Postdoctoral Researcher in Sea Otter-Fisheries Modeling; Marine Science Institute, University of California (Santa Barbara, CA)

We seek a highly motivated postdoctoral scholar to undertake modeling work to quantify the effects of sea otters on finfish and benthic invertebrate abundance and composition on the California Coast. The modeling exercise will include exploring potential community effects of otter reintroductions in new areas, based on existing and new habitat suitability estimates. Working closely with collaborators at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara, as well as additional colleagues, the postdoctoral scholar will take the lead in defining novel scientific questions and publishing and communicating research that leverages existing biological and environmental data. New field work is not anticipated to be a significant element of this 2-year appointment.

The research work will be conducted solely in California and the on-site work location is at UC Santa Barbara and/or UC Berkeley. Salary is competitive and commensurate with the applicant’s qualifications and experience.

Full benefits package included. Postdoctoral benefits are included (

Position is open until filled.

The Department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and service as appropriate to the position.



Basic qualifications (required at time of application):

  • Applicants must have completed all requirements for a PhD program (or equivalent) except the dissertation in ecology, fisheries science, environmental sciences, or a related field at the time of application.
  • Additional qualifications (required at time of start):
  • Applicants must have a doctoral degree in ecology, fisheries science, environmental sciences, or a related field at time of appointment. 

Preferred qualifications:

The ideal candidate will: 

  • demonstrate a high degree of statistical fluency (e.g., general and generalized linear models, mixed effects models, Bayesian statistics), and applying such methods to noisy time-series data from a diverse set of biomonitoring programs
  • have considerable experience programming in R and familiarity with Python and ArcGIS
  • adopt a rigorous and scholarly approach to their science, with a strong track record of presentations and publications
  • be a respectful, professional, and reliable team player who values creating and maintaining strong collegial bonds
  • have excellent time management skills; accomplish research goals by creating realistic but ambitious plans and initiating open communication when plans must be modified
  • have strong communication and diplomacy skills to give and receive feedback, celebrate successes, and constructively confront challenges
  • have generally fluency understanding how insights from ecological modeling can be usefully linked to applied conservation. 

Salary range: The posted UC system-wide salary scales set the minimum pay determined by rank and step at appointment. See Table 23 for the salary range at UCSB. A reasonable estimate for this position is $64,480 to $77,327. “Off-scale salaries” and other components of pay, i.e., a salary that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated rank and step, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions.

Anticipated start: The position start date is negotiable and ideally is anticipated to start in May 2024 or later.

Position duration: Initial appointment for 2 years with the possibility of (up to) a one year reappointment.

Application Window 

Next review date: Wednesday, February 15, 2024 at 11:59 pm (Pacific Time). Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Wednesday, Jul 31, 2024, at 11:59pm (Pacific Time). Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Application Requirements 

Document requirements 

  • Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V.
  • Cover Letter
  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity – We encourage applicants to submit an optional Statement of Contributions to Diversity. These statements, if submitted, will be reviewed for evidence of teaching, research, professional and/or public service contributions that promote diversity, equal opportunity and equitable access. (Optional)

Reference requirements 

  • 3 required (contact information only)

The search committee will contact references of the top candidate(s) after the interviews. After references are checked, a top candidate will be chosen.

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