Algal Toxin Food Web Modeler; Lynker Technologies LLC and NOAA

Job Title: 
Algal Toxin Food Web Modeler
Job Location: 
Seattle, Washington

Lynker Technologies, LLC is seeking to hire an Algal Toxin Food Web Modeler to support an upcoming contract with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) in Seattle, WA.  The hiring of positions is contingent on receiving the award for the contract.

NWFSC’s Environmental and Fisheries Science (EFS) Division works to monitor the presence of environmental biotoxins in food webs and exposure risk to marine wildlife, ecosystems, and fisheries and apply monitoring data to enhance seafood safety, develop improved detection methods for biotoxins and other environmental contaminants, and develop models for exposure risk and health impacts. The objective of the work is to assist EFS by developing a model that includes environmental data (physical ocean conditions, algal cell densities and toxicity, toxin concentration in multiple layers of the food web) and behavioral and health data for marine mammals to enhance prediction of future animal mortality events. 

The Algal Toxin Food Web Modeler duties include:  

Develop coupled biological and physical models for trophic transfer of algal toxins in food webs

  • Use environmental data (physical ocean conditions, algal cell densities and toxicity, toxin concentrations in multiple layers of the food web (zooplankton, clams, worms, fish), and behavioral and health data for marine mammals collected over five years in the Arctic and subarctic regions to develop toxin-trophic transfer models for toxin accumulation, biotransformation, and adverse health impacts in specific food webs.
  • Work closely with collaborators from various institutions to develop an operational model that can be applied to multiple food web scenarios and predict future animal mortality events.
  • Use model outputs to provide reports and presentations for the scientific community on a regular basis.

Sample Collection and Analyses

  • Execute tissue and environmental sample collection, both in the lab and in the  field, including on multiple research cruises (up to 2 cruises per year).
  • Collaborate with project personnel on sample collection, login, and transfer from cruises.
  • Process, prepare and conduct analysis of samples and quantification of biotoxins after training on HPLC and ELISA methods for algal toxin quantification.
  • Record and maintain both metadata and individual sample data.

Record Data and Assay Results

  • Perform data entry into prescribed databases.
  • Conduct appropriate QA/QC.
  • Assist in the completion and maintenance of documentation regarding data storage, and accessibility of data and assay results to provide to the project lead.
  • Assist in the preparation of reports & manuscripts on a weekly basis.

Maintain and Organize Laboratory

  • Monitor laboratory supply levels.
  • Maintain lab equipment to working order.
  • Maintain safe chemical hygiene practices.
  • Adhere to laboratory safe practices.


Minimum required qualifications include:

  • Bachelor’s degree, or higher, from an accredited college or university with a major directly related in a field of study as related to the requirements of a specific task order with emphasis in quantitative science, biological and physical modeling, trophic transfer of toxins in food webs, oceanography, and ecosystem function.
  • Additional four (4) years of experience in a related field or a combination of such totaling eight (8) years combined education/experience. A Master’s Degree in a related field or Ph.D. may be substituted for experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop quantitative biological models for the movement of compounds through food webs (i.e. an understanding of; uptake and depuration of toxins in living organisms, ecosystem trophic levels, and function, and programming of mathematical formulas for model development). 
  • Demonstrated experience working with large long-term data sets including but not limited to biological data, oceanographic data, and climate and environmental conditions data.
  • Demonstrated ability to generate pictorial figures and GIS maps.
  • Demonstrated experience using existing models and software such as Ecopath with Ecosim and Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS).
  • At least 3 years of experience in model development with a documented product such as the authorship of a peer-reviewed publication, report, and/or masters or Ph.D. thesis.
  • Demonstrated ability to give oral presentations such as conference presentations (oral and/or poster) or other public presentations.
  • At least two (2) years of laboratory experience.
  • Must be able to participate in research cruises of multiple days at sea and be able to drive a government vehicle.

Additional preferred qualifications include:

  • At least one (1) year of experience working with High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) for toxin analyses.
  • At least one (1) year of experience running ELISAs for toxin detection.
  • At least one (1) year of experience generating standard curves and quantifying toxin levels via Prism Software.


About Lynker

Lynker Technologies, LLC is a growing, Hub-zone certified small business specializing in professional, scientific and technical services. Our continually expanding team combines scientific expertise with mature, results-driven processes and tools to achieve technically sound, cost effective solutions in hydrology/water sciences, geospatial analysis, information technology, resource management, conservation, and management and business process improvement.


We focus on putting the right people in the right place to be effective. And having the right people is critical for success. Our streamlined organization enables and empowers our talented professionals to tackle our customers’ scientific and technical priorities – creatively and effectively.



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