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RAP opportunity at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration     NOAA

Bioinformatics Approaches to Evaluating Responses and Adaptive Capacity to High pCO2 in Alaska Crabs and Fish


National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Fisheries Science Center

opportunity location
26.03.40.C0565 Seattle, WA 98112


name email phone


The Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) is seeking a postdoctoral associate with bioinformatics expertise to examine transcriptomic responses to ocean acidification (OA) and temperature on commercially and economically important crab and fish species. Researchers at the AFSC have found that many species are negatively affected by exposure to pH levels and temperature predicted to occur throughout their ranges in the coming decades. OA results in a suite of physiological consequences including decreased growth, altered embryonic development, reduced exoskeleton strength, increased metabolic rate, altered immune system, altered behavior, and increased mortality. Increased temperature, when combined with OA can result in synergistic negative effects. This project will build upon the understanding gained through laboratory experimentation by applying next-generation sequencing techniques to identify the specific alterations in the molecular, metabolic, and physiological pathways of individuals exposed to OA. Whole-genome sequencing of the individuals that demonstrate low sensitivity to OA and will be compared to the general population. By linking the transcriptomic response to the physiological effects successful candidate will work to understand the pathways that impart tolerance and how adaptation will alter the species’ response to future ocean conditions.


We seek a candidate with a PhD in population genetics, bioinformatics, molecular biology, or a related field within the past five years who will be responsible for data analysis and writing in the form of scientific manuscripts. A strong background in bioinformatics and experience with RNAseq differential gene expression analysis is required. Previous experience with aquatic organisms is beneficial but not necessary. The post-doc will collaborate with a team of geneticists and experimental biologists at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center who will conduct laboratory experiments. The post-doc is expected to reside at the AFSC in Seattle, WA and may be expected to travel to experimental laboratories in Kodiak, AK and Newport, OR for collaborative work. Anticipated start date of Oct 2021 to Jan 2022.

Frommel, A.Y., Hermann, B.T., Michael, K., Lucassen, M., Clemmesen, C., Hanel, R., Reusch, T.B.H. 2020. Differential gene expression patterns related to lipid metabolism in response to ocean acidification in larvae and juveniles of Atlantic cod. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A 247:110740.


Hurst, T. P., Copeman, L. A., Haines, S. A., Meredith, S. D., Daniels, K., and Hubbard, K. M. 2019. Elevated CO2 alters behavior, growth, and lipid composition of Pacific cod larvae. Marine Environmental Research, 145: 52-65, doi:


Stillman, Jonathon H., Scott A. Fay, Syed M. Ahmad, Katherine M. Swiney, and Robert J. Foy. Transcriptomic response to decreased pH in adult, larval and juvenile red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus, and interactive effects of pH and temperature on juveniles. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 100, no. 2 (2020): 251-265.

key words
Ocean acidification; genetics; genomics; RNA transcriptomics; bioinformatics; fish; Pacific cod; snow crab; tanner crab


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and non-U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$58,000.00 $3,000.00

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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