Postdoctoral researcher positions. Apply!

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Pleased to announce three postdoctoral research associate positions at UMass Dartmouth & NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center, including one position working with our group (position #3):

1) The use of fine-scale fishery dependent data to evaluate potential impacts to fishery operations due to offshore wind energy development.
2) The development of oceanographic indicators from satellite data that are relevant for the management and assessment of the Northern shortfin squid, Illex illecebrosus, on the Northeast U.S. continental shelf.
3) The development and evaluation of multispecies stock assessment models for tactical use in providing fisheries management advice.

Info for all 3 positions and how to apply.

Info for the position with our group. (also pasted below)

Post-doctoral Researcher
Multispecies fisheries assessment modeling
NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Woods Hole, MA, and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Accounting for species interactions in both stock assessment modeling and fisheries management is of increasing interest. Most current scientific advice for fisheries management is based on results from single species population dynamics models but if fisheries management is to become ecosystem-based, models that consider multispecies interactions are required. Multispecies models have wide use in research, but not yet in tactical management and require simulation testing to ensure the level of performance expected of tactical fishery assessment models.  Multispecies models “of intermediate complexity” between single population and full ecosystem models potentially combine the best aspects of current single species assessment models with key ecological linkages between species. The Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) is currently applying a suite of these models to a simulated system coarsely modeled after the Georges Bank fish community.

The post-doctoral researcher (PR) will develop and evaluate multispecies models for tactical use in providing fisheries management advice. This innovative research is facilitated by substantial long-term ecological datasets within the region, and built on a foundation of existing models, such that the PR will take the models to the next level where they can be used in a management arena. The PR will collaborate with Dr. Sarah Gaichas in the NEFSC Ecosystem Dynamics and Assessment Branch, Dr. Kiersten Curti in the NEFSC Population Dynamics Branch, and Dr. Gavin Fay in the Fisheries Oceanography department of UMASS Dartmouth, on a project to evaluate the performance of both length- and age-based multispecies approaches for providing management advice. The primary objective of this work is to assess the impact of structural uncertainty in length- and age-based multi- and single-species population dynamic models on the estimation of underlying population parameters. This comparison is particularly important for multispecies models, which incorporate an added source of mortality through size-dependent predation.

A general multispecies statistical catch-at-age model has already been developed in AD Model Builder (ADMB). The length-based multispecies model (Hydra) has also been developed in ADMB but is currently being used as an operating model for multispecies simulation testing. To evaluate Hydra’s performance as an estimation model, the PR will first convert it from a simulation to estimation model.  Both multispecies models, as well as existing age- and length-based single species models, will then be fit to simulated data to evaluate model performance and examine the consequences of ignoring species interactions in assessment models. Finally, both multispecies models will be fit to actual observations from Georges Bank to evaluate operational potential within in a particular region.

Required Qualifications

  • A completed (or nearly-completed) PhD degree in a relevant discipline, such as fisheries science, statistics, oceanography, ecology, quantitative ecology, or other related field that demonstrates a strong quantitative background.
  • Demonstrated experience of fluency in statistical/modeling programming languages (e.g. AD Model Builder, C++, R).
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, as evidenced preferably through publications in the peer-reviewed scientific literature and reporting and presentations to a variety of audiences.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience fitting population dynamics models to data for fisheries stock assessment.
  • Experience and interest in using open data science tools for collaboration, project management, and reproducible research.
  • Knowledge of fisheries management, and understanding of the management process in the U.S.

Location, duration, and salary

The position will be primarily located at NOAA Fisheries in Woods Hole, MA with some expectation for travel to scientific meetings. The PR will also engage with students and staff in Dr. Gavin Fay’s lab at UMass Dartmouth SMAST (New Bedford), with flexibility for some work at that location. It is anticipated that work for this position will be conducted remotely. Further information on the NEFSC can be found via the institution’s website ( Further information about the UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology and the Fay lab’s research can be found at ( and

This position is full-time for 1.5 years with benefits and funding for travel to scientific meetings, with the second year contingent on funding availability and satisfactory progress during the first year. Start date is flexible, and the successful candidate could begin as soon as possible.


Interested applicants that meet the requirements should review the SMAST Code of Conduct and Diversity Statement, then submit an application consisting of cover letter, CV, and contact information for at least two professional references to the following job posting:

Questions about the position can be directed by email to Dr. Gavin Fay (, Dr. Sarah Gaichas (, or Dr. Kiersten Curti (

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