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Position Details

Academic Personnel

Postdoctoral Scholar: Adapting monitoring to a changing seascape: increasing the efficiency, flexibility, and continuity of bottom trawl surveys in the Bering Sea and beyond

Position Overview

School / Campus / College: College of the Environment

Organization: Aquatic and Fishery Sciences

Title: Postdoctoral Scholar: Adapting monitoring to a changing seascape: increasing the efficiency, flexibility, and continuity of bottom trawl surveys in the Bering Sea and beyond

Position Details

Position Description

The College of the Environment fosters existing and new collaborations between outstanding faculty, staff and students who are engaged in the study of: the solar system and Earth’s dynamic land, water and atmosphere; the development and application of environmental engineering and technological advances; and the impact of policy and human actions on the environment, and the management of natural resources.

The School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS) is dedicated to sustaining healthy marine and freshwater environments. Our school comprises one of the largest and most diverse academic aquatic and fisheries sciences programs in the United States. Our faculty conduct innovative research from the organism to the ecosystem scale, and are recognized leaders in aquatic biology, sustainable fisheries management, and aquatic resource conservation.

The School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences values the strengths and professional experience that students, faculty, and staff bring to our community. We are committed to providing excellent education to all of our students, regardless of their race, gender, class, nationality, physical ability, religion, age, or sexual orientation. We are proud of the different roles that our students, staff, and faculty play in the community of the School and in the College of the Environment. We recognize that science is richer and the SAFS community is more vibrant when a diverse group of people participate in the SAFS community.

Effectively monitoring ecosystems given limited resources and shifting species distributions is a global challenge that must be met to uphold the NOAA Fisheries mission to manage for productive and sustainable fisheries. The postdoctoral scholar will develop a framework for designing efficient and flexible fishery-independent surveys to address these challenges while evaluating their expected effects on survey data. This framework would provide a quantitative basis for addressing common survey objectives of decreasing cost while minimizing information loss, and providing adequate spatial and temporal coverage to facilitate the precise and accurate estimation of abundance that is required to inform management with the best available science. The framework would be applied to fisheries in the Bering Sea, where rapid environmental change and resulting northward and shelf-slope species distribution shifts is occurring. It will be necessary to design an approach that facilitates sampling throughout the demersal ecosystem as needed to reduce the risk of bias in indices of abundance and stock status that arises from variation in spatial availability, a key component of catchability. The postdoctoral researcher would develop and evaluate the expected performance of new designs for unified surveys that would include the areas of multiple existing bottom trawl surveys, including the eastern Bering Sea (EBS) shelf, slope, and northern Bering Sea (NBS), with the aim to determine what further design changes would enable efficient redistribution of samples among these areas without compromising the consistency of the long-term time series and its interpretation in the context of stock and ecosystem assessments.

The anticipated start date is September 1, 2022, but this is negotiable. The initial appointment is for 1 year, with reappointment possible pending performance review and funding availability. Applications should be submitted by May 15, 2022, but the position will remain open until filled. This is a full-time position located at the University of Washington in Seattle. The post-doc will be supervised by Dr. André Punt (University of Washington) and will primarily collaborate with Drs. Lewis Barnett, Lukas DeFilippo, Zack Oyafuso, Margaret Siple, and Stan Kotwicki (NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center).

Responsibilities Include:

  1. Determine whether and how the efficiency of the EBS shelf survey can be increased, using two primary approaches:
    1. Empirical: Bootstrapping historical observations with reduced station density
    2. Simulation: Build on existing simulation and optimization frameworks to evaluate designs sampling novel locations
  2. Use survey simulations to investigate whether alternative sampling densities or designs can achieve comparable or improved performance
  3. Develop and test candidate static designs integrating the EBS shelf, slope, and NBS areas
  4. Develop and test candidate dynamic designs that are flexible and responsive to changes in climate, species distribution, and survey effort; where station allocation varies spatially among years based on environmental forecasts or early season observations
  5. Develop calibration plans to ensure that data and estimates from a new or modified survey design are compatible with historical data and estimates.

The base salary range for this position will between $5,459 and $7500 per month, commensurate with experience and qualifications, or as mandated by a U.S. Department of Labor prevailing wage determination. 

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.



  • earned Ph.D. in Fisheries Science, Quantitative Ecology, Applied Statistics or a related field; and
  • proficiency in the R programming language;


  • experience with Template Model Builder;
  • knowledge of, or experience with: GLMMs, spatial or spatiotemporal models, ecological survey design, fisheries stock assessment, simulation or optimization;
  • experience analyzing data from fisheries surveys; and
  • knowledge of the ecosystem and fisheries of Bering Sea.


To apply please submit your application through Interfolio with the following: (1) A letter of interest detailing your skills and experience. (2) A curriculum-vitae including publications. (3) Three letters of recommendation.

For questions about this position, including potential disability accommodations, please contact Amy Fox at

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

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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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