Assistant Research Scientist in Marine Ecosystem Modeling

  • University of Florida
  • United States
  • Jun 6, 2024

Job Description:

Classification Title:

Res Ast Sctst

Job Description:

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is creating an environment that affirms community across all dimensions. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service. If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352-392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at 800-955-8771 (TDD) or visit Accessibility at UF .

This is a 9 month non tenure-accruing position that will be 100% research (Florida Agricultural Experiment Station), available in the Nature Coast Biological Station, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, at the University of Florida. This assignment may change in accordance with the needs of the unit. Duties will include, but are not limited to, updating and maintaining existing ecosystem models; analyzing large datasets on fish, habitat, and water quality; developing new models and statistical analyses; developing web applications (rShiny); maintaining code through Github; presenting results at management meetings and professional conferences; mentoring graduate students; data management; and preparing scientific publications, grant reports, and outreach materials. The faculty member will actively seek contract and grant funding to support their program. The faculty member will engage in Extension activities in their program area.

The successful candidate will participate actively in undergraduate and graduate education by chairing and serving on graduate committees, supervising thesis, dissertation and undergraduate research, and publishing research results with students. Faculty are encouraged to participate in professional development activities related to teaching and advising and may teach courses and seminars.

We are seeking a highly motivated assistant research scientist to develop ecosystem models and analyses to support fisheries management decisions. Join a growing lab, where we develop advanced population and ecosystem models to address real-world challenges in fisheries and natural resource management. Our work is highly quantitative and applied, and seeks to understand how fish stocks and marine ecosystems respond to fishing and environmental change. In doing so, we aim to bridge the gap between ecosystem science, stock assessment, and management, while also advancing ecological theories and concepts.

The assistant research scientist will have the opportunity to work on one or more high-profile projects, including: assessing ecosystem impacts of red tides on the West Florida Shelf; developing spatially explicit models to support management of Atlantic menhaden; investigating declines in reef fish abundance in the U.S. South Atlantic region; and coupling marine ecosystem models with ocean climate models. The successful candidate will grow their professional network by working within a varied, multidisciplinary group of collaborators consisting of marine ecosystem modelers, ecologists, stock assessment scientists, physical oceanographers, biogeochemical modelers, fisheries monitoring program leaders, federal and state fisheries managers, and commercial/recreational fishery stakeholders. The assistant research scientist will also have the opportunity to help recruit and mentor graduate students. Funding is available for 4 years.

The University of Florida is a Land-Grant, Sea-Grant, and Space-Grant institution, encompassing virtually all academic and professional disciplines, with an enrollment of more than 56,000 students. UF is a member of The Association of American Universities. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences includes the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Florida Sea Grant program, and encompasses 16 on-campus academic departments and schools, 12 Research and Educational Centers (REC) located throughout the state, 6 Research sites/demonstration units administered by RECs or academic departments, and Florida Cooperative Extension Service offices in all 67 counties (counties operate and maintain). The School of Natural Resources and Environment is an interdisciplinary unit housed in IFAS and managed by several colleges on campus. UF/IFAS employs nearly 4,500 people, which includes approximately 990 salaried faculty and 1,400 permanent support personnel located in Gainesville and throughout the state. IFAS, one of the nation’s largest agricultural and natural resources research and education organizations, is administered by a Vice President and four deans: the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Dean for Extension and Director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, the Dean for Research and Director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Dean for the College of Veterinary Medicine. UF/IFAS also engages in cooperative work with Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

Expected Salary:

Commensurate with Education and Experience

Minimum Requirements:

A doctorate (foreign equivalent acceptable) in marine science, fisheries, ecology, oceanography, or a closely related discipline is required. Candidates should have demonstrated skills in verbal and written communication, interpersonal relationships, and procurement of extramural funding. Candidates must be supportive of the mission of the Land-Grant system. Candidates must also have a commitment to UF core values.

Preferred Qualifications:
  • Postdoctoral experience is desirable.
  • Interest in fisheries ecology, marine ecosystem modeling, species distribution modeling, and mathematical modeling with applications to natural resource management.
  • Knowledge and experience with ecosystem and food web models, fish population dynamic models and stock assessment, species distribution models, and geospatial analysis of large fisheries and environmental datasets
  • Experience with the Ecopath and Ecosim ecosystem modeling software.
  • Proficiency in R programming and experience developing R shiny apps and open science tools (GitHub).
  • Experience in linear and non-linear modeling (GLMs, GAMs), spatial-temporal data analysis, and analysis of gridded spatial data.
  • Familiarity with the Gulf of Mexico marine ecosystem.
  • Experience working in collaborative, multidisciplinary projects and interacting with resource managers.
Special Instructions to Applicants:

Application must be submitted by 11:55 p.m. (ET) of the posting end date.


Nominations are welcome. Nominations need to include the complete name and address of the nominee. This information should be sent to:

Please refer to Requisition # 531839

Dr. Robert Lamb

Chair, Search and Screen Committee

University of Florida

Nature Coast Biological Station

PO Box 878

Cedar Key, FL 32625

Telephone: (352) 325-6078

Electronic Mail:

Application Information

  • Individuals wishing to apply should go online to Careers at UF and submit:
    • Cover letter that states applicant’s interest in the position and qualifications relative to the credentials listed above
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Contact information (including email addresses) for 3 individuals willing to write letters of recommendation
    • Unofficial transcripts

Selected candidate will be required to provide an official transcript to the hiring department upon hire. A transcript will not be considered “official” if a designation of “Issued to Student” is visible. Degrees earned from an education institution outside of the United States are required to be evaluated by a professional credentialing service provider approved by National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US. The University of Florida is a public institution and subject to all requirements under Florida Sunshine and Public Record laws.

The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution. The University and greater Gainesville community enjoy a variety of cultural events, restaurants, year-round outdoor recreational activities, and social opportunities.

Health Assessment Required: No