Environmental productivity of the Salish Sea: Postdoctoral position in food web modelling

Position description:

The Postdoctoral Research Fellow (PDF) is to be hired for a research project at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (http://oceans.ubc.ca) conducted in cooperation with the Pacific Salmon Foundation (https://www.psf.ca).  The study, Environmental Productivity Patterns of the Salish Sea, seeks to determine the primary factors affecting the survival of juvenile salmon and steelhead in the Salish Sea, and is conducted as part of the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project (SSMSP, http://marinesurvivalproject.com). This project seeks to understand how the environmental productivity of the Sea has changed over the half century along with the consequential impacts throughout the ecosystem.

The PDF will be responsible for the development of a spatial ecosystem model of the Salish Sea based on the Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) approach and software, building on previous work in the area along with the extensive databases that have been built as part of the SSMSP (http://sogdatacentre.ca). The PDF will work in close cooperation with Professors Villy Christensen and Carl Walters at UBC and other team members at UBC and elsewhere. The activity will include linking or coupling the food web model to a hydrographic/biogeochemical GETM/FABM (http://www.getm.eu, https://sourceforge.net/projects/fabm/) modelling complex, developed as part of the project.

The successful applicant is expected to have a strong quantitative background, and experience with programming (notably .NET and R) will be a definite advantage, especially if combined with experience in ecosystem modelling. A doctorate in ecology, biological oceanography, or a related field is a requirement, as is the ability to work independently within a collaborative, interdisciplinary research group.


Location: The candidate will be based at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia.

Start date: September 1, 2017


Applicants should submit (in a single pdf-file),

  • A CV, including email and phone numbers for three references;
  • A short letter explaining the applicant’s motivation for working on the project and giving an overview of relevant experience;
  • Reprints of published papers


  • In addition, a copy (or link to a downloadable version) of the doctoral thesis should be provided.

Errors made by the PDF could influence the ability of the research team to meet critical deadlines, as well as compromise the results of research project, and therefore impact the credibility of the Principal Investigator. Poor decisions may be damaging to the reputation of the Principal Investigator, the Institute, and the University and could lead to incorrect or inappropriate policy recommendations being made.

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is strongly committed to equity and diversity within its community. We especially welcome applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Submit application to:

Dr Villy Christensen, v.christensen@oceans.ubc.ca

Webpage: www.globaloceanmodeling.org