Skip to main content

Position Details

Academic Personnel

School of Marine & Environmental Affairs eDNA Postdoctoral Scholar

Position Overview

School / Campus / College: College of the Environment

Organization: Marine and Environmental Affairs

Title: School of Marine & Environmental Affairs eDNA Postdoctoral Scholar

Position Details

Position Description

This position is funded to work on a new grant from the Office of Naval Research as part of the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) awards. The project, entitled “MMARINeDNA: Marine Mammal Remote detection via INnovative environmental DNA sampling,” aims to understand the transport, persistence, and distribution of environmental DNA (eDNA) in marine environments from marine mammal targets. The project team includes researchers from the University of Washington in both the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs (SMEA) and School of Oceanography, as well as researchers at University of California San Diego’s Scripps Institute of Oceanography, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, and NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, CA.


The postdoctoral fellow in this position will develop and analyze environmental DNA (eDNA) data, developing a statistical model to describe the fate and transport of marine mammal eDNA as a part of the larger MMARINeDNA project. The postdoc will work closely with oceanographers, integrating the molecular-biological (eDNA) information into an existing oceanographic model of the Puget Sound region’s waters, ultimately aiming to predict the origin and abundance of a point sources of observed eDNA. This position will mainly focus on the biology, with oceanography work being largely done by an oceanography postdoc also funded by the larger project. 


The position will entail planning and conducting short field-sampling campaigns, as well as processing quantitative PCR and other eDNA data, but the main focus will be statistical modeling of those resulting data over space and time. 


This is an on-campus, in-person position, and the successful candidate will work in Seattle at the University of Washington. The term is one year, renewable subject to performance and available funding; the larger MMARINeDNA project is funded for a five-year period.


• Statistical modeling of biological data over space and time. 
• Molecular laboratory work (DNA extraction, PCR, qPCR, sequencing, and related). 
• Designing and carrying out some fieldwork to collect samples. 
• Preparing reports, papers, and presentations to effectively communicate results.

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.



  • A PhD in Biology, Molecular Biology, Marine or Aquatic Science, Quantitative Ecology, Fisheries, or other related and quantitative fields is required.
  • Very strong skills in statistical modeling 
  • Fluency in R or similar computational computer languages. 
  • Competence in core molecular biological techniques including PCR, qPCR, and related skills.
  • At least some familiarity with oceanography. 
  • 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 as demonstrated through experience communicating with varied audiences in different settings and in different ways (e.g., presenting at events, email correspondence, one-on-one in-person, etc.) are also required.

• Knowledge of marine mammals.


All applications should be submitted through Interfolio. Application packages should include the following:

  1. Cover letter outlining interest in the position and how it aligns with career goals.
  2. CV

Applicants with inquiries regarding this position should contact: Dr. Ryan Kelly (

Applicants requiring disability accommodations during the application process should contact Jackie Chapman ( 

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.

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 (


A summary of benefits associated with this position can be found at

Privacy Notice

Review the University of Washington Privacy Notice for Demographic Data of Job Applicants and University Personnel to learn how your demographic data are protected, when the data may be used, and your rights.

Disability Services

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

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements and Information

Under University of Washington (UW) Policy, University-compensated personnel must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof thereof, or receive a UW-approved medical or religious exemption. This requirement will be a condition of any offer associated with this recruitment. For more information, please visit

Apply now

The University of Washington is using Interfolio's Faculty Search to conduct this search. Applicants to this position receive a free Dossier account and can send all application materials, including confidential letters of recommendation, free of charge.

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.

Title IX Notice

Title IX, Title VII, VAWA, Washington State law, and University of Washington policy collectively prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, pregnant or parenting status, and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) identity.

Anyone may contact the Office of the Title IX Coordinator about sex and gender discrimination, including sexual or gender-based harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, and other forms of sexual misconduct. Anyone who has experienced these behaviors has the right to make a complaint to the University, report to the police, to both, or not at all.

Please see the Title IX website to learn more about how to report or make a formal complaint of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct. You will also find information about supportive measures and the grievance procedures that are utilized for complaints of sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct. Students and employees have access to support measures and resources, whether or not they choose to make a complaint.

Office of the Title IX Coordinator

Valery Richardson, Title IX Coordinator
Mags Aleks, Deputy Title IX Coordinator
4311 11th Ave NE Seattle, WA 98105