Kelp Conservation Postdoctoral Fellowship

Applications are invited for a 2-year Kelp Conservation Postdoctoral Fellowship to conduct research on the status and drivers of kelp forest ecosystems and their potential to support wild salmon recovery in the Broughton Archipelago.

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Project Context and Goals:

Kelp forests support biodiversity and provide critical habitat for salmon, herring, abalone and other culturally and commercially important species. Community knowledge holders of the Mamalilikulla, ‘Na̱mg̱is, and Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nations of the Broughton area in coastal B.C. have observed declines in kelp forest communities over the past several decades, concurrent to large declines of many local salmon populations. In 2019, these First Nations came together to restore wild salmon populations in their territories by forming the Broughton Aquaculture Transition Initiative (BATI), which features a community-based Ecosystem Monitoring Team. This Indigenous-led program has a long-term outlook for research and restoration in their traditional territories, including the restoration of important nearshore habitat such as kelp forests. To support this work, these First Nations have enlisted partners (Kelp Rescue Initiative, Salmon Coast Field Station, UVic SPECTRAL Remote Sensing Laboratory, and others) to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the status and drivers of kelp forest ecosystems and their potential to support wild salmon recovery in the Broughton Archipelago, in collaboration with the BATI Ecosystem Monitoring Team when possible.

Postdoctoral Position:

The Kelp Conservation Postdoctoral Fellow will coordinate with collaborators to seamlessly integrate knowledge between related project components in the Broughton area. The post-doc will be responsible for three (3) components of a larger DFO-funded project and other on going research initiatives in the area: i) Lead a manuscript to assess changes and key drivers of kelp forest cover and shoreline occupancy over time, ii) contribute to a manuscript on use of kelp forests by salmon and other culturally, commercially, and ecologically important fish species, and iii) produce a public report to provide science advice to First Nations, provincial, and federal managers regarding kelp forest protection and restoration in the Broughton Archipelago. The post-doc will contribute to field data collection efforts, analyze data from a variety of sources, and write up high-quality reports and manuscripts for peer-reviewed publications. The position will be supported by staff at the Salmon Coast Field station, who will support data collection and environmental monitoring efforts, sometimes in coordination with the BATI Ecosystem Monitoring Team and the UVic SPECTRAL and remote Sensing Laboratory. The post-doc will also have opportunity to be involved in related collaborative research efforts.

Postdoctoral Qualifications

Essential Qualifications

  • A PhD in Ecology, Environmental Biology, or related discipline
  • Established publication record
  • Record of successful project management and collaboration
  • Demonstrated expertise in advanced statistical modelling, including spatiotemporal modelling. Spatial data analysis and remote sensing skills would be an asset.
  • Interpersonal and communication skills, the ability to work both independently and collaboratively

Desired Qualifications

  • History of collaboration with Indigenous groups and complementing Western science with Indigenous knowledge systems

Research Environment and Benefits: The postdoc will be co-supervised by Dr. Chris Neufeld (Lead Scientist, Kelp Rescue Initiative), Dr. Maycira Costa (Director of the SPECTRAL Remote Sensing Laboratory at the University of Victoria), and Dr. Sean Godwin (Salmon Coast Field Station), with support from other project partners. The candidate can choose to be based at the University of Victoria or Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, with periods of fieldwork in the Broughton area based out of the Salmon Coast Field Station. (Other remote-work locations will not be considered).

  • Opportunity to collaborate with a team of leading researchers and non-profit partners on an Indigenous-led research project with real-world applications to marine conservation.
  • The successful applicant will work as part of a highly motivated and international community of marine scientists, with frequent opportunities to interact with a wide network of First Nations, NGOs and other partners.
  • Competitive salary ($60K CAD/year + benefits). This position is for two years.
  • Opportunities to present at national to international conferences.

To Apply: Candidates should submit the following materials via email to in a single PDF document, with their last name in the file name:

  • cover letter explaining your motivation for applying for this position; how your prior research experience qualifies you for the position; your career goals; and evidence of your commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI);
  • CV (including publication list and clear specification of relevant quantitative skills);
  • names and contact details for three references;
  • two representative publications.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: We value equity and diversity, and strongly encourage applicants from underrepresented groups to apply.

Review of applications will begin on August 24, 2022, and will continue until the position is filled. The desired start date of the position is Fall, 2022.