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Postdoc to extend a multispecies statistical model for Pacific hake, University of Washington in Seattle

The College of the Environment fosters existing and new collaborations between outstanding faculty, staff and students who are engaged in the study of: the solar system and Earth’s dynamic land, water and atmosphere; the development and application of environmental engineering and technological advances; and the impact of policy and human actions on the environment, and the management of natural resources.

The School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS) is dedicated to sustaining healthy marine and freshwater environments. Our school comprises one of the largest and most diverse academic aquatic and fisheries sciences programs in the United States. Our faculty conduct innovative research from the organism to the ecosystem scale, and are recognized leaders in aquatic biology, sustainable fisheries management, and aquatic resource conservation.

The School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences values the strengths and professional experience that students, faculty, and staff bring to our community. We are committed to providing excellent education to all of our students, regardless of their race, gender, class, nationality, physical ability, religion, age, or sexual orientation. We are proud of the different roles that our students, staff, and faculty play in the community of the School and in the College of the Environment. We recognize that science is richer and the SAFS community is more vibrant when a diverse group of people participate in the SAFS community.

The Punt lab is dedicated to the development and testing of methods for assessing the past and current status of fish, invertebrate and marine mammal populations. We use these assessments as the basis for forecasts that evaluate which methods for managing these populations will best achieve the goals established by society for those populations. We are exploring how to manage marine populations in the face of changing societal goals, climate change, ocean acidification, and the lack of data which is typical of the marine environment.

Multispecies assessment models are a useful but underused tool to provide more realistic estimates of stock productivity, to quantify uncertainty in single-species stock assessments, and to support ecosystem-based management. We have developed an initial multispecies stock assessment model (CEATTLE) focused on Pacific hake Merluccius productus, which supports one of the most important commercial fisheries on the US West Coast (generating $60 million in 2017) and is also one of the most abundant predator and prey species in the California Current Ecosystem (CCE). The CEATTLE framework was first developed for Alaska ecosystems by University of Washington and NOAA collaborators (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.08.001, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2022.106303) and has been used both for research and as a companion to single-species stock assessments. For the US West Coast/California Current, initial work focused on cannibalism by hake (Wassermann et al. in review). For the current position, the postdoctoral scholar will expand the model to include more hake predator and prey species, focusing on 1) marine mammals and arrowtooth flounder, due to their importance as major predators of hake, 2) using a krill abundance index to inform hake life history parameters, and 3) conducting simulations to better understand the performance of a range of target fishing mortality rates and reference points in a multispecies context.

This is a full-time position located at the University of Washington in Seattle. The post-doc will be supervised by Dr. André Punt (University of Washington) and will primarily collaborate with Drs. Kristin Marshall, Isaac Kaplan, (NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center) and Sophia Wassermann (NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center).

Responsibilities Include:

1. Expanding an existing CEATTLE model for California Current Pacific hake, including adding additional predators such as marine mammals or arrowtooth flounder.

2. Working closely with researchers at University of Washington and NOAA’s Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Science Centers to add predator abundance and diet information to the CEATTLE model.

3. Developing bottom-up forcing of hake population dynamics using a krill index.

4. Conducting projections of the CEATTLE model under various harvest strategies and climate scenarios.

5. Working collaboratively in a team setting and participating in group meetings.

6. Preparing results and leading writing efforts for peer-reviewed publications and presentations at scientific conferences.

University of Washington Postdoctoral Scholar appointments are for a temporary, defined period not to exceed five years/60 months, including any previous postdoctoral experience. The salary for this position will be $69,264 per year, or as mandated by a U.S. Department of Labor prevailing wage determination. Postdoctoral scholars are represented by UAW 4121 and are subject to the collective bargaining agreement, unless agreed exclusion criteria apply. For more information, please visit the University of Washington Labor Relations website.

Application Instructions
The anticipated start date is July 1, 2024, but this is negotiable. Applications should be submitted by May 15, 2024. The position will remain open until filled. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but those received by April 25, 2024, will be considered as a priority in the first screening. The initial appointment is for 1 year, with reappointment possible pending performance review and funding availability.

All applications should be submitted through Interfolio. To apply for this position, please include the following in your application:

· A letter of intent explaining why you are a good candidate for this position.

· A current CV

· PDFs or DOIs of any published or submitted papers that demonstrate your previous research experience and your rigorous and scholarly approach to science.

· Contact information for at least three references in order of importance.

  • Job Type: Post-doc
  • Application deadline: 05/15/2024
  • Organization: University of Washington
  • Qualifications: Qualifications This position is based in Seattle, and open to all qualified applicants. Mandatory Qualifications: ● PhD or foreign equivalent in Quantitative Ecology, Fisheries Science, Applied Statistics or a related field. Qualifications: ● Experience fitting complex population models to diverse data sets; ● Experience or training in population dynamics, bioenergetics models, multispecies or ecosystem modeling, and the use of simulation experiments. ● Proficiency in programming languages such as R, and AD Model Builder or Template Model Builder. ● Experience with git/GitHub. ● Excellent written and oral communication skills. ● Interest and ability to work in a collaborative setting. Desirable: ● Experience or training in multispecies stock assessment models.
  • How to apply: Apply on website: https://apply.interfolio.com/143963
  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • Web address: https://apply.interfolio.com/143963

Contact Information

Andre Punt
aepunt@uw.edu

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