Postdoctoral Scholar in Quantitative Marine Ecology

University of California, Santa Cruz

University of California, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, May 23, 2023


Position title: Postdoctoral Scholar in Quantitative Marine Ecology

Salary range: Commensurate with qualifications and experience. The posted UCSC salary scales set the minimum pay based on the individual’s Experience Level, which is determined by the number of months of postdoctoral service at any institution. See the salary scale titled, Postdoctoral Scholar-Employee /Postdoctoral Scholar-Fellow / Postdoctoral Scholar-Paid Direct -Fiscal Year. A reasonable estimate for this position is $66,000 - $76,323.

Percent time: Full-time (100%)

Anticipated start: As soon as June 1st, but no later than October 31, 2023

Position duration: Maximum Duration of Service in a Postdoctoral Title: Postdoctoral Scholar appointments are full-time and the initial appointment is for two years, with the possibility of reappointment. The total duration of an individual’s postdoctoral service may not exceed five years, including postdoctoral service at any institution.


Open date: April 26, 2023

Next review date: Friday, May 26, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time) Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Thursday, Apr 25, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time) Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


Dr. Alexa Fredston in the Department of Ocean Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) invites applications for the position of Postdoctoral Scholar in Quantitative Marine Ecology.The Fredston Lab uses large datasets and theoretical models to predict marine ecological responses to global change. The lab currently has two main themes: ecological forecasting (which focuses on modeling processes) and empirical biogeography (which focuses on explaining patterns).The ecological forecasting theme includes the development and application of process-based “dynamic range models” for predicting near-term range shifts in marine species and testing fundamental drivers of range dynamics (see:, empirical biogeography theme uses large-scale historical datasets and a variety of tools (e.g., machine learning, eDNA) to understand why species’ ranges and range edges are where they are (see:,, and how global change is reshaping populations, communities, and ecosystems (see:, Dr. Fredston’s work has primarily used data on temperate fishes to date, she has broad interests in all marine taxa and systems.This two-year postdoc position is funded by Dr. Fredston’s startup funds at UCSC, and thus represents a uniquely open-ended opportunity for the successful candidate to co-develop novel and independent research projects. The postdoc will also have opportunities to write grants, participate in working groups, join collaborations, engage with natural resource managers and conservation practitioners, and work with graduate and undergraduate students. The postdoc will have a primary research project such as:Field-testing dynamic range models in new geographies and settings—for example, adapting dynamic range models for the California Current, incorporating multiple data streams to improve forecast fits and accuracy, or using projected oceanographic conditions to develop future forecasting systems. Advancing the theory of dynamic range models—adding new processes (e.g., species interactions, oxygen limitation, local adaptation, stage-specific habitat use), exploring how they affect range shifts through simulation, and testing whether they help explain real data. Simulating whether biogeographic boundaries will act as barriers to range shifts—building spatial population models for a range of life histories that explore whether biogeographic boundaries that impede larval dispersal would prevent climate tracking. Exploring range edge dynamics in the Anthropocene—developing statistical methods to detect range edge positions in survey data and applying them to large-scale ocean biodiversity datasets to characterize recent range edge shifts. The ideal candidate for this position will leverage their quantitative skill set and ecological expertise to lead exciting and novel research in marine biogeography, population ecology, or community ecology. The ideal candidate will also demonstrate the following qualities:Have expertise in theoretical and/or quantitative biology or ecology, or a closely related field. Have experience with one or more modeling approaches commonly used in ecology, such as: population modeling, spatio-temporal modeling, individual-based modeling, integral projection modeling, species distribution modeling, Bayesian hierarchical modeling, dynamic occupancy modeling, structural equation modeling, empirical dynamic modeling, and/or network modeling. Have familiarity with some form(s) of data and observations available for monitoring marine biodiversity, e.g., trawl surveys, acoustic surveys, visual surveys, tagging data, mark-recapture data, and eDNA. Be proficient in at least one open-source programming language, such as R or python. Have experience using version control software and platforms such as Git and GitHub. Be committed to open science principles, such as code review and data sharing. Have taken advanced courses in modeling, statistics, and data analysis. Have excellent communication skills. Have experience leading independent research projects, and a record of first-author publications (commensurate with experience) in related topics. Be excited about doing highly quantitative work that is relevant to natural resource management and biodiversity conservation. Contribute to a supportive and inclusive professional culture in the Fredston Lab. Candidates who possess some but not all of the above areas of expertise are still encouraged to apply.

The Fredston Lab:

Ocean Sciences Department:


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

Ph.D. (or equivalent foreign degree) in ecology, natural resources, environmental sciences, oceanography, applied mathematics, statistics, or a related field. Degree must be in hand at the time of initial appointment.


Apply link: requirements Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V., which must include three professional references along with their contact information. The search committee will contact the references of those applicants who are under serious consideration. Cover Letter - Letter of application (two page maximum) that describes your research experience, qualifications, and interest as it relates to the position (specifically in reference to the ideal candidate qualifications) and a proposed research project (applicants can either propose an independent research project or expand on one of the suggested research projects).

Help contact:


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, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University’s equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 or by phone at (831) 459-2686.Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check (see The university sponsors employment-based visas for nonresidents who are offered academic appointments at UC Santa Cruz (see is a smoke & tobacco-free campus.If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact Disability Management Services at (831) 459-4602.UCSC is committed to addressing the spousal and partner employment needs of our candidates and employees. As part of this commitment, our institution is a member of the Northern California Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (NorCal HERC). Visit the NorCal HERC website at to search for open positions within a commutable distance of our institution.The University of California offers a competitive benefits package and a number of programs to support employee work/life balance. For information about employee benefits please visit a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs – With Updated Interim Amendments. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine Primary Series or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, Religious Objection, and/or Deferral based on pregnancy or recent COVID-19 diagnosis and/or treatment) no later than the applicable deadline. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of receiving the most recent CDC-recommended COVID-19 booster or properly decline such booster no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Exhibit 2, Section II.C. of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Attachment for applicable deadlines. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of being Up-To-Date on seasonal influenza vaccination or properly decline such vaccination no later than the applicable deadline. Please refer to the Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program Attachment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements. Additional information and resources for compliance are located on the campus Health Center siteVISIT UC Santa Cruz:


Santa Cruz, California

Apply nowto Postdoctoral Scholar in Quantitative Marine Ecology

University of California, Santa Cruz is an equal opportunity employer.