Harmful Algal Toxins in Food Webs Modeler; Saltwater Inc.

Job Title: 
Harmful Algal Toxins in Food Webs Modeler
Description: 

At Saltwater Inc., we believe that high quality data is vital to the health of our fisheries and oceans: our mission is to provide that data. Saltwater is a small, innovative company and we are currently recruiting a qualified Harmful Algal Toxins in Food Webs Modeler for the Environmental and Fisheries Science Division within the Northwest Fisheries Science Center for a federal contract we are bidding on. This is a full-time position based in Seattle, WA.

Research activities within the EFS division include monitoring the presence of environmental biotoxins in food webs and exposure risks to marine wildlife, ecosystems, and fisheries, enhancing seafood safety by developing improved detection methods for biotoxins and other environmental contaminants, and developing models for exposure risk and health impacts. These activities primarily support NOAA Fisheries objectives for Protected Resources, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, Fisheries Ecosystem-based Management, and for advancement of Science and Technology.

The individual will provide support within the Environmental and Fisheries Science Division (EFSD) by developing operational models, collecting biological and physical samples, recording and analyzing data, assisting in program reporting, and maintaining the laboratory.

Our ideal candidate would be someone with experience in the areas of quantitative science, biological and physical modeling, trophic transfer of toxins in food webs, oceanography, and ecosystems, and experience participating in research cruises. A working knowledge of NOAA Fisheries writing style or the ability to acquire that knowledge is a must.

Duties

  • 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 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 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

Qualifications

Required

  • 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 specific task order with emphasis in quantitative science, biological and physical modeling, trophic transfer of toxins in food webs, oceanography, and ecosystem function.
  •  Four (4) years of experience in a related field or a combination of such totaling eight (8) years combined education/experience. Master’s Degree in a related field or Ph.D. may be substituted for experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop quantitative biological models for 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 authorship of a peer-reviewed publication, report, and/or master’s or PhD 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.
  • Must be able to drive a government vehicle.

Preferred

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

Compensation/Benefits

Salary commensurate with experience. Medical insurance, Holiday, PTO, Sick pay, and 401K are also offered.

How to Apply

Only qualified applicants that meet the requisite experience need apply. If interested, applicants should submit a resume and cover letter that briefly describes how they meet the qualifications listed above and why they would be the best candidate for the job.

Please send your resume and cover letter to Abby Snedeker at abby.snedeker [at] saltwaterinc.com

Please note that all jobs are automatically removed once the application deadline passes. Jobs without a deadline are automatically removed after 30 days.