Post-doctoral researcher on developing fish passage simulation models

Principal Investigator: Associate Professor Murdoch McAllister
Location: UBC Point Grey Campus, Vancouver, B.C.
Length of term: 1 year; extendable up to five years in total.
Position start date: December 15, 2019
Position start date: January 1, 2020
Salary: Up to $65,000 Canadian/year, depending on experience and expertise

Main task

Develop a computer simulation model that represents alternative hypotheses about how vital rates of spring run chinook salmon in the Middle Fork of the Willamette River (MFWR) could respond to the implementation of different downstream and upstream fish passage options. The simulation modeling approaches taken will be Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) and structured decision analysis.


  1. Coding and implementing the MSE modeling framework and evaluating candidate passage options that may include adaptive management options that are designed to respond to data obtained from deliberate experiments designed to test the effectiveness of different passage options and monitoring of wild spawning spring chinook abundance, and
  2. drafting a review of scientific technical reports, scientific journal articles and other peer-reviewed literature on salmon ecology, and testing of fish passage options relevant to Chinook salmon passage of dams and reservoirs on the MFWR.

Required Skills and Qualifications

The successful applicant must have:

  1. A PhD in Statistics, Quantitative Ecology, Fisheries or Resource Management.
  2. Expertise in coding in R statistical software, ADMB or TMB software, Microsoft Excel, and either JAGS, STAN or WINBUGS.
  3. Expertise in developing and fitting age-structured fish (preferably salmonid species) population dynamics models to age-structured data, abundance index and tagging data using a Bayesian statistical approach.
  4. Experience in quantitative decision analysis modeling applications in fish ecology and developing management strategy evaluation models.
  5. Excellent verbal communication skills especially in workshop settings that include quantitative scientists, ecologists, biologists, engineers, and stakeholder group representatives.
  6. Excellent scientific writing skills for drafting technical reports on modeling methods and results.

Application package

Applicants must provide the following in their application:

  1. A cover letter explaining why you’re interested in the position, your relevant skills, expertise, and experience.
  2. A detailed and up-to-date CV.
  3. References for two peer-reviewed journal articles or technical reports on fish population dynamics modeling analyses, or MSE or structured decision analysis applications to fisheries where you are the first author.
  4. The names, addresses, and e-mail addresses of three persons who could provide letters of reference for you

Please send your application to Dr. Murdoch McAllister, e-mail:

Deadline for applications: December 15, 2019

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications form members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the BC Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit or Indigenous person.

All qualified persons are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority. Please indicate your legal status to work in Canada.