Director's Blog

Post­doctoral research opportunity – Modeling Atlantic salmon stock­-recruitment dynamics

Posted by Michelle Gray   |   April 22, 2015

We are seeking a highly motivated individual to model stock­ recruitment dynamics of wild Atlantic salmon as part of an Atlantic salmon conservation effort in the research group of Dr. Rick Cunjak at the Canadian Rivers Institute (CRI) and University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada beginning in June 2014.

Atlantic salmon populations have been steadily decreasing since the 1980’s. Estimates for 2014 represent historic lows for returning spawners. Consequently, there has been a widespread call to address the decline and devise a comprehensive conservation plan for Atlantic salmon. Key to such an effort is a thorough analysis of the freshwater data to identify temporal and spatial trends in stock recruitment dynamics, and potential bottlenecks to freshwater production (e.g. climate warming). Working with federal government scientists (DFO), NGO biologists and CRI researchers, the successful candidate will undertake a rigorous analysis of DFO’s long­term (>40y) electrofishing data (>150 sites) of juvenile salmon size/age in the Miramichi and Restigouche Rivers. There is a unique opportunity for using biophysical field data, statistical analyses and hierarchical Bayesian modeling to relate annual spawner estimates with indices of juvenile (fry and parr) abundance and freshwater production (smolts). Understanding the stock­recruitment dynamics for these populations and establishing effective restoration efforts will contribute significantly to salmon conservation efforts in Atlantic Canada.

Applicants must hold a PhD in biology, environmental science, or biostatistics. Preference will be given to individuals whose fields of research are fish biology, freshwater ecology, or modeling animal population dynamics, but individuals with backgrounds in other sciences that employ biostatistics and/or hierarchical modeling will also be considered. The successful candidate will be expected to conduct independent research as well as collaborate effectively with scientists and other members of the fisheries community in Atlantic Canada. Further, it is expected that the individual will actively disseminate his/her research in high quality scientific journals, at international conferences and community stakeholder meetings. International candidates are encouraged to apply.

The Canadian Rivers Institute was founded in 2000 as a collaboration of researchers at the University of New Brunswick. The mandate of the CRI is to develop the aquatic science needed to understand, protect, and sustain water resources for the region, nation, and the planet. The Institute’s research network has grown across Canada and beyond, with over 60 graduate students and scientists from diverse academic and government departments interacting to resolve complex issues in aquatic science.

Salary: $42,000 CAD per annum. Funding for the postdoctoral position is secured for one year, with an option for an additional two years of support.

Deadline for receipt of applications: May 08, 2015.

Interested individuals should send a letter expressing research interests, names of three references, and a full CV to: Dr. Richard A. Cunjak, Professor, Department of Biology, and Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management Canadian Rivers Institute ( University of New Brunswick Fredericton, New Brunswick, CANADA. E3B 5A3. Email  Tel: 506.­452.­6204

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