Research Biologist/Invertebrate Ecology

This position is assigned to the Smithsonian Marine Station in Fort Pierce, Florida. The Research Biologist is responsible for planning and conducting research focused on benthic ecology and marine invertebrates in an environmental assessment and monitoring program in the Indian River Lagoon and nearshore oceanic waters. The purpose of the research is to monitor diversity, reproduction and recruitment in intertidal and subtidal communities of the Indian River Lagoon and nearshore waters to determine biological response to naturally and anthropogenically-induced environmental conditions at the individual, population, community and ecosystem levels. The employee independently performs all research activities, including problem definition, planning, execution, analysis and interpretation of findings.

Opportunities exist for the successful candidate to contribute to the new Tennenbaum Marine Observatories (TMO), an initiative which was recently launched by the Smithsonian Institution. The TMO is envisioned as a long-term, global-scale network of ecological observatories that will be dedicated to understanding changes in the structure and function of marine ecosystems. Initial sites for the TMO will be in Florida, Maryland, Panama and Belize. This network is committed to innovative measurements and experiments that will span traditional disciplinary boundaries and be executed in a standardized fashion over exceptional spatial and temporal scales.

Applicants should have a doctoral degree in biological sciences, preferably with an emphasis on marine benthic ecology, invertebrate ecology, molecular ecology and/or larval ecology, or equivalent specialized experience. Postdoctoral research experience is desirable. The desirable applicant will have strong organization, management and collaborative skills and the ability to integrate ideas and concepts across traditional disciplinary boundaries. This is a fixed term, renewable position open to all applicants. Salary range $63,148- $75,689 annually depending on experience. Applications must contain a letter of interest providing a summary of qualifications for the position, curriculum vitae, and names and addresses for three references. Please submit these electronically by January 25, 2013 to Valerie J. Paul, Head Scientist, Smithsonian Marine Station,


Designs and develops scientific research projects involving experimental and observational research in a long-term monitoring program of selected biota from stations along the north-south axis of the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), located near and between inlets. Such research will answer questions regarding the relation of recruitment to hydrodynamics of IRL as well as the climatic and biotal transitions along its axis. Sampling stations will be developed in phases, the first phase and major focus of the program will be located in and around the Fort Pierce Inlet. Such research involves evaluating complex interactions of physical and biological factors. The employee independently performs all phases of the research process, including problem definition, planning, execution, analysis and interpretation of findings.

Prepares scholarly publications of a descriptive, experimental and theoretical nature, which will answer important questions in the scientific field, and represent an important contribution to scientific theory or methodology in the topic area. Seeks external funding in support of research.

Collaborates with scientific researchers regionally, from other Smithsonian units, and from around the world to encourage and promote studies of interest to the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce (SMSFP), particularly in the fields of benthic ecology, larval ecology, and ecosystem assessment.

Participates in scientific meetings and symposia, develops scientific papers for presentation. Coordinates with Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) in ecosystem assessment and monitoring programs and consults with FWRI on methodologies of data collection and analysis.

Provides ecological, distributional, and systematic data for incorporation into the Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory and the Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit, both of which are maintained and managed by SMSFP.

Contact Information:

Valerie J. Paul, Head Scientist



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