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    Postdoctoral researcher: marine predator-prey dynamics


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    • Employer: Biodiversity Research Institute
      Location: Portland, ME (with remote work options)
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 05/31/2020
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Overview: The Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) invites applications for a postdoctoral researcher to develop predictive models for explaining distributions of forage fish on the Northwest Atlantic Continental Shelf. This project, in collaboration with researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and National Marine Fisheries Service, focuses on combining data from multiple surveys to better understand the distribution and availability of forage fish to predators in the mid-Atlantic and New England Outer Continental Shelf. These results will be used to inform models that describe predator movements, distributions, and population trends in the Northwest Atlantic.

    Work Description: The focus of this position will be to develop statistical models that integrate data on forage fish in the mid-Atlantic and New York Bights to better understand spatiotemporal patterns in forage fish distribution and abundance and how they relate to marine predator distribution and abundance. The successful candidate will be leading model development with a collaborative team to build models that combine features like species identification in bottom trawl surveys with spatial coverage in aerial surveys to better describe patterns of forage fish availability to predators. These products will then be combined with surveys of predators like seabirds to determine the spatial and temporal patterns of these trophic relationships. The successful candidate may have the opportunity to inform other aspects of the project, such as the movement modeling of seabirds and temporal trends found in seabird surveys throughout the region. Expected outcomes for the work are open access model derived products, at least one scientific publication focused on this effort, and additional scientific publications with collaborators who will use these results to answer questions about marine trophic dynamics. Travel to scientific meetings to present these results is also expected (though this is dependent on travel restrictions).

    Qualifications: Successful candidates will have a Ph.D. in quantitative ecology, ecology, fisheries, or marine biology with a research focus on seabirds, forage fish, or their interactions. We are looking for an individual that is independently motivated, highly organized, a strong communicator, and a creative analytical thinker. Proficiency in R is required with experience evaluating model performance within a hierarchical Bayesian framework preferred (e.g., using software such as JAGS or nimble). The successful candidate will demonstrate an understanding of analyzing predator/prey data that are patchy, overdispersed, zero-inflated, dynamic, and spatially (and/or temporally) autocorrelated. An understanding of the foraging ecology of marine predators, including seabirds, and experience conducting marine field work is preferred but not required.

    Biodiversity Research Institute: BRI is located in Portland, ME and while it is preferred for this work to be based out of this office (or near collaborators’ offices in Narraganset, RI and Silver Spring, MD), remote work is possible. The salary range is $45,000 – 50,000 per year and the project is 2 years long. Continued funding for the position is possible dependent on performance and funding. BRI offers fully paid health insurance to all full-time employees after 30 days of employment as well as options for dependent health care coverage, dental, long-term disability (LTD) and life insurance. BRI benefits include paid time off (PTO) and 12 paid holidays annually. A 401k is available to all regular employees after 30 days of employment with an option for an organization match after six months of employment.

    Start date: Summer/Fall 2020

    If you are interested in the position please send a cover letter (up to 2 pages), a CV, and contact information for three references to Dr. Evan Adams (evan.adams[at]briloon.org). Additional questions may also be directed at Dr. Adams. Review of applications will begin at the end of May and continue until the position is filled.

    All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.

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