Postdoctoral Fellowship – Marine Riparian Food Webs
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) conducts research and monitoring to study, understand, predict, and integrate biodiversity conservation needs with development priorities of mega infrastructure projects. Guided by the principles of the Convention on Biological Diversity, SCBI has worked with a selected group of oil and gas companies since 1996 to develop conservation and development best practices for conserving biodiversity. SCUBA strives to contribute best practices for the implementation of the mitigation hierarchy. The Canada Biodiversity Monitoring and Assessment Program (BMAP) identifies and monitors indicator species and habitats in the area of influence of a natural gas pipeline project.
Research description: The goals for the research are to answer two primary questions: 1) What is the structure of the food web and flow of energy in the marine riparian zone near the LNG Plant Site compared to a reference; and 2) What is the direct contribution of terrestrial inputs to aquatic fish species? The postdoc will collect terrestrial and marine organisms and use stable isotope analysis to trace the flow of organic matter and trophic relationships in the coastal riparian food web. The postdoc will be expected to contribute to other research and conservation-related activities for the Canada BMAP and other SCBI projects as well as prepare high quality reports and high impact scientific papers related to the research project. The position will involve travel by boat and trucks, research in active construction zones, potential encounters with wildlife, and working in variable weather conditions.
Qualifications: We are seeking a highly motivated individual who should have:
1. A PhD in marine science, conservation, natural resources management, ecology, or related disciplines;
2. Experience preparing samples for stable isotope analysis and using the results to determine trophic position or construct food webs;
3. Experience collecting and identifying tissue or whole-organisms in marine environments through techniques such as seine fishing, pumping and filtering water to obtain phytoplankton, tow nets to collect both marine species and insects that have fallen into the water, benthic grabs and epibenthic sleds, and hand-picking of larger benthic or beach organisms;
4. Experience collecting and identifying terrestrial arthropods and plants, or willingness to learn;
5. Good writing skills and publication experience;
6. Scientific project management skills and ability to work independently;
7. Excellent communication skills and the ability to work well in teams; and
8. Physical ability to work outdoors on boats, in water, and on land in a variety of conditions.
Duration: The position is a 1-yr appointment with potential for extension.
Application deadline: May 28, 2014. Note that applications will be considered on a rolling basis so you are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
Applicants should present: 1) a letter of interest detailing their qualifications for the position, 2) a curriculum vitae, and 3) three professional references with contact information (institution, email address, phone number). These documents can be sent by email to Sulema Castro (CastroS@si.edu) with the indication “Canada marine postdoc application” in the subject line.