Zoologist and/or Biologist (Postdoctoral Fellow) - Benthic Invertebrates (IS-0410/0401-11)

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Fort Pierce, Florida

Job Type Student / postdoc
Salary Details $73,639 - $78,547 / year
Deadline Dec 08, 2023
Required Experience 7+ years

The Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, part of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Washington D.C., invites applicants for the position of Postdoctoral Researcher. This position is part of the NMNH Ocean DNA Initiative, which aims to develop an integrated toolkit to unlock natural history knowledge to inform ocean sciences and ecosystem monitoring using environmental samples. The Smithsonian Marine Station, located on the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) estuary in Florida, an imperiled biodiversity hotspot spanning the transition between temperate and subtropical climates, will be used as a demonstration site for the Ocean DNA Initiative. 

The incumbent will use the IRL to carry out Ocean DNA objectives, using sequence-based approaches to identify and fill biodiversity knowledge gaps to enhance research, monitoring and restoration. Working in coordination with a long-term monitoring program for IRL benthic soft-bottom invertebrates (infauna), the primary duties of this position are to: (1) conduct research on spatial and temporal changes in invertebrate biodiversity by developing and utilizing environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques, (2) enhance monitoring efforts and improve benthic condition assessments through environmental DNA sampling at monitoring sites, (3) assess the current state of IRL benthic infaunal biodiversity knowledge, creating a genetic coverage gap analysis from the existing portfolio of species inventories and records, (4) help lead a BioBlitz of IRL benthic habitats that enlists taxonomists with expertise in local and regional fauna to collect vouchers to fill gaps in reference sequence libraries identified through environmental profiles, (5) present and publish results in peer-reviewed journals and data deposition in publicly-accessible repositories (e.g. GenBank, GBIF), and on the IRL Species Inventory biodiversity database (IRLSpecies.org), and (6) manage the SMS molecular laboratory.

Excellent leadership and considerable judgment skills are necessary to plan work, refine methods, and develop workflows for successful completion of the research. The successful candidate will be expected to present research results at professional meetings. The candidate must ensure that generated data are validated, analyzed, documented, shared with partners, and deposited in public repositories. They will write peer-reviewed scientific papers in collaboration with NMNH and other partners. The successful candidate will be expected to participate in other NMNH activities, such as education and outreach activities.


Apply at https://trustcareers.si.edu/postings/343e49c5-cc88-419a-800c-ec3760d4305f

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Category Fisheries, Marine Biology