[MARMAM] Post-doctoral position available - Incorporating risk into the cumulative assessment of large marine development projects on marine mammals in Canada

Lawson, Jack Jack.Lawson at dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Mon Jun 24 07:41:33 PDT 2013

I wish to post the following message to interested candidates:

Incorporating risk into the cumulative assessment of large marine development projects on marine mammals in Canada

A post-doctoral candidate is sought to undertake a project to develop a national quantitative and standardized risk-based framework for assessing cumulative impacts of marine development projects (MDPs), including shipping and oil and gas exploration, on marine mammals. 

Context: The number of large MDPs has increased dramatically in number and scope in Canada, and this trend is expected to continue or be exacerbated in the near future with numerous natural resource exploitation projects and associated shipping and port development planned, especially in the Arctic. While MDP have the potential to affect marine features, regulatory assessments of their impacts are currently made on a case-by-case basis, without a context of effective thresholds relating the activities to species or ecosystem productivity, and without consideration of cumulative impacts. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has a need to develop a national framework and minimum standards for assessing impacts of MDP, particularly for marine mammals. This framework will include effective thresholds for assessing impacts against population productivity in the context of population sustainability. The successful candidate would expand upon this initial framework to include uncertainty in input parameters, and to facilitate assessment of cumulative impacts from multiple projects and for multiple components of the affected ecosystem. As a regulatory agency, DFO also requires clear guidance as to the information required from proponents to assess impacts adequately, the criteria to determine probability and magnitude of impacts, and ways to cumulate impacts at the population and regional levels. The successful candidate will also be responsible for developing a quantitative electronic assessment tool for managers, the Industry and scientists. Additional duties may include occasional contributions to marine mammal field research programmes, and attending workshops or conferences as relevant.

The candidate: A suitable candidate should possess (or should soon possess) an internationally-recognised doctoral degree from an accredited institution. The candidate should be self-motivated, and able to work within a team framework. He/she should have ecological training and a proven ability in statistical and/or mathematical analysis, including modelling, as well as some background in acoustics. Abilities in ecosystem modelling approaches and programming in R, Matlab, C++ languages or other common interpreted or compiled programming languages is also desirable.

Time frame: We seek a candidate to begin work in November 2013 (or earlier) and to continue until 31 March 2015. Salary will be on the order of $47,000 CAD/year. All or a portion (up to a cap) of moving expenses will be covered. This is a Visiting Fellowship in Canadian Government Laboratory, which is managed via the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). http://www.nserc.gc.ca/sf_e.asp?nav=sfnav&lbi=3a. 

The position will be based at the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. However, the project will involve significant collaboration with colleagues in multiple regions, and under co-supervision of Dr. Lesage at the Institut Maurice-Lamontagne, Mont-Joli, Québec. An ability to write and communicate efficiently in English is essential for the position. For further information about this significant project, please contact Drs. Jack Lawson, (jack.lawson at dfo-mpo.gc.ca) or Veronique Lesage (veronique.lesage at dfo-mpo.gc.ca).

Dr. Jack Lawson
Research Scientist / Chercheur scientifique
Marine Mammals Section / Section de mammiféres marins
Fisheries and Oceans Canada / Pêches et Océans Canada
NAFC, 80 East White Hills Rd.
St. John's, NL / Terre-Neuve et Labrador
Canada   A1C 5X1
(709) 772-2285     (709) 772-4105 (FAX)
jack.lawson at dfo-mpo.gc.ca
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