N. Taylor Assistant Professor/Assistant Curator in Paleobotany - 13025BR

Thomas N. Taylor Assistant Professor/Assistant Curator in Paleobotany

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University of Kansas - Lawrence
Employee Class: 

Position Overview

The University of Kansas invites applications for the Thomas N. Taylor assistant professor and assistant curator in Paleobotany. This position is a full-time, tenure-track academic year joint appointment in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB, 0.5 FTE) and the Biodiversity Institute (BI, 0.5 FTE), a KU Designated Research Center. The faculty member and curator will conduct collection-based research addressing fundamental questions in the paleobiology, biodiversity, paleoecology, and/or evolutionary biology of pre-Quaternary plant megafossils and/or fossil fungi leading to publication in appropriate media; procure external funding as appropriate; teach courses and engage in mentorship contributing to the education of undergraduate and graduate students; contribute to the stewardship of the Biodiversity Institute’s world-class paleobotanical collections; and engage in unit, College, University, and national service. Ph.D. is expected by the start date of appointment. The successful candidate for the position must be eligible to work in the U.S. prior to the start of the position.

The University of Kansas values candidates who have experience working with students from diverse backgrounds and possess a strong commitment to improving access to higher education for historically under-represented minorities. The University actively encourages applications from members of the underrepresented groups in higher education.

Job Description

Assistant Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (0.5 FTE)

20% Research:
Conduct significant, scholarly research in the paleobiology, biodiversity, paleoecology, and/or evolutionary biology of pre-Quaternary plant megafossils and/or fossil fungi. Tenure-track faculty members are expected to develop and maintain a productive research program of national and international stature that substantially advances scholarship and knowledge discovery throughout their career, and will continue to advance in depth and importance. Tenure-track faculty members are expected to publish in peer-reviewed books and journals, to gain extramural support for their research activities, and to present findings at professional conferences.

20% Teaching/Advising:
  • Teach the equivalent of one 3-credit course/academic year in EEB; courses may be cross-listed or cross-referenced with other departments. One course equivalency may be dedicated in the overall teaching effort of responsibilities for this position to specific curricular reform and development.
  • Develop curricular programs (e.g., courses in biodiversity, organismal biology, paleobotany, etc.) in EEB.
  • Prepare for and attend all class meetings. In case of absence, faculty member must make arrangements for a substitute to teach class. Classes should not be canceled.
  • Provide instruction throughout the semester, usually 3 hours/week, one day a week.
  • Develop assignments, administer tests, evaluate student work, provide feedback to students, and assign grades.
  • Hold regular office hours for students involved in classes taught. Be available for a minimum of three office hours each week including reasonable appointments if a student cannot meet during scheduled office hours.
  • Mentor undergraduate and graduate students in independent research projects.
  • Adhere to program, College, and University policies.
  • All faculty members are expected to be active in advising. All faculty members are to take their teaching and advising responsibilities seriously and to strive for excellence in the classroom.

10% Service:
Tenure-track faculty members are expected to participate in appropriate professional activities, such as attending EEB meetings, carrying out EEB committee assignments, attending national and international meetings or conferences, serving the College and KU as appropriate, and serving the profession as a reviewer for grant proposals and manuscripts, or as an officer of a professional society.

Assistant Curator, Biodiversity Institute (0.5FTE)

20% Collection Stewardship
Responsibilities include:
• Contribute to the stewardship, management, development, and use of paleobotanical research collections and associated data.
• Develop extramural support for collections growth and improvement projects.

20% Research (includes graduate education and mentoring)
Develop and maintain a highly productive, collections-based research program in the paleobiology, biodiversity, paleoecology, and/or evolutionary biology of pre-Quaternary plant megafossils and/or fossil fungi. It is expected that this research program will be extramurally funded and collaborative. Scholarly activities must include:
• Publications in peer-reviewed media, including books and/or journals.
• Communication of current research at appropriate professional meetings.
• Extramural support for research activities.
It is expected that the research program of the successful candidate will result in a nationally recognized graduate/postdoctoral mentorship program.

10% Service (including public education)
Faculty curators are expected to provide service to the BI, including but not limited to service on BI committees, shared oversight of common laboratory facilities in the BI, and contribution to the BI Museum’s exhibit, public education, outreach, and engagement programs as appropriate.

All faculty members are expected to act in a manner that promotes collegial relationships and shows respect toward students, staff, and colleagues. Faculty members are expected to meet satisfactory standards of performance in all three areas of responsibility and to carry out those responsibilities in accordance with the Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.

Required Qualifications

Using these requirements, applicants will be reviewed on their: (1) record of research, teaching, and curatorial experience; (2) graduate and/or postdoctoral experience; (3) record of research accomplishments, publications, productivity, and extramural funding; (4) statement of teaching philosophy, research interests, collection stewardship, and commitment to diversity; (5) professional references; and (6) research focus/expertise in paleobiology, biodiversity, paleoecology, and/or evolutionary biology of plant megafossils and/or fossil fungi as they relate to the existing strengths of KU’s collections and the mission of the Biodiversity Institute and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
  • Ph.D. in appropriate discipline is expected by the start date of appointment.
  • Evidence of a strong, collections-based research program in the paleobiology, biodiversity, paleoecology, and/or evolutionary biology of pre-Quaternary plant megafossils and/or fossil fungi; and demonstrated plan to obtain extramural grants to support research and collections.
  • Demonstrated effort and a plan to contribute to service activities and the stewardship of the paleobotanical research collections and associated data for research, education, and service.
  • Commitment to excellence and innovation in the teaching and mentoring of graduate and undergraduate students.
  • Demonstrated commitment in excellence in teaching courses in areas such as paleobotany, organismal diversity/general biology, and/or other courses in areas of expertise.
  • Commitment to contributing to the service activities of the Department, Biodiversity Institute, College, University, and to the profession.

Additional Candidate Instructions

A complete application will include the following: (1) curriculum vitae; (2) statement of research interests and future directions; (3) statement of teaching philosophy, experience, and interests; (4) statement of curatorial and data-management philosophy, experience, and interests; (5) statement of commitment to enhancing diversity in the field; (6) copies of three selected publications or manuscripts (up to 5MB each); and (6) the names and contact information for three to five potential referees.

Only complete application packages submitted online will be considered. In addition to the materials above, learning about each applicant’s contribution and engagement in areas of diversity is an important part of KU’s mission. As a result, applicants will be presented the following questions at the time of application. Each response must be within 4,000 characters or less.
  1. Please describe your experience, approach or methodologies to create and implement inclusive teaching and advising practices, pedagogical techniques and course materials to create an inclusive classroom environment.
  2. In your current and/or previous role, please provide an example outlining how you demonstrate your ongoing commitment in working with diverse groups/populations.

Review of applications has been extended, please apply prior to December 12th for first consideration. This vacancy will remain open until a qualified pool of applicants is obtained. For more information visit OR

Contact Information to Applicants

Dorothy Johanning

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Posting Information
Posting ID:
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University of Kansas - Lawrence
Employee Class:
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