Postdoctoral Fellowship in Harmful Algal Blooms Nutrient Ecology

Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research
School for Environment and Sustainability
University of Michigan
A postdoctoral fellowship is available for a highly qualified individual to join the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR, The successful candidate will work with a team at CIGLR and the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) to improve models of how nutrient availability and nutrient imbalance affect harmful algal blooms. Numerous studies have found direct or correlative evidence that available phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) concentrations, or alternatively the N:P ratio, drive bloom biomass, community composition, and toxin concentration. However, parsing the effect of each of these drivers from environmental sampling data is problematic because;

  1. Available N, P, and N:P (measure of imbalance) are covariate through time, particularly during bloom periods.
  2. These effects are strongly scale-dependent.
  3. The outcomes from such investigations are often counter-intuitive or do not match the causal mechanisms as understood from mechanistic laboratory experiments.

The candidate will apply complementary statistical methodologies to separate the effects of N and P concentrations, and imbalance in N:P, on bloom biomass, community composition, and toxin concentration using our long-term dataset from western Lake Erie and potentially other datasets.  In addition to statistical modeling, the candidate will assist with planning and overseeing laboratory chemostat experiments using Microcystis isolates from Lake Erie.

Required Qualifications
  • A Ph.D. in natural sciences with research experience in limnology, plankton or aquatic microbial ecology, or a similar field.
  • Research or graduate experience in contemporary statistical modeling techniques (e.g. Bayesian multilevel models, path analysis, causal analysis).
  • Familiarity with data analysis and visualization in a scripting environment using R, Python, or similar software.
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze data and lead the writing of manuscripts for refereed journal publication.

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience with harmful algal blooms and nutrients
  • Experience with confronting environmental data with predictions from laboratory experiments or physiological mechanisms
  • Experience working with chemostat cultures (not necessarily phytoplankton)
For more information and to apply:
The application deadline is 7/01/2023.
Margaret Throckmorton (she | hers)
Administrative Project Coordinator
University of Michigan
Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR)
@ NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL)
4840 South State Road | Ann Arbor, MI 48108
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