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Postdoctoral Researcher in Fisheries and Climate Change, Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara

Position overview

Position title: Postdoctoral Researcher in Fisheries and Climate Change
Salary range: The posted UC system-wide salary scales set the minimum pay determined by rank and step at appointment. See Table 23 for the salary range at UCSB. A reasonable estimate for this position is $64,480 to $77,327. “Off-scale salaries” and other components of pay, i.e., a salary that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated rank and step, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: Start date is negotiable. Ideally the position would start March 1, 2024 or later.
Position duration: This is a 2-year initial appointment.

Application Window

Open date: November 14, 2023

Next review date: Friday, Dec 22, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Monday, Sep 30, 2024 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.

Position description

The Free Lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara is seeking a postdoctoral researcher to support a NOAA Multi-Stressor Grant-funded project aiming to understand the joint impacts of warming, hypoxia, acidification, and harmful algal blooms on Dungeness crab, which supports the US West Coast’s most valuable commercial fishery, and to design climate-resilient management of the crab fishery. The project team includes 18 scientists from eight institutions with disciplinary expertise spanning oceanography, physiology, and population dynamics and is advised by tribal, industry, and agency stakeholders to ensure that our science is relevant, useful, and impactful.

The overall project seeks to: (1) synthesize extensive region-wide observations of ocean acidification, hypoxia, harmful algal blooms, and heat waves; (2) adapt ocean models to forecast changes in these stressors; and (3) use field and lab studies to parameterize the sensitivity of Dungeness crabs to these stressors. Ultimately, these activities will inform (4) a management strategy evaluation to assess the ability of different fishery management strategies to support a healthy crab fishery in a changing ocean.

The postdoctoral researcher will lead the development of the climate-linked management strategy evaluation model (Project Goal 4). The management strategy evaluation model will leverage detailed fisheries-dependent data from California, Oregon, and Washington and a modeling framework developed by Free et al. (2023). The postdoctoral researcher will lead the publication of the model and its results in a scientific journal.

The postdoctoral researcher will also lead the development of an R package for fitting a flexible and easy-to-use version of the Bayesian depletion estimator developed by Richerson et al. (2020) to estimate Dungeness crab population size. The R package and accompanying paper will ease the application of such models by any scientist working in data-limited derby fisheries. The postdoctoral researcher will lead workshops to train agency scientists in the use of the model for hindcasting pre-season male population size.

The postdoctoral researcher will have the opportunity to co-develop and co-write grant proposals, especially ones related to climate-ready fisheries management on the US West Coast. The researcher will also have the opportunity to mentor graduate students working in the Free Labs at UC Santa Barbara.

The research work will be conducted solely in California and the on-site work location is in Santa Barbara, California.

Salary is competitive, commensurate with the applicant’s qualifications.

Full benefits package included. Postdoctoral benefits are included (

The position is available immediately and will be open until filled.

The Department 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 the position.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

Applicants must have completed all requirements for a PhD program (or equivalent) except the dissertation in fisheries science, marine ecology, oceanography, or a related field at time of application.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

The applicant must have a doctoral degree in fisheries science, marine ecology, oceanography, or a related field at time of appointment.

Preferred qualifications

Successful applicants will have experience with one or more of the following:
● Fitting population and fleet dynamics models to data
● Conducting fisheries management strategy evaluations
● Working with Earth System Model output
● Conducting transparent, reproducible, and open-source science

Applicant should also have:
● Ability to work independently, to be self-motivated, and to cooperate with others.
● Strong communication, organizational, and problem-solving skills. Proficiency in both written and oral English.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V., which must include a list of publications.

  • Cover Letter - Letter that briefly summarizes your qualifications for the project.

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)

The search committee will contact references of the top candidate(s) after the interviews. After references are checked, a top candidate will be chosen.

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About UC Santa Barbara

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.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs, as may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location

Santa Barbara, CA UCSB