Research Associate on developing fish passage simulation models

Principal Investigator: Associate Professor Murdoch McAllister
Location: UBC Point Grey Campus, Vancouver, B.C. but based at home during COVID 19 restrictions
Length of term: 1 year; extendable up to four years in total.
Salary: Up to $70,000 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 and winter steelhead in sub-basins of the Willamette River (WR) 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 and winter steelhead passage of dams and reservoirs on the WR.

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 Process

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.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.
Please send your application to Dr. Murdoch McAllister, e-mail:

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 from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. 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.

Deadline for applications: October 30, 2020