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Quantitative Research Associate (Fisheries Science)

University of Massachusetts
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Job Type:
Full Time
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Job Description:

The Department of Fisheries Oceanography at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) is seeking applicants for a quantitative research associate in fisheries science to work under the supervision of Dr. Gavin Fay, Associate Professor of Fisheries Oceanography. The research associate will join a team of postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduate researchers applying quantitative tools for sustainable and adaptive fisheries and blue communities in the face of systemic change. The research associate will conduct statistical and ecosystem modeling research and develop decision support tools to support ecosystem-based fisheries management decision-making. They will provide project leadership for the Fisheries and Ecosystem Management (Fay Lab) research group, and develop a semi-independent research program. The successful candidate will be expected to engage and manage in all aspects of the research group including the preparation and submission of grant proposals, report writing, publishing research results, supervising students and research staff, and interacting with industry, funding agencies and collaborators. Research associates at UMass Dartmouth have PI status (can be the lead investigator on research grants), and are able to serve as the main thesis advisor for students with departmental approval.

The research associate will be expected to work across multiple grant-funded projects. Initial project tasks will include:

  • Lead synthesis of habitat vulnerability frameworks and species narratives for Northeast and Mid-Atlantic marine fish, and develop web-based tools for viewing and interacting with results
  • Contribute to simulation testing of length-based multispecies stock assessment models
  • Develop material for and present at workshops to regional decision-makers and stakeholders on applications of management strategy evaluation to New England groundfish under climate change
  • Co-facilitate stakeholder workshops to determine scenarios for a simulation experiment to evaluate adaptation of fishery independent bottom trawl surveys given spatial overlap with offshore wind areas

To learn more about working as part of the Fay Lab team, including our lab culture and philosohpy, please read our lab manual. You can find out more about our current research on our website.

  • Statistical and numerical modeling of fish population and fishery ecosystem dynamics, in single-, multi-species, and ecosystem context for stock assessment and management.
  • Use of simulation frameworks such as Management Strategy Evaluation to test the performance of options for Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management and scientific monitoring in the context of system change.
  • Develop and apply quantitative tools for evaluating tradeoffs among multiple ocean uses for ecological, economic, and societal objectives, to support Integrated Ecosystem Assessment approaches to Ecosystem Based Management.
  • Advanced statistical analysis of marine fisheries and ecosystem data
  • Plan, facilitate, and participate in stakeholder meetings, leveraging best practices from structured decision making to integrate stakeholder objectives and knowledge for tactical and strategic decision-making for fisheries and coastal communities.
  • Lead design of interactive decision support tools for management and stakeholder engagement processes
  • Use open data science tools to contribute to lab-wide data and management workflow efforts to promote sharing, use, and reproducibility of scientific products, including code repository documentation and management.
  • Synthesize and share results in scientific papers and to industry, management, and at scientific conferences
  • Write and submit proposals for external funding
  • Travel to regional stakeholder meetings, project team workshops, and industry and scientific conferences
  • Coordination of grant funded research projects including budgets, purchasing and reporting
  • Supervise graduate and undergraduate research assistants and technical associates
  • Training of technical staff and students in research computing and statistical methods
  • Interact with industry, federal and state scientific agencies, fishery management councils, and non-governmental organizations
  • Collaborate with mentor(s) to develop and track progress towards an individual professional development plan


  • Ph.D. in a relevant discipline, such as fisheries science, quantitative ecology, fisheries ecology, statistics, data science, or another field that demonstrates a strong quantitative background. A relevant MS degree plus appropriate work experience may potentially be substituted.
  • Experience analyzing and modeling marine ecosystems, fishery population dynamics, and/or fishery economics with statistical, economic, and/or simulation models
  • Demonstrated experience and fluency in relevant programming languages, particularly R
  • Strong written and communication skills and excellent organizational ability
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a collaborative team

(it is not expected that any particular candidate would have experience in all of these areas)

  • Stock assessment and Management Strategy Evaluation experience
  • Experience developing tools and interfaces for user access to, and interaction with, data and model outputs
  • Experience with structured decision making, tradeoff analysis, and decision support
  • Familiarity with relevant data sets, including climate model outputs, spatial ocean data, fish and marine ecosystem surveys, and fishery-dependent data
  • Experience working with spatial data and spatial model outputs
  • Experience in and understanding of marine fisheries and fishing communities
  • Engagement with fishery and fishing community stakeholders and decision-makers
  • Presentations and discussions with stakeholder audiences
  • Use of GitHub to collaborate on code and manage projects
  • Experience working in high performance cloud computing environments

This position could also be filled at the technical associate level with a reduced scope of duties. A MS is preferred, salary $45000-$50000. Please email application materials described below to Dr. Gavin Fay at

$55,000 – $65,000
How to Apply:

Interested applicants that meet the requirements should review the Fay lab’s Code of Conduct, as well as the SMAST Code of Conduct and Diversity Statement, then submit an application consisting of a cover letter, CV, writing sample (e.g. journal publication or technical report) and contact information for at least two professional references to Dr. Gavin Fay by email (

Applicants are also encouraged to reach out by email to Dr. Gavin Fay ( with questions about the position – there is flexibility in defining the role and scope for this position. Review of applications is ongoing.