Curator, Terrestrial Mammals

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLA) seeks a Curator of Terrestrial Mammals to lead its research on urban mammals, to oversee the growth and care of collections, and to provide content for a variety of public programs. The successful candidate will conduct collection-based research in evolutionary biology and/or ecology broadly defined and will be a leader in the care, understanding, and use of museum collections.

This position has a special emphasis on urban studies as this complements existing research and outreach strengths, and builds upon existing relationships with local organizations and community members developed by NHMLA’s Urban Nature Research Center (UNRC). The UNRC engages in research that examines the effects of urbanization on wildlife using community science (=citizen science) approaches for surveying urban biodiversity. Qualified candidates may have research interests across the globe, but interest in advancing programs in Southern California through community science approaches is paramount.

NHMLA’s mammalogy collection includes more than 98,000 specimens representing terrestrial and marine taxa. The specimens are prepared as study skins, skulls, skeletons and pelts, as well as ancillary collections of frozen tissues, bacula, and parasites, spanning all orders and most families within Mammalia. This collection is suitable for a broad range of evolutionary and ecological studies, including the effects of urbanization. The collection of terrestrial mammals has strong emphasis on North American (particularly Californian), Neotropical, and African mammals, with additional strengths in Old World fruit bats. The collection is complemented by the world-renowned Late Pleistocene-Holocene collection of the La Brea Tar Pits (a site administered by NHMLA), providing historical context for the diversity and ecology of terrestrial mammals in Southern California.

The successful candidate will have a record of outstanding research, excellent communication skills, and a demonstrated ability to engage the public and stakeholders; experience with the care, management, and operation of natural history collections is highly desirable. A Ph.D. and a strong track record of peer-reviewed publications focusing on evolutionary biology and/or ecology are required. The Curator will be expected to build an active and publicly appealing research program, to oversee the management and continued development of the terrestrial mammal collection, to lead all programs on urban mammals, and to supervise staff and volunteers of the Mammalogy Department. Additionally, the successful candidate is expected to develop working relationships with local universities, mentor students and postdoctoral fellows, strengthen NHMLA’s presence in key professional and governmental networks, and maintain and sustain research through competitive grants and/or other funding from external sources. The Curator will be expected to participate actively in a broad range of museum activities, including exhibits, education, community science programs, educator and volunteer training, public communications, media interactions, and fundraising activities. The Curator must have the vision and capability to build a research program that can be integrated with NHMLA’s ongoing efforts to understand local biodiversity, and to shape the collections and research in ways that activate their scientific and public appeal.

NHMLA is seeking applicants who have demonstrated experience and commitment working with a diverse community. This is a full-time position with a salary and title commensurate with experience.

Application deadline is November 15th, 2018. The starting date is July 1st, 2019. Applicants should send a cover letter, vision statement, curriculum vitae, and contact information of at least three professional references as a single PDF document to Tyler Hayden at, Re.: Terrestrial Mammalogy Curatorial Search.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Please, No Phone Calls.