In a new paper just out in Nature Ecology & Evolution, we argue that conservation for corals (and likely many other species) needs to explicitly plan for evolution to survive the effects of climate change:
We’re hiring a researcher (part-time)!
The Global Change Biology research group (https://pinsky.marine.rutgers.edu/) in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources is searching for an organized, enthusiastic, and skilled population genomics researcher. This position is half-time (19.5 hours per week). We use population genomics and data science to study global change biology, particularly in coastal marine environments. Collaborative projects address bats, bees, and wildlife biology research on land and in the ocean.
The researcher will coordinate the population genomics lab, manage research projects locally and nationally, maintain and promote open science practices, and assist with building a collaborative and supportive research environment for all members. Specific duties may include genomic sampling above and below water; building DNA and RNA libraries; developing and applying bioinformatic pipelines; performing population genomic and related analyses; performing other data science and statistical analyses; documenting work performed; maintaining databases; developing information and editorial input for research papers; and resolving a diverse range of problems with creativity. The successful candidate will manage operations of the lab and the procurement, operation, and maintenance of specialized equipment. The researcher will also teach, train, and supervise students on laboratory processes and equipment so that molecular ecology tools are available to researchers across the Department and the graduate program. The researcher will coordinate research; plan, establish, and refine protocols; prepare reports; manage grant funds; and act as a point of contact for both internal and external constituents. The researcher will complete work independently, with broadly defined work objectives and will be a key partner in maintaining a world-class research group.
We offer a collaborative, supportive, and interdisciplinary work environment, opportunities to be involved in a wide range of research projects, extensive opportunities for learning and professional development, and the expectation of co-authorship on scientific manuscripts. We value a healthy work-life balance and anti-racist practices.
Work environment will primarily be a molecular ecology lab and an office. Fieldwork will be infrequent but may be diverse, remote, physically challenging, or involve international travel. Sample collection could involve SCUBA diving or hiking. Work may require lifting 30 pounds.
We acknowledge that the land on which we stand is the ancestral territory of the Lenape People. We pay respect to Indigenous people throughout the Lenape diaspora—past, present, and future—and honor those that have been historically and systemically disenfranchised. We also acknowledge that Rutgers University, like New Jersey and the United States as a nation, was founded upon the exclusions and erasures of Indigenous peoples.
This is a one-year, half-time position. Pay will be $25-$30 per hour (depending on experience) for 19.5 hours per week. Start date is flexible, but close to September 1, 2022 is preferred.
Knowledge and Experience
- A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a related scientific specialty or discipline, or an equivalent combination of education and/or experience that demonstrates comprehensive knowledge and understanding of research principles and practices.
- Experience building population genomic libraries, developing bioinformatic pipelines, and conducting population genomics analyses is preferred but not required.
- Computer literacy in R and a commitment to open science practices.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Exceptional organizational skills and strong ability to accomplish tasks independently
- Scientific diving experience is preferred but not required.
To apply, please please send a cover letter that describes your interest in and qualifications for the position, a curriculum vitae, and the contact information for three references to Malin Pinsky (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please combine all components of the application into a single file, and include “Molecular Ecology Researcher” in the subject line. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled.
Please contact Malin Pinsky (email@example.com) with questions.
PBS NewHour special
A new PBS NewsHour special on the ocean, climate change, and fisheries aired last night, with commentary from Malin along with colleagues Daniel Pauly, Kathy Mills, Andrew Pershing, Curtis Deutsch, Paul Greenberg, and others.
Part-Time Lecturer position open for Molecular Ecology and Population Genomics, Spring 2022
We are currently looking for someone interested in teaching Molecular Ecology & Population Genetics in spring 2022 (11:216:454 and 16:215:554). This is the course Malin has taught the last few years, and we have funds to pay a Part-Time Lecturer for 3 credits (about $5800). This is a wonderful change to gain teaching experience in a small class setting (capped at 25 students). The course is set up as a flipped classroom, so the lectures are already recorded and the in-class exercises are already developed. The course can be taught in person, online, or in hybrid formats.
Knowledge of population genetic theory, hands-on population genomic analyses through the command line, and basic bioinformatics would be needed to teach this effectively.
Please contact Malin (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
New NSF project to develop climate impact projections for the northeast US continental shelf!
With $750,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation, we’re excited to be starting a new partnership with The Nature Conservancy, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts, the Responsible Offshore Science Alliance (ROSA), University of Wisconsin, Rutgers Equal Opportunity Fund, the Pacific Northwest College of Art and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration! The focus is on climate impacts ot fisheries, wind energy development, and conservation. More details here https://sebsnjaesnews.rutgers.edu/2021/09/national-science-foundation-awards-rutgers-a-750000-convergence-accelerator-grant/
Postdoc available in population genomics and global change
A three-year postdoctoral position is available in the Global Change Ecology & Evolution Lab at Rutgers University. The postdoc will join a NSF PIRE-funded project to study micro-evolutionary responses to a century of habitat degradation and intensive exploitation in Southeast Asia. The project is using DNA sequencing from a unique historical collection of coastal marine fishes in the Philippines from the R/V Albatross expedition (1907-1909), complemented with modern re-collections of the same species and locations. The postdoc will join a team of researchers that includes Kent Carpenter and Dan Barshis (Old Dominion University), Chris Bird (Texas A&M), Beth Polidoro (Arizona State), Robin Waples (NOAA), Jeff Williams (Smithsonian), Angel Alcala (Silliman U.), and others.
The postdoc will lead analyses of multiple population genomic datasets through time, including changes in diversity and signatures of selection, compare impacts and changes across species, and conduct trait-based analyses to understand characteristics of populations more or less prone to genetic bottlenecks. The postdoc will also contribute to summer population genomic workshops in the Philippines. Extensive opportunities for collaboration across the multi-institutional team, across Rutgers, and in the region are available, including within the Rutgers Genome Cooperative, the Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, and the Genetics Department. The postdoc will have the opportunity to mentor undergraduate and graduate students.
The position is ideally suited to quantitative researchers with a strong background in population genomics, bioinformatics, data science, and global change. No experience in marine biology required, though experience with population genomic modeling, Approximate Bayesian Computation, database management, and/or hierarchical modeling is a plus. Applicants with evidence of creativity, productivity, strong oral and written communication abilities, and enthusiasm are especially encouraged to apply, particularly those that bring a new perspective, new ideas, or a new skillset to the team. A promising record of publication is valued. The successful applicant will be an independent, motivated problem solver who communicates well and enjoys working in a collaborative setting.
The postdoc start dates are flexible, with preferred dates between May and October 2020. Salary starts at $50,000 per year and includes health insurance, retirement, tax savings plans, and other benefits. Funding for conferences and a computer are available. This is a one-year appointment with the expectation that it will be renewed twice (three years total), contingent upon satisfactory performance. Applicants must have a PhD at the time of employment.
Review of applications will begin on December 16, 2019 and will continue on a rolling basis. Interested candidates should email to email@example.com: 1) a onepage cover letter that describes their interest in the position and their relevant background, 2) a CV, and 3) the names and contact information for three scientists familiar with their work.
**Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey**
Rutgers is situated in New Jersey at a crossroads of American innovation, commerce, and culture and with a history entwined with that of the nation. Chartered in 1766, the university is the only one in the United States that is, at once, a colonial college, a land-grant institution, and a state university. Located within an easy drive of New York City, there are nonetheless an exceptionally wide array of marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems nearby, from the continental shelf and estuaries to barrier islands, coastal plains, the piedmont, Precambrian highlands, and ridge and valley geological provinces. Ecology & evolution at Rutgers consists of approximately 60 faculty and 50 graduate students pursuing research and training in conservation biology, ecosystem ecology, evolutionary biology, marine biology, microbial ecology, population and community ecology, population genetics, and restoration ecology.
Global Change Ecology & Evolution Lab
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources
Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Alternative stable states in conservation behavior in PNAS
Ed Tekwa (postdoc in the lab) led a study just out in PNAS, “Path-dependent institutions drive alternative stable states in conservation.”
We hear almost every day in the news about environmental disasters, but the world is also full of many environmental success stories. Why do we succeed at conservation some of the time, but fail other times? In our paper, we studied people’s decisions about whether to conserve or to over-harvest a renewable resource like fish or timber. Surprisingly, we found that people often get trapped by their past decisions. If they start out over-harvesting, they tend to continue over-harvesting. But the opposite is also true: once people start conserving, this behavior is also self-perpetuating. We built a mathematical model for this behavior, and showed that it explains global patterns in fisheries decisions better than any previous theory. Our results challenge the conventional expectation that collapse of fast-growing resources is unlikely, but also offer hope that conservation is much easier to continue once we start.
- Rutgers press release
- Princeton press release
Welcome to Jude Kong!
We’re excited to welcome Dr. Jude Kong to the lab! Jude brings a wealth of experience in mathematical modeling and applied math, including for diseases and aquatic ecosystems. He has his PhD from U. Alberta and will be working on process-based models for shifting species distributions. Welcome, Jude!
Reuters in-depth reporting highlights our work
Reuters released the results of a more than year-long investigation into climate change, fish, and fisheries called Ocean Shock that we supported throughout. The data in their visualizations are from OceanAdapt and their summer flounder story builds from our NSF-funded Coastal SEES research with Kevin St. Martin, Bonnie McCay, Eli Fenichel, and Simon Levin. We’re all excited to see Mo Tamman and the rest of the team’s wonderful storytelling and science communication skills brought to bear on this important issue!
Communities respond within a year to temperature variation
Patrick’s paper from his MS is now online early at Ecography! He studied temporal change in community composition across the Northeast US continental shelf and found that changes through time could be explained by species associations with bottom temperature. Measured as the Community Temperature Index (CTI), composition changed by about one third of a degree (°C) for every 1 °C increase in bottom temperature on average. Species have non-linear responses to changes in temperature, however, and these nonlinearities scaled up to a nonlinear relationship between composition and temperature.