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Postdoctoral Scientist in Larval Black Box and ‘Maine-eDNA’

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
East Boothbay, Maine
Starting at $53,500
Closing date
Oct 15, 2021

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Biogeosciences, Ocean Science
Career Level
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type
Non-Government Organization/Non-Profit
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Position Overview

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is seeking a Postdoctoral Scientist to study larval supply-side ecology of commercially important species along the coast of Maine. The work will develop novel environmental DNA (eDNA) and eRNA techniques to differentiate between life stages, blended with geospatial data on adult abundance and fecundity, larval settlement, and water quality, to reveal the role of environmental and biological factors in the distribution and abundance of larvae. Research questions will address the spatiotemporal variability in larval abundance in the water column and optimize several possible eDNA & eRNA approaches. Broader goals include utilizing these new tools to investigate population dynamics for wild-capture and aquaculture fisheries management applications. This position will provide opportunities for the postdoctoral researcher to collaborate with a diverse array of Maine-eDNA colleagues on the analysis of ‘big data’ via bioinformatics, machine learning and ecosystem modeling. It is expected that the postdoctoral researcher will facilitate linkages among several other eDNA-based research projects at Bigelow Laboratory by serving as a source of knowledge and expertise on eDNA-related topics. The successful candidate will contribute to outreach and training efforts for stakeholder groups and citizen scientists on the topics of eDNA and fisheries management.

The postdoctoral scientist will conduct all aspects of research in support of the Maine-eDNA Larval Black Box project in coordination with the primary postdoctoral supervisor. Ability to follow project protocols as well as develop innovative solutions for the analysis of eDNA and eRNA is required. It is expected that there will be numerous opportunities for the postdoctoral scientist to develop, lead and co-author manuscripts for publication in the primary research literature. The successful candidate will play a key role in communicating the science of Maine-eDNA at regional and national meetings.

The postdoctoral scientist may share supervisory responsibilities with Maine-eDNA project leaders for volunteers, interns, undergraduate researchers over the course of the appointment. Close collaboration with Maine-eDNA graduate students will be encouraged.

This position requires the successful candidate to work periodically from small boats on Maine’s coastal waters and lakes. Such work may include lifting and moving heavy field gear and samples. Fieldwork and related activities may require occasional work past normal business hours.

Maine-eDNA is a multi-institutional project that aims to advance both ecological understanding of coastal macrosystems and the inference capacities of environmental DNA (eDNA) science needed to translate knowledge into action. Please see for more information.



  • PhD in Biological Oceanography, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Genetics, Phycology, or a related field
  • Advanced knowledge and understanding of quantitative PCR (qPCR), DNA metabarcoding, RNA sequencing, and related bioinformatics or transcriptomics analysis
  • Experience with DNA and/or RNA extraction techniques as well as designing and testing oligonucleotide primers and fluorescent tags for use in qPCR/ddPCR; interest in applying RNA approaches for assessing novel aspects of eukaryote biology/ecology from the environment
  • Specialized computational skills including knowledge of R and/or Python will be considered
  • Familiarity with larval hatchery techniques would be a plus



Please submit a cover letter, CV, and three professional references using our online application portal. Screening of candidates will begin after October 15, 2021 with the expectation that the successful candidate will be available in December of 2021. The search will continue until the position is filled.

Individuals seeking more information about this position or needing to request an accommodation, please contact or (207) 315-2567, ext. 107.


About Midcoast Maine

Bigelow Laboratory’s state-of-the-art oceanfront campus in East Boothbay is located in scenic Midcoast Maine, perfectly situated to provide access to the very best Maine has to offer. Within a reasonable commuting distance of most major Maine cities, this mid-coast peninsula offers the perfect balance between small town coastal charm and urban accessibility. Our peninsula is home to fishermen and sea captains, marine biologists, nature lovers, botanists and gardeners, artists, merchants, and entrepreneurs. Many non-profit organizations call this region home and work hard to further their missions in support of the arts, seamanship and marine education, conservation, historic preservation, and more.


Working at Bigelow Laboratory

Bigelow Laboratory is an inclusive community of scientists from around the world that welcomes and supports diverse opinions and cultures. Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences strives to maintain an environment that allows our employees to flourish through respectful, inclusive, and equitable treatment of others. We believe there is power in embracing the full diversity of humanity to advance science and are committed to supporting each other as individuals worthy of respect.

The postdoctoral scientists at Bigelow Laboratory have access to professional training programs and opportunities for undergraduate student mentoring and teaching. A competitive compensation package is offered with a salary range starting at $53,500 as well as employee, family, and domestic partner health insurance; a 403(b) retirement contribution; paid time off including parental leave; as well as a working environment that supports continuous professional development and engagement. Bigelow Laboratory is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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