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Two Postdoctoral Research Associates in Management Strategy Evaluation

List Date: 
Friday, August 18, 2017
Close Date: 
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Title: Postdoctoral Research Associate in Management Strategy Evaluation
Supervisor: Dr. Lisa Kerr


The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) pioneers collaborative solutions to global ocean challenges. Our scientists explore dynamic ocean systems from marine life to environmental conditions to coastal economies. We infuse our discoveries into the policy arena and design solutions with fishermen and seafood businesses to protect fishery resources, harvest them responsibly, and market them as premium quality food. We share our discoveries with the public and nurture a culture of leadership in communities that depend on the sea. Our education programs cultivate science literacy and build a foundation of collaborative problem-solving among our next generation of leaders, scientists, citizens, and stewards. Each year, we serve over 25,000 stakeholders from Cape Cod to Nova Scotia.

Position Description

GMRI is seeking two applicants for postdoctoral positions (2-3 year duration) applying management strategy evaluation (MSE) to groundfish species in the Northeast U.S.  The postdocs will work under the supervision of Dr. Lisa Kerr and collaborate with a team of scientists at GMRI, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and the NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center on research to develop and apply MSE for Northeast US groundfish fisheries that tests the performance of stock assessment methods and harvest control rules under climate change.

Climate-mediated changes in the Northeast U.S. Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem are unprecedented, and the impacts of these changes on marine fisheries resources are increasing. Once abundant and supporting a profitable fishing industry, some groundfish stocks in the Northeast U.S. have declined to record-low biomass in recent years, whereas others have increased. It is crucial to understand how fisheries management procedures could consider climate-driven changes and evaluate whether these procedures would result in more adaptive, successful management of groundfish species given forecasted climate change. MSE is a powerful simulation-based framework for structured decision-making that can compare the performance and robustness of management options given uncertainty and quantify tradeoffs among multiple, possibly competing ecological, economic, and societal objectives.

The scope of work will include the following:

  • Developing relationships between temperature and population processes.
  • Constructing operating models to emulate population dynamics.
  • Simulating models under climate change scenarios.
  • Apply alternative harvest strategies under climate change scenarios.
  • Incorporating technical interactions as part of mixed fishery analysis
  • Quantifying biological and economic tradeoffs.
  • Stakeholder outreach.


  • A completed (or nearly-completed) PhD degree in a relevant discipline, such as Fisheries Science, Statistics, Ecology, or other related field, that demonstrates a strong quantitative background.
  • Experience fitting population dynamics models to data for fisheries stock assessment and application of simulation testing frameworks like Management Strategy Evaluation is preferred.
  • Knowledge of fisheries management, and understanding of the management process in the U.S.
  • Demonstrated experience and fluency in statistical/modeling programming languages (e.g. R, AD Model Builder, Template Model Builder).
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, as evidenced through publications in the peer-reviewed scientific literature and presentations to a variety of audiences

The positions have competitive annual salaries plus benefits. Start date is flexible; the successful candidate could begin as early as October 2017. The positions will be located at GMRI ( in Portland, Maine with expectation for travel to scientific meetings and for meetings with regional project partners. The postdocs will be encouraged to collaborate with students and staff at all collaborating institutions. In addition to Dr. Kerr, project collaborators include Dr. Andrew Pershing (GMRI), Dr. Sarah Gaichas (NOAA NEFSC), and Drs. Gavin Fay and Steve Cadrin (UMass Dartmouth).


Qualified applicants should submit a cover letter, CV, and writing samples (e.g. copies of relevant publications), and contact information for three professional references by clicking here. Questions about the position should be emailed to

Review of applications will begin October 1, 2017. Incomplete applications will not be considered, and the position will remain open until filled.

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