Seeking Postdoc in Spatial Ecology and Forecasting for Kelp Management and Restoration in California

December 07, 2023

Postdoctoral Opportunity in ‘Spatial Ecology and Forecasting for Kelp Management and Restoration in California’ in the Caselle Lab at University of California Santa Barbara

The Caselle Lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara is seeking a postdoctoral researcher to support a funded project aiming to inform kelp restoration in California.  Position available in early 2024.

The overall project objectives are to: (1) Identify locations that will be hotspots of kelp forest persistence under changing climate in California, (2) to determine regions and time frames that will or will not support functional kelp forests over the long-term in California; (3) determine which environmental drivers describe short-term variation in abundance in California; (4) use the drivers to forecast beneficial or adverse times to initiate kelp restoration interventions, and (5) develop a streamlined workflow to regularly produce forecasts of upcoming conditions for kelp restoration. Ultimately, these activities will inform proactive kelp restoration decisions that have a high probability of success in California under a changing ocean.

The postdoctoral researcher will lead the development of species distribution models of kelp, forecast their abundance under different climate scenarios in California, and combine these outputs with the kelp restoration site prioritization classification developed in Giraldo-Ospina et al. (2023) to establish an automated framework to score upcoming conditions for kelp restoration in California. The postdoctoral researcher will lead the publication of the model and its results in a scientific journal.

The postdoctoral researcher will have the opportunity to co-develop and co-write grant proposals. The researcher will also have the opportunity to mentor undergraduate and graduate students working in the Caselle Lab at UC Santa Barbara.

The position requires a Ph.D., in a relevant field, at the time of application, and candidates should have a competitive record of publication. Successful applicants must have a) extensive experience with coding in R, Python or other programming languages, b) experience with spatial ecology and spatial analyses using R, Python, QGIS or ArcMap, c) ability to work independently, to be self-motivated, and to cooperate with others, d) strong communication, organizational, and problem-solving skills, e) proficiency in both written and oral English, and f) commitment to a collegial and inclusive workplace. Experience with one or more of the following skills is highly desired: a) fitting species distribution models, b) working with Earth System Model output, c) knowledge of temperate benthic ecology (macroalgae, seagrass, etc.) and d) conducting transparent, reproducible, and open-source science.

Salary will depend on experience and be based on the applicant’s qualifications and UCSB pay scales.  Interested candidates should send a cover letter, CV and list of references as a single PDF to  Applications will be reviewed once received but for full consideration, please apply by Jan. 15, 2024.

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. 

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs, as may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.