Skip to main content

1-2 Post-Doctoral Position in Ecosystem Modeling - Marine Science Institute

Recruitment Period

Open date: January 7th, 2020

Last review date: Sunday, Mar 1, 2020 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Saturday, Oct 31, 2020 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


Applications are invited for (a) postdoctoral scholar(s) to engage in research using global ecosystem models of the upper ocean. The postdoc(s) will incorporate the evolutionary response of marine primary producers, especially mixotrophs which combine photosynthesis and heterotrophy, to climate change into ecosystem models ( We expect to hire up to two individuals based on the pool of qualified applicants.

The project tests the role of mixotrophs in a potential climate feedback loop that may accelerate carbon emissions from the surface ocean. In particular, we test the hypothesis that mixotrophs will become more heterotrophic under warmer ocean conditions, and ask whether evolution (e.g., adaptation to warmer ocean conditions) may modulate this response. The postdoctoral scholar(s) will primarily be involved with the modeling component of the project, which incorporates the results of evolution experiments into ecosystem models. These ecosystem models will be used to quantify the climate feedback impacts of shifts in mixotroph traits, and will be parameterized using experimental data.

The postdoctoral scholar’s (or scholars’) activities may include, but will not be limited to, (1) development of new models for mixotrophy in an ecosystem context, (2) implementation of these models in coupled marine biogeochemistry and lower trophic level ecosystem models (e.g., COBALT or the MIT Ecosystem Model (a.k.a. Darwin)), (3) analysis of model output, especially quantification of impacts on carbon and nutrient cycling, and (4) involvement in laboratory evolution experiments. The postdoctoral scholar(s) will also be encouraged to develop independent but related lines of inquiry and to take advantage of professional development opportunities available at UC Santa Barbara and through collaborations, meeting attendance, etc.

The appointee will be based at UCSB in the laboratory of Dr. Holly Moeller, and will collaborate with Dr. Charlotte Laufkötter (University of Bern), Dr. Stephanie Dutkiewicz (MIT), and Dr. Ben Ward (University of Southampton). The project includes funds for travel for collaborative visits to these other institutions.

Interested applicants should contact Dr. Holly Moeller ( with any questions about the position.

Basic Qualifications: Candidates must hold a Ph.D. or be enrolled in a Ph.D. or equivalent international program.

Additional Qualifications: PhD in marine biogeochemical modeling, ecosystem modeling, oceanography, microbial ecology, mathematical biology, or closely related disciplines by time of appointment.

Preferred Qualifications:
-Prior experience with running and/or developing coupled marine ecosystem models (such as COBALT, Darwin, etc.)
-Experience in analysing model output/large geospatial datasets using tools such as Matlab, Python, NCL or equivalent.
-Programming experience.
-Research experience in one or more of the following areas: ecological modeling, ocean biogeochemistry, marine microbial ecology, or closely related disciplines.
-A track record of talks and peer-reviewed publications appropriate to career stage.

The position start date is negotiable, and can be as early as 1 May 2020, but no later than 31 December 2020. Applicants must have completed their PhD in order to start this position.

The duration of the initial appointment is 12 months; reappointment for an additional year(s) is possible. Salary is competitive, commensurate with the applicant’s qualifications. Postdoctoral benefits are included (

Applicants should submit a CV, a short (1-2 page) statement of research experience and interests related to the project, PDF copies of up to two relevant publications, and the names, affiliations, and email addresses of three references to:

For primary consideration apply by March 1, 2020.

Position will remain open until filled.

The University is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and service as appropriate to this position.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Job location

Santa Barbara, California


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Statement of Research - A short (1-2 page) statement of research experience and interests related to the project

  • Publications - PDF copies of up to two relevant publications

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)