Squid Aging Research Specialist; Saltwater Inc.

Job Title: 
Squid Aging Research Specialist
Job Location: 
Woods Hole, Massachusetts
Full-Time - 1 year

Saltwater Inc. is seeking a Squid Aging Research Specialist to work with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC). The selected candidate will conduct statolith-based age determinations on ommastrephid squid samples and trace element analyses on statoliths using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry based on the methods of Jones et al. (2018). The candidate will also be responsible for the statistical analysis of these datasets. The selected candidate will work directly with the NEFSC squid stock assessment scientist from the NEFSC Population Dynamics Branch (PDB) and fishing industry and scientific participants in stock assessment Working Group. The selected candidate will provide specialized research services which are critical to the success of the stock assessment of a valuable squid species, but these services are not available in the USA. The services are specialized because globally there are very few squid researchers with squid aging experience and even fewer that have experience with trace element analysis of squid statoliths.


The research products associated with this position are critical to the development of an analytical assessment model for the Illex illecebrosus stock assessment. The tasks include, but are not limited to, the following duties:

  • Collect biological data and remove statoliths from squid samples
  • Mount and process the statoliths and then age the samples
  • Conduct trace element analysis of the statoliths using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry based on the methods of Jones et al. (2018)
  • Conduct geometric morphometric analyses on the research species
  • Conduct statistical analyses of these datasets and provide the data and study results to the NEFSC squid stock assessment scientist for incorporation into the assessment
  • Attend Research Track Assessment Working Group meetings to explain the results of these analyses to members of the fishing industry and scientists that attend the meetings
  • Prepare one or more manuscripts in collaboration with the NEFSC squid stock assessment scientist

Position Details

The position is expected to be full-time for one year beginning Feb 1, 2021. However, a second year may be possible if additional funds can be obtained. The position will be located in Woods Hole, MA at the NEFSC but a period of remote work may be required initially to accommodate pandemic restrictions. The rate of pay will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.


Qualifications and Skills

The Squid Aging Research Specialist must possess:

  • Postdoctoral research experience involving designing and conducting statolith-based squid aging studies.
  • Experience with conducting trace element studies of squid statoliths using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.
  • Experience with using trace elemental signatures of statoliths to distinguish between intra-annual squid cohorts and for tracing their migration routes.
  • Experience eometric morphometric analysis of squid.
  • Experience with the R programming language and shape analysis software.
  • Experience with GIS and spatial statistical analyses.
  • The ability to handle multiple tasks and deadlines with flexibility between tasks.
  • Demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, including having at least one paper published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
  • Be capable of making presentations to various peer-review and management audiences.
  • Be capable of working as part of a team.
  • Be capable of working independently on analyses and providing regular summaries and recommended next steps to the NEFSC squid assessment scientist based on the results.

How to Apply:

Only qualified applicants that meet minimum experience or background requirements stated above need apply.

Please email your cover letter & resume – in a readable, high resolution PDF file – that includes:

  • Description of how you meet the required and preferred qualifications listed.
  • Work history for past 10 years or since last full-time education.
  • Education.
  • Previous experience or training with similar requirements.
  • Three professional references.
  • Your name in the document FILE NAME.
Please note that all jobs are automatically removed once the application deadline passes. Jobs without a deadline are automatically removed after 30 days.