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RAP opportunity at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration     NOAA

Leveraging Population Genomics to Improve Spatially Explicit Stock Assessments of Alaska’s Groundfish


National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Fisheries Science Center

opportunity location
26.03.68.C0446 Juneau, AK 99801


name email phone
Wesley Alan Larson 760-613-7282


The Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) produces stock assessments which advise the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) on reference points for some of the largest fisheries in the United States, including walleye pollock, Pacific cod, sablefish, and rockfish. Since 2010, stock assessments at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center have incorporated a process for determination of spatial management units using genetic and non-genetic criteria. However, for the majority of stocks, no genetic research has been conducted to determine whether stock structure exists; and the existing non-genetic stock structure template has not been a conclusive means of determining the most appropriate management units. A major AFSC goal over the next decade is to create genetic baselines for the most commercially valuable stocks assessed at the AFSC in order to monitor species movement under climate change to decrease uncertainty in key stock assessments. Key to this effort is understanding how environmental variables shape population structure at neutral and adaptive genetic markers across multiple species and exploring the best approaches to integrate these data into stock assessments. For example, incorporating data from adaptive markers into stock assessment models has yet to be explored, but could significantly improve estimates of population resiliency under future environmental conditions.

The successful candidate will lead an effort to analyze and synthesize population genomic datasets from multiple species and work with stock assessment scientists to integrate these results into assessment workflows. The candidate will be expected to author 1-2 peer-reviewed manuscripts per year and present research results at multiple meetings. There will also be substantial freedom in this position to pursue additional research, and interdisciplinary research that integrates genetics and stock assessment will be highly supported. Candidates should have attained a Ph.D. in population genetics, bioinformatics, molecular biology, or a related field within the last five years. A strong background in bioinformatics and/or population genomics is required. Previous experience with fish or aquatic organisms is not necessary.

key words
genomics; population genetics; bioinformatics; fisheries management; Alaska; groundfish


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

$2,000 Location Supplement


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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