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RAP opportunity at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration     NOAA

New England Groundfish and Climate


National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Fisheries Science Center

opportunity location
26.03.56.C0150 Highlands, NJ 07732


name email phone
Vincent Sellitto Saba 609.452.6535



Modeling responses of New England groundfish to multiple ecological aspects of climate change.  The NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center is seeking a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the James J. Howard Laboratory located in Sandy Hook (Highlands), New Jersey.  A Ph.D. is required for this position.  Applicants should have a background in: 1) marine science or fisheries science, 2) habitat or population modeling, 3) model coding (R, Matlab, etc.).  This project will fund a fulltime NRC post-doc that will focus on improving habitat models of New England groundfish (i.e. winter flounder, cod, etc.) and projecting change in habitat distribution under climate change using ocean variables not exclusive to temperature.  

Project Background:   Preliminary modeling results suggest that using ocean temperature alone can exclude critical habitat for certain marine species.  Currently, projections of suitable habitat shifts under climate change have been largely based on ocean temperature.  However, it has been shown that using other biophysical variables such as salinity, ocean current variables, phytoplankton/zooplankton indices, and bottom topography can improve estimates of suitable habitat.  The NEFSC Habitat Ecology Branch already has an existing database built on data from a wide variety of available sources for developing models on groundfish suitability based on bottom topography, sediments, current regime, and various salinity and temperature variables.   For this project, habitat model projections will be based on a range of predicted climate scenarios, including NOAA GFDL's high-resolution CM2.6 and the Rutgers University/NOAA ROMS-COBALT projection that includes biogeochemistry, phytoplankton, and zooplankton. One of the advantages of our modeling scheme is that the team has already developed a process by which it can create species assemblage models, pointing to interspecific interactions between ~170 Northeast U.S. species.  Further, we have developed means of modeling short-term (monthly) species distributions response to the changes in ocean temperature and other variables that can be used to assess seasonal migratory dynamics.   

Relevant Papers:    

Kleisner, K.M., Fogarty, M.J., McGee, S., Hare, J.A., Moret, S., Perretti, C.T., Saba, V.S. 2017. Marine species distribution shifts on the U.S. Northeast Continental Shelf under continued ocean warming. Progress in Oceanography, 153, 24-36. 

Saba, V.S., Griffies, S.M., Anderson, W.G., Winton, M., Alexander, M.A., Delworth, T.L., Hare, J.A., Harrison, M.J., Rosati, A., Vecchi, G.A., Zhang, R. 2016. Enhanced warming of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean under climate change. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 121(1), 118-132.

Kleisner, K.M., Fogarty, M.J., McGee, S., Barnett, A., Fratantoni, P., Greene, J., Hare, J.A., Lucey, S.M., McGuire, C., Odell, J., Saba, V.S., Smith, L., Weaver, K.J., Pinsky, M.L. 2016. The effects of sub-regional climate velocity on the distribution and spatial extent of marine species assemblages. PLoS One 11(2): e0149220. 

key words
New England Groundfish; Climate Change; Climate Variability; Fisheries; Fish Habitat Modeling; U.S. Northeast Shelf; Gulf of Maine; Georges Bank; Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management


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
$56,000.00 $2,000.00

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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