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Position Details

Academic Personnel

Postdoctoral Scholar - Marine and Environmental Affairs

Position Overview

School / Campus / College: College of the Environment

Organization: Marine and Environmental Affairs

Title: Postdoctoral Scholar - Marine and Environmental Affairs

Position Details

Position Description

Job Description

Broadly, environmental DNA (eDNA) is genetic information recovered from samples of water, air, or soil; such samples contain information about all species present within the area from which the sample was taken. This position will help develop molecular and bioinformatics tools to analyze eDNA for rare and endangered species.

This position is funded to work on a new project entitled "Methods for marine species conservation and management using environmental DNA,” which focuses on developing tools for eDNA analysis in the natural-resources management arena. Project goals include developing generalizable eDNA methods for conservation and management of living species, specifically protocols for ddPCR, short-read Illumina sequencing, and longer-read MinIon sequencing. The immediate project focuses on yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus), the Puget Sound population of which is listed under the Endangered Species Act. Critical management needs include 1) distinguishing between ESA-listed and non-listed individuals, 2) mapping genetically distinct populations in space, and 3) developing an index of species abundance across sites.


This Postdoctoral Scholar position will use bioinformatics and statistical modeling to process several different types of molecular data to create a suite of tools for eDNA analysis. The majority of day-to-day laboratory work will be conducted by a laboratory technician; this position will work closely with the technician to develop laboratory methods and design field campaigns; they will use this data in their statistical models.

The majority of work will be processing molecular data, conducting statistical analyses, and troubleshooting in collaboration with the project PI (Kelly) and co-PI (Allan). It will also include developing molecular assays for different platforms and performing laboratory work (DNA extraction, PCR amplification, quantitative PCR (qPCR), digital droplet PCR (ddPCR), and next generation sequencing via Illumina Miseq and Oxford Nanopore MinIon instrumentation). Additionally, the position may include a small amount of field work.

·        Bioinformatics and statistical modeling (40%)

·        Developing molecular laboratory assays (35%)

·        Preparing reports, papers, and presentations (20%)

·        Designing and conducting fieldwork (5%)

The base salary range for this position will be $6,250 per month, commensurate with experience and qualifications, or as mandated by a U.S. Department of Labor prevailing wage determination. 

This position is a full time, 100% FTE position.  This is an on-campus, in-person position, and the successful candidate will work in Seattle at the University of Washington. The post-doc will be supervised by Dr. Ryan Kelly (University of Washington).

The initial appointment period is 36 months.

University of Washington postdoctoral scholar appointments are for a temporary, defined period not to exceed five year/60 months, including any previous postdoctoral experience.

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.

Please contact for more information about this position.


Minimum Requirements:

  • Doctoral Degree in Biology, Molecular Biology, Marine or Aquatic Science, Quantitative Ecology, Fisheries or other related and quantitative fields.
  • Knowledge of required bioinformatic processes and statistical analyses
  • Knowledge and expertise in a broad range of molecular techniques and fundamental understanding of assay design and optimization
  • Competence in core molecular biological techniques including DNA extraction, PCR, qPCR, ddPCR, sequencing, and related skills.
  • Excellent organizational skills, the ability to work independently, demonstrated foresight and good judgment, the ability to carry out routine troubleshooting.
  • Effective written and oral communication skills.

Desired Requirements:

  • Population genetics
  • Whole mitochondrial sequencing
  • Knowledge of rockfish
  • Experience designing and troubleshooting assays
  • Experience with Oxford Nanopore MinIon protocols.

Qualifications:   A Postdoctoral Scholar is an academic appointment that requires evidence of a conferred PhD in a relevant field by the appointment start date (approximately October 2023). Candidates cannot exceed 5 years of Postdoctoral experience from the start of their first postdoctoral experience to the end of this Postdoctoral appointment. 


  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 
  • Please submit an electronic package via Interfolio at that contains:

1) Please submit a cover letter and current Curriculum Vitae with dates of education, appointments, experience, and publication list. In addition, please also send copies directly to Ryan Kelly ( and Cara Sucher ( 


2) Three professional references.  Include reference’s name, title, relevant dates, contact email and contact phone number.


For questions, please contact Ryan Kelly, (supervisor) or Ulla Johnson, for HR questions. 


Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, gender identity or expression, age, disability, or protected veteran status.

Benefits Information

A summary of benefits associated with this title/rank can be found at Appointees solely employed and paid directly by a non-UW entity are not UW employees and are not eligible for UW or Washington State employee benefits.

Commitment to Diversity

The University of Washington is committed to building diversity among its faculty, librarian, staff, and student communities, and articulates that commitment in the UW Diversity Blueprint ( Additionally, the University’s Faculty Code recognizes faculty efforts in research, teaching and/or service that address diversity and equal opportunity as important contributions to a faculty member’s academic profile and responsibilities (

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Disability Services

To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 or

Apply now

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For help signing up, accessing your account, or submitting your application, please check out Interfolio's help and support section or get in touch via email at or phone at (877)997-8807.

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