Ocean Career: Bigelow Laboratory Coral Reef Ecology Postdoctoral Scientist

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is seeking a qualified and motivated individual for a Postdoctoral Scientist position in the research group of Dr. Douglas Rasher. The successful candidate will be responsible for leading key elements of a new three year, NSF-funded project that seeks to better elucidate the trophic niches of large herbivorous fishes on modern coral reefs.

In collaboration with a team of renowned scientists from Bigelow, UC-Santa Barbara, University of Texas, and the Smithsonian Institute, the postdoc will conduct fieldwork, employ cutting-edge tools (e.g., gut content metabarcoding and compound-specific isotope analysis), and statistically integrate large and diverse datasets to reveal how the niches of these herbivores are changing in response to human impacts.

Specifically, the successful candidate will conduct surveys, collect field samples, augment DNA reference libraries, and integrate multiple data streams (community data, foraging observations, and diet tracing data) into models that provide new insights into herbivore trophic diversity and how herbivore niches shift with reef degradation. Further, they will lead team workshops for data synthesis and writing, spearhead the timely preparation of manuscripts for submission to scientific journals, disseminate findings internally and externally through presentations, co-mentor graduate students and undergraduate student interns, participate in outreach activities, and assist with project reporting. Importantly, they will ensure data quality and archive project data in public repositories, making the project data and workflows open-access.


  • PhD in biology, ecology, marine science, computer science, or other relevant field
  • A record of excellence in both conducting and publishing original research
  • A general understanding of coral reef ecology
  • Strong computational skills, including the ability to integrate ecological, environmental, and molecular data within a modeling framework

Moreover, applicants must

  • Be highly organized
  • Show a superb attention to detail
  • Possess the ability to multi-task and meet deadlines
  • Display strong writing and speaking skills
  • Express a suite of traits that embody professionalism and scientific rigor
  • Have the desire to work in a “team science” setting that is centered on inclusivity and collaboration

The annual salary for this position is $60,000, with a generous benefits package including health care, retirement contribution, and paid time off. This position is funded for two years (contingent on performance).

Screening of candidates will begin January 8, 2024 and the search will continue until the position is filled.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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