• April 21, 2014

The CV Doctor: CV For a New Ph.D. in Ecology

This vita was submitted by someone who is pursuing a faculty position but wanted to see how his credentials could be presented if he were to consider another position for which his background qualifies him. We've revised his vita for a position in academic administration, perhaps as a manager of a grant or an office supporting the academic mission of the institution.

His academic vita, as it was presented to us, is already excellent. He's presented relevant information logically, clearly, and succinctly. We've got a few suggestions to add extra polish.

-- Mary Morris Heiberger and Julia Miller Vick
error-file:tidyout.log Career Talk: The CV Doctor


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Job Candidate
Institutional Address
Telephone:   E-mail:
Research Interests1
Plant community ecology; theoretical and empirical explanations for the maintenance of plant species diversity; tropical and temperate forest dynamics and regeneration.
Ph.D. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of X, City, State, 2001.3
Ph.D. Dissertation: Treefall Gaps and the Maintenance of Species Diversity: Redefining and Expanding The Gap Hypothesis. Advisor: Name, Ph.D.
M.S. Biology, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, 1995
M.S. Thesis: The Effects of Algae and Invertebrates on the Decay of Broad-Leaved Cattail.
Advisor: Name, Ph.D.
B.S. Biology, B.S., Computer Science, Hope College, Holland, Michigan, 1987.4
Professional Experience5
Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota, 2001 - present.
Advisor: Name, Ph.D.
Visiting Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands, Spring, 2001.
Advisor: Name, Ph.D.
Teaching Experience6
1999 Instructor, Graduate Tropical Ecology, Organization for Tropical Studies, Costa Rica.7
1996 - 2000 Teaching Assistant, University of X: Ecology Laboratory, General Biology Laboratory I and II, Evolution Lecture.
Guest lecturer: Graduate Ecology, Undergraduate Ecology, and Forest Ecology.
1993 - 1995 Teaching Assistant, Eastern Michigan University: Botany Laboratory.
Honors and Awards
Visiting Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Silviculture and Forest Ecology Group, University of Wageningen, Wageningen, The Netherlands, January - April, 2001.
Commendation (runner-up) for the British Ecological SocietyÌs John L. Harper Young InvestigatorÌs Prize for 2000, Journal of Ecology, 88: 939.
Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship, 2000-2001, University of X.
University of X, Department of Biological Sciences, Outstanding Graduate Student Research Presentation, 1998 and 2000.
University of X, Department of Biological Sciences, Stanton C. Crawford Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1999.
University of X Graduate Student Fellowship, 1995 - 1996.
Eastern Michigan University Graduate School Deans' Award for Research Excellence, 1995.
Publications (peer reviewed)8
Candidate and W.P. Carson (2001). Treefall gaps and the maintenance of species diversity in a tropical forest. Ecology, 82 (4): 913 - 919.

Candidate, J.W. Dalling and W.P. Carson (2000). The impact of lianas on tree regeneration in tropical forest canopy gaps: Evidence for an alternative pathway of gap-phase regeneration. Journal of Ecology, 88 (4): 655 - 666.

[Citations for 3 publications follow.}

Publications (non-peer reviewed)
Candidate and F. Bongers (in press). Lianas and gap-phase regeneration: implications for forest dynamics and species diversity. Invited chapter in Forest Lianas of West Africa: Diversity, Ecology, and Management, Bongers, F. and D. Traore, Eds.

Candidate and W.P. Carson (1999). Tropical environments. Invited chapter in The Encyclopedia of Environmental Sciences, Alexander, D.E. and R. Fairbridge., Eds. McGraw-Hill Publishing, pp. 605 - 609.

Stevens, M.H.H., Z.T. Long, Candidate, A. Bledsoe, and W.P. Carson (1999). Testing Ecological Theory. University of X. Online ecology laboratory manual: http://www.pitt.edu/~ecology/manual.html.

Manuscripts (in review)
Candidate and F. Bongers. The ecology of lianas and their role in forest diversity, regeneration, and dynamics. An invited submission to: Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

Andrade, J.L., F.C. Meinzer, G. Goldstein, and Candidate. Water uptake and transport in lianas of a seasonally dry tropical forest. Submitted to: Oecologia.

Manuscripts (in internal review)
Candidate. Local reproduction, disturbance, and the maintenance of diversity in species-rich communities. To be submitted to: The American Naturalist.
Manuscripts (in preparation)
Candidate and W.P. Carson. Do lianas mask the effects of treefall gaps in a tropical forest? An experimental test. To be submitted to Ecology.

Candidate and W.P. Carson. The demography of lianas in four neotropical forests. To be submitted to: Journal of Ecology.

Carson, W.P., S.P. Hubbell, D. Bunker, Candidate, and M.H.H. Stevens. Testing the Connell-Janzen hypothesis at the community level. To be submitted to: Science.

Invited Seminars
Candidate (2001). Treefall gaps and the maintenance of species diversity: redefining and expanding the gap hypothesis. Oxford University, Oxford, Great Britain.

Candidate (2001). Treefall gaps and the maintenance of species diversity: redefining and expanding the gap hypothesis. Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

[Citations for six publications follow.]

Meetings and Presentations (past 5 years)
Candidate (2001). Local reproduction, disturbance, and the maintenance of diversity in species-rich communities. Seminar, Ecological Society of America, Madison, WI.

Carson, W.P., Candidate, and M.H.H. Stevens (2001). Tests of the Janzen-Connell and gap hypotheses in a tropical forest in Panama: confirming the predictions of two long-standing hypotheses. Seminar, Ecological Society of America, Madison, WI.

[Citations for ten meetings and presentations follow.]

Grants Funded
2001 Candidate Do lianas mask the effects of treefall gaps in a tropical forest. The Phipps Botanical Garden and Conservancy. $3325.
2000 Candidate The role of gaps in the maintenance of woody species diversity. The Garden Club of Allegheny County. $1500.
[Citations for six grants follow.]
Professional Activities
Journal Referee: Ecology, Journal of Ecology, Oecologia, Journal of Tropical Ecology, American Midland Naturalist, Biodiversity and Conservation, Selbyana.

Script Editor, Everyday Science, National Public Radio, 1998 - Present.

Manager, Howard Hughes Computing Laboratories, University of X, 2000.

Resident Manager, Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology Field Station, University of X, 1999.

Professional Affiliations
Ecological Society of America.
American Society of Naturalists
Association for Tropical Biology.
Botanical Society of America.
Computer Experience
1989 - 1991 Computer Programmer/Analyst, Systems Manager. PRC Inc., El Segundo, CA.
1987 - 1989 Software Engineer. Northrop Aircraft Company, Hawthorne, CA.
1986 Computer Network Analyst. Arco Chemical Company, Philadelphia, PA.
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1.) We commend his use of the "Research Interests" category, and assume that it might be modified slightly from one application to another. If he's applying to a variety of jobs with differing research requirements, he might add more details about his research experience in ways that make it absolutely clear that he has worked in the field required by a job ad.

2.) Throughout this CV, there are four levels of indentation, material is crowded, and the format of dates is inconsistent. We'd suggest putting all dates in a consistent place, dropping at least one level of indentation, and adding an extra space between main sections. Scientists often use a dense, terse format for their CV's. Someone in another field might add a line after each item, such as after each publication.

3.) We would suggest using a little bold typeface to make key items stand out in the text. Names of institutions would be an obvious choice.

4.) The formatting of the candidate's two bachelor's degrees is a bit confusing and might be revised.

5.) Putting category headings in capital letters and removing the underlining, while retaining the bold, would reduce the amount of visual clutter.

6.) If the candidate is applying to institutions that particularly value teaching, he might add a bit more detail to his substantial teaching experience. It appears that he has involved undergraduates in his research projects. Since that is something of great interest to hiring institutions lately, he could expand a bit on that aspect of his teaching. An additional optional section that can be used to help tailor a vita to a specific position is a list of "teaching competencies." Obviously one would list only areas of genuine competence, but might target it to a particular institution's curricular offerings.

7.) The periods at the end of most items are unnecessary.

8.) The last line of the first page is the heading for the "Publications" section, which actually begins on the second page. It's better not to separate sections from their headings with page breaks.

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