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Postdoctoral Fellow, Seabird-Fisheries Interactions

Environmental Defense Fund
San Francisco, California, US
Closing date
Dec 4, 2021

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
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With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world's largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace where innovation and results are a way of life.

EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We seek talented candidates who share our of Respect, Results, Innovation, Optimism, and Integrity, and support our .

Responsibilities :

Program Overview

The goal of EDF's Ocean Science Program is to deliver the science that will help build climate-resilient oceans that are teeming with fish and wildlife, and that provide food security and prosperity to fishing communities all over the world. In recent years, we have focused on transforming fisheries management in the U.S., China, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Belize, Cuba and Europe, working in partnership with diverse stakeholders and coastal communities. Scientific priorities include developing new approaches to understand and address the effects of climate change on marine social-ecological systems, and advancing science-based fisheries management practices that protect ocean biodiversity and enhance ecosystem resilience.

The future of seabird populations is inextricably linked to marine fisheries. For decades, commercial fishing activity has had a negative impact on global seabird numbers via bycatch in fishing gear and competition for shared resources. Against this backdrop, climate change is now driving shifts in the productivity and geographic distribution of fish stocks, with implications for changing interactions between fisheries and seabirds. To address these challenges and ensure the long-term health of global seabird populations, we need updated information on the intersecting threats facing seabirds, and we must explore new solutions to incentivize a more harmonious future for fisheries and seabirds under climate change.

Overall Function

EDF's Ocean Science Team is hiring a postdoctoral Fellow to lead a project assessing current and emerging threats posed by U.S.-managed fisheries to seabird populations. The Fellow will work with EDF scientists and partners at American Bird Conservancy, Audubon, Birdlife International, and NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service to model hotspots of overlap between fishery footprints and seabird distributions under current and future climate scenarios. A key outcome of this work will be the prioritization of conservation actions and policy solutions to enhance seabird-safe fishing practices now and in a climate-changed future, to ensure that fisheries are managed sustainably for people and nature.

Key Responsibilities

Tasks will include but are not limited to:

Synthesising available information on seabird interactions with US-managed fisheries

Building climate-informed models of spatial interactions between fish, fisheries and seabirds in collaboration with internal and external partners

Producing recommendations for how conservation and management measures can be implemented most effectively to mitigate climate and fisheries stressors on vulnerable seabird populations

Writing papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals, and reports/fact sheets/blog posts for general audiences to promote the research;

Maintaining and building ties to academic/research communities and other stakeholders, through outreach, presentations at workshops and conferences, informal contacts, etc.

Pursuing projects and collaborations in the Fellow's own areas of interest

Participating in EDF's professional development program for post-doctoral fellows

Participating in advancing EDF DEI goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values


A recent Ph.D. in oceanography, marine biology, or fisheries science with interest in working at the interface of science, conservation and management

Strong spatial analytical, statistical and synthetic skills

Proficiency in a statistical programming language suitable for performing complex analytical tasks with large datasets (e.g. R, Python, Julia etc)

Expertise in marine climate change ecology

Experience building predictive models of animal and/or fishery at-sea distributions using dynamic ocean climate variables (preferred)

Knowledge of seabird foraging ecology (preferred)

Knowledge of bycatch issues and relevant legislation and management measures in US fisheries (preferred)

A track record of peer-reviewed publications, leadership of a research project, and presentations at scientific conferences.

Superior oral and written communication and networking skills

Interest in and demonstrated capacity for translating scientific theory into real-world applications and practice

Ability to work and communicate effectively with researchers and non-scientists

Ability to work as a member of a highly collaborative team in a fast-paced environment

Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds


The Fellow will preferably be based in the in Seattle, San Francisco, or Boston, but other U.S. locations and remote postings are possible.


This is a two-year, full time postdoctoral fellowship.

Application Materials

Please apply to this position using a RESUME, a letter of interest, and any publications relevant to the above project.

EEO Information:

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.
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