Position open for a postdoctoral researcher

The Pinsky Lab at Rutgers University is hiring a postdoc on a four-year, National Science Foundation-funded project that examines the coupled responses of marine species and human communities to climate change using long-term ecological, social, and environmental datasets. This project’s goal is to understand how climate and fishing interact to affect the long-term distribution and sustainability of marine communities and the ecosystem services they support. The research has a focus on, but is not limited to, the continental shelves of the northeast U.S.

This postdoc will lead the analysis of ecological responses to the cumulative impacts of fishing and climate change, while also contributing to or leading interdisciplinary projects that integrate ecological, economic, and social understandings of climate adaptation. Co-PIs on the project include Simon Levin (Princeton), Bonnie McCay (Rutgers), Eli Fenichel (Yale), Kevin St. Martin (Rutgers), Mike Fogarty (NOAA), and Julie Olson (NOAA). The postdoc position will include extensive opportunities for collaboration with these and other partners.

The patterns, geographic ranges, and capacities of fish species and fishing communities are changing in response to climate change at speeds that often surpass those of terrestrial systems. The project uses the tightly coupled social-ecological system of marine fisheries to explore the dynamics of rapid change, feedback, and adaptation within the system and in response to changing climate. The project aims to assess the dynamic distribution of fish species and fishing community territories across North American continental shelves, determine the impacts of climate change and fishing activities on these patterns, and understand how these changes interact with the choices and practices of fishing communities. To address such issues requires a committed interdisciplinary approach, and investigators include an ecologist, economist, anthropologist, geographer, theoretician, and
fisheries scientist. The research also integrates multiple research methodologies, including ecological and economic modeling and data analysis, qualitative GIS, and community-based interviews.

The ideal candidate will have a Ph.D. in ecology or related field, a strong background in statistics, excellent written and oral communication abilities, a promising record of publication, and evidence of creativity and enthusiasm. Experience with Bayesian analysis is a strength. Experience with marine ecosystems is not required.

**Application process**
The position is open until filled. Interested candidates should send an email describing their research interests and qualifications along with a CV, two representative publications, and three references to Malin Pinsky (malin.pinsky@rutgers.edu). The position is open until filled.


Malin Pinsky
Assistant Professor
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources
Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ 08901



Lab fishing trip!

Our plans to head out fishing for fluke (inspired by our fluke genetics project) were dead in the water when the party boat stayed in port for repairs. Instead, we went out fishing for bluefish. A good 4-6′ swell, but a great time on the water. Jennifer caught the first two, and Ryan caught the most (3). Turns out that the adrenaline of reeling one in is a good cure for seasickness. And they were delicious grilled that evening…DSC_1007DSC_1084 More photos here.

ESA is coming up next week!

ESA_logo_Final-hi_rezMalin is off to the Ecological Society of America meeting in Sacramento, CA next week, in part to run a special symposium on Thursday afternoon, “Climate and Beyond: Cumulative Impacts and Species Range Shifts” with Adam Wolf and Morgan Tingley. They have a great line-up of speakers, so come check it out! Malin will be presenting some of the lab’s new work on the interaction between climate velocity, fishing, and marine protected areas.

Afi and Mario join the lab

Afi and Mario are now hard at work in the lab, and both have been chomping at the bit to get going! It’s just Michelle and Malin that have been slow to set things up for them to work (fieldwork, travel, blah blah blah). In the short term, Afi is learning how to run electrophoresis gels and checking the quality of the hundreds of DNA extractions that we’re doing these days (clownfish!). Mario is analyzing the photo quadrat data that we collected in the Philippines and rapidly becoming an expert on identifying coral genera. We’re excited to have both of them join us!

News from Leyte, Philippines

After a long day of diving in Tinag-an
After a long day of diving in Tinag-an

Pinsky Lab Phillipines is closing down after a great summer season! We (Michelle and field assistant Gerry Sucano) collected 540 clownfish samples and performed fish and coral transects on 600 m of reef off the western coast of Leyte.  While damage from Typhoon Yolanda (known as Typhoon Hayan in the U.S.) is still evident both on land and on the reef, there are still breathtaking stretches of coral habitat that are home to a diverse array of fish and invertebrates. We’ll be coming back here often over the coming years to observe the coral reef recovery, and in particular to understand how the dispersal of baby clownfish contributes to the recovery of their populations.

Sampling clownfish has its humorous moments, and it was especially fun to watch clownfish hide from our field assistant and clownfish wrangler extraordinaire, Gerry.  They would hide behind rocks and peek out at him from around corners. They would zip off to a neighboring anemone, and three or four would get together and watch him, swimming to face each other and then him in what seemed to be an animated conversation about the giant “fish” with bubbles coming out of its mouth.

Michelle at work watching clownfish.
Michelle at work watching clownfish.

The area of the Philippines where we work is a fascinating amalgamation of “primitive” with modern technology.  People live in thatch roofed huts and yet watch episodes of Game of Thrones on tablets. They use modern industrial materials to manufacture “off the grid” solutions, and the natural world is never far away. Even in our air conditioned hotel rooms, part of the wall was made of screen to allow air to move in and out (irony, anyone?). Being in a completely closed space started to feel odd, though the New Jersey winter will surely dispel that notion in due time. Meanwhile, it has been wonderful to enjoy living in this tiny piece of paradise.

Patrick is here!

Flanagan_cohoOur first Ph.D. student, Patrick Flanagan, is now on campus and on the steep learning curve for R. Welcome, Patrick! We’ll be growing quickly over the next few months, with Jennifer Hoey (Ph.D. student) and Ryan Batt (postdoc) both arriving in August. Keep your eyes out for two new postdoc ads as well if you’re interested in that sort of thing…