Postdoctoral Research Associate
Portland, Maine, ME Research
Job Type


JOB TITLE: Postdoctoral Research Associate

SUPERVISOR: Dr. Kathy Mills 

Pay Grade:   7 Pay Grade Range: $60,100 to $96,200


The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) develops and delivers collaborative solutions to global ocean challenges. We are dedicated to the resilience of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and the communities that depend on it. To learn more, visit 

GMRI is seeking applicants for a full-time postdoctoral research associate to work under the supervision of Dr. Kathy Mills at GMRI in Portland, ME. The successful candidate will also collaborate with others, including Dr. Scott Large, at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) in Woods Hole, MA. The postdoctoral associate will conduct statistical analyses and modeling of bottom trawl survey data to determine how functional traits of the fish community on the Northeast U.S. Shelf have changed in the past 50 years, evaluate drivers of these changes, and assess relationships between trait-based responses and environmental conditions. The postdoctoral associate will also contribute information from this research to the State of the Ecosystem reports produced for the mid-Atlantic and New England regions by the NEFSC. 

This project is funded for 12 months (starting July 1, 2023), with the possibility of extension. Extension possibilities may include further research on this topic or may arise from projects focused on species distribution modeling and population dynamics modeling.


  • Understand the survey design, dataset structure, and data caveats associated with the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s bottom trawl survey
  • Use available databases (e.g., Pangea, SeaLifeBase) to derive life history and ecological trait data for species observed in the bottom trawl survey
  • Evaluate relationships between fluctuations in functional group biomass relative to individual species
  • Analyze changes in fish/invertebrate functional trait composition and distribution on the Northeast U.S. Shelf over the past 50 years
  • Evaluate key drivers—including ocean temperature and fishing pressure—of functional trait composition and distribution
  • Assess whether trait responses to ocean warming conform with ecological expectations and whether certain traits consistently demonstrate different rates of response to environmental changes
  • Participate in State of the Ecosystem reporting led by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center
  • Lead and contribute to project reports and peer-reviewed manuscripts
  • Communicate progress and results to a variety of audiences, including scientists, fishery managers, fishing industry stakeholders, and interested public audiences

Other General Responsibilities:

  • Participate as a member of Mills’ Integrated Systems Ecology Lab and GMRI’s research team, including joining lab meetings, research staff meetings, GMRI staff meetings, and other activities
  • Collaborate with Northeast Fisheries Science Center and work with partners there to incorporate research results into regional State of the Ecosystem reports.
  • Contribute to team-wide data and workflow management efforts
  • Collaborate with mentors to develop and track individual professional development progress
  • Co-mentor undergraduate interns or participate in other education programming as interests and opportunities align


Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in a relevant discipline, such as fisheries science, marine ecology, oceanography, statistics or related fields
  • Strong mathematical, statistical, modeling, and computational skills
  • Previous experience managing and analyzing ecological survey data using time series, spatial, multivariate, and/or ordination methods
  • Familiarity with functional traits and trait-based approaches in ecology
  • Demonstrated experience and fluency in relevant programming languages, particularly R
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, as evidenced through publications in the peer-reviewed scientific literature and presentation of results to a variety of audiences
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a collaborative team
  • Fluent in English
  • Eligible to work in the United States

Other Preferred Qualifications:

  • Familiarity and experience with the Google platform (Drive, Docs, Sheets, Forms, etc.), Box, GitHub
  • Experience with ecosystem tipping points, species distribution modeling, spatial data analysis, and population dynamics modeling may increase the potential for extending the timeline of this position beyond the initial year of funding. Please discuss additional training and experience relevant to these topics in your cover letter.

Diversity and Inclusion:

Gulf of Maine Research Institute has a long-standing policy and commitment to providing equal access and equal employment opportunities in all terms, conditions, processes, and benefits of employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status. GMRI's employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status.

Applicants and employees are encouraged to voluntarily self-identify their race/ethnicity, gender, disability status and veteran status to assist GMRI in fulfilling various data reporting requirements of the federal government. This self-identification is completely voluntary, will be kept confidential and separate from your application data, and used only to meet federal reporting requirements. Providing or declining to provide this information will not result in adverse action of any kind.

Salary and Benefits:

Gulf of Maine Research Institute offers a competitive salary and benefits package.

Salary: $62,000 to $65,000

Application Instructions:

All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter, CV or résumé, and list of three references and their contact information. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the successful candidate has been selected.

Per GMRI’s Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, all GMRI personnel are required to maintain full vaccination status against COVID-19, as defined by CDC, unless a reasonable accommodation is approved.