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RAP opportunity at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration     NOAA

Investigating stock-specific distributions of bycaught salmon to mitigate impacts and inform management


National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Fisheries Science Center

opportunity location
26.03.68.C0564 Juneau, AK 99801


name email phone
Wesley Alan Larson 760-613-7282


The NMFS manages the groundfish fisheries in the United States waters of the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and is responsible for conservation of the pollock stocks under the Magnuson Stevens Act according to the principle of maximum sustainable yield. However, the total allowable catch for groundfish fisheries is also determined by the number of Pacific salmon that are taken in the bycatch. Similarly, the NMFS is also responsible for managing ecosystem impacts of the trawl fishery relative to other laws including the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, treaty obligations between the United States and Canada, and the Endangered Species Act. These other laws come into play when high numbers of salmon are caught as bycatch, and therefore it is important to know what stocks they represent and how those stocks may be impacted through incidental capture in federally-managed trawl fisheries. The Genetics group at the NOAA Auke Bay Laboratory uses panels of genetic markers to investigate stock-specific impacts of salmon bycatch. This group has been conducting genetic analyses of bycatch samples for over a decade and has accumulated genotypes of 10s of thousands of fish. However, data from each year has generally been analyzed separately. Analyses that synthesize the full time series to investigate temporal trends and the variables that influence them would be extremely useful for understanding what determines variation in stock compositions. This information could then be applied to improve fisheries management and knowledge of salmon ecology.

The successful candidate will lead an effort to analyze and synthesize genetic datasets generated from bycatch samples over the last 10+ years and leverage these datasets to investigate the drivers of stock-specific trends and distribution patterns. 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 quantitative ecology 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 population genetics and computer programming is required.

key words
genetics; salmon; groundfish; alaska; genetic stock identification


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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