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University of Washington RESEARCH SCIENTIST / ENGINEER 3 - ECOSYSTEM MODELER in Seattle, Washington

Req #: 235287


Job Location Detail: 100% remote in Florida

Posting Date: 06/10/2024

Closing Info: Closes On 06/17/2024

Salary: $5,427 - $11,051 per month

Shift: First Shift

Notes: As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For a complete description of our benefits for this position, please visit our website, click here. (

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem-solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty.

Ecosystem modelling of marine systems under climate change. This field involves the development, calibration and testing of species distribution models that integrate physical, ecological, and fishery data to characterize climate-driven shifts to species and food-web dynamics in marine ecosystems. These models include multiple species and fishery types. Spatial and ecosystem models are then used to provide information about the state of the ecosystem and the consequences of future management actions, often with a focus on the effect of climate change and fishery adaptation.

The overarching research questions concern the ways that fisheries resources vary in space and time in response to fishing, climate change and extreme events. Management can promote resilient fisheries in a changing climate with ecological forecasts and long-term planning around shifting resources. The development of explanatory and predictive tools to inform climate impacts on marine ecosystems can help inform evaluation of the economic and social impacts and response resource-dependent communities in regions such as the Bering Sea. The integrated program to which the research scientist will contribute includes oceanographic modeling driven by climate projections of earth system models, an ensemble of biological models including single-species, multi-species, spatial distribution models, and ecosystem models, including a size spectrum and mass balance food web models (Rpath).

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES Project 1: Impact of species range shifts on the NBS food web

Goal: Evaluate the potential impacts of species range shifts on the Northern Bering Sea food web. Force biomass of e.g. Pacific cod, walleye pollock, and snow crab by using previously-constructed species distribution models (SDMs) to partition the assessment biomass of these species between the Eastern Bering Sea and the Northern Bering Sea. Spatial predator-prey overlap within the Northern Bering Sea will also be used to scale prey vulnerabilities.

Project 2: Borealization of the Arctic

Goal: Use data from surveys of the Eastern Bering Sea and the Northern Bering Sea, and Chukchi Sea to partition demersal fish communities into "ecoregions", assess changes in community structure in the Northern Bering Sea /Chukchi in recent years, and examine synchrony among guilds, with a focus on demersal community structure broadly.

Project 3: Collaboration towards incorporation of SDMs into existing multispecies assessment for the Bering Sea

Goal: Use projections from species distribution models to assess impacts of changes in spatial overlap between pollock, flounder, and cod on the fishery. Compare projections between models with no species interactions, species interactions scaled by bioenergetics, and species interactions scaled by both bioenergetics and overlap. The estimated overlap from the SDMs would be used to fix suitability in ecosystem models, or parameters linking overlap to suitability could be fitted in the model and fixed in the projection period.

Support Project Management and Outcomes

Support other sub-projects that are part of Alaska Climate Integrated Modelling Project, ACLIM ( by providing species data, oceanographic model output, etc.

Work with single-species and ecosystem modelers to develop tools to compare model outputs and presentation to decision makers

Publications and Presentations Lead and contribute to peer-reviewed publications and presentations to scientific and management audiences. Contribute to writing of project reports and project proposals


Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology, Statistics, Mathematics, or related field and four years of experience in species distribution modeling and framework or relevant experience; OR Equivalent combination of education/experience.


• Ability to parameterize and use the species distribution models (SDMs). • Familiarity with SDM methods model structure, source code, skill evaluation methods and ability to modify SDMs to add new functionality. • Ability to work as a member of technical working groups consisting of a diverse set of researchers, managers and stakeholders. • Superior written and oral communication skills. • Knowledge of the species, fisheries and oceanography of the Bering Sea ecosystem • Working knowledge of other ecosystem models such as Ecopath-With-Ecosim (EwE) and the CEATTLE modelling framework as well as single-species stock assessment models. • Ability to work with the output of oceanographic models and to adapt them to force biological and ecosystem models. • Working knowledge of C++, R, Rstudio and github, and multiple open source methods of collaboration.


• PhD Degree in Marine Biology, Statistics, Mathematics or a related field • Working knowledge data sets related to the spatial distribution of key commercial and predator species in Bering Sea ecosystem.

Application Process: The application process may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment, you will be prompted to do so the next time you log into your “My Jobs” page. If you choose to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to, among other things, race, religion, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.