[MARMAM] Postdoctoral position: Pelagic food-web interactions and modelling

Mónica Silva monica.silva.imar at gmail.com
Fri Mar 13 04:27:21 PDT 2020

Dear Colleagues,


The Institute of Marine Research (IMAR), in the Azores, is opening a call for a post-doctoral position in food-web interactions and modelling, with a special focus on mesopelagic organisms and their megafauna predators. The position is for 2 years but can be extended up to 3 years, and is expected to start in May 2020. The successful candidate will be based at the Azores Whale Lab, led by Dra. Mónica A. Silva, and will develop her/his research activities within two research projects: H2020 - SUMMER - Sustainable management of mesopelagic resources (GA 817806), and MISTIC SEAS III - Developing a coordinated approach for assessing Descriptor 4 via its linkages with D1 and other relevant descriptors in the Macaronesian sub-region (GA 110661/2018/794676/SUB/ENV.C2). The successful candidate will join an international, multidisciplinary research environment both within the research team at IMAR and across the projects’ consortia.



1-Position description: The successful candidate will work on the assessment of food-web interactions and on the development and application of an ecosystem model for the pelagic ecosystem of the Azores using the Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) model. 


2- Scientific area. Marine Biology, Marine ecology or related field


3-  Admission requirements: Candidates must meet the following requirements to apply for the position: 

1-     Hold a PhD in Marine Biology, Marine Ecology, or related field, obtained in the three years prior to the date of the submission of the application;  

2 - Document experience in trophic ecology research, through a publication record in international peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations; 

3       - Good communication skills in English (written and spoken); 

4       - Ability to travel internationally for project meetings and workshops.

In addition, the following skills and qualities will be highly valued:

5       - Strong skills in numerical ecology and modelling, preferably in ecosystem modelling using the EwE modelling system;

6 - Participation in scientific cruises, experience with field-based sampling and laboratory work;

7 - Ability to work independently, in international and multidisciplinary teams and to meet deadlines.


4- Work plan: The successful candidate will have the following specific tasks:

*        Participate in scientific cruises to collect data and samples for the projects;

*        Prepare samples for DNA, stable isotope, fatty acid and gut content analyses;

·        Estimate diet and trophic levels of mesopelagic organisms and their megafauna predators (eg, cetaceans, seabirds, sharks, tuna) and quantify trophic links in the mesopelagic ecosystem, based on results from DNA, stable isotopes, fatty acids and gut contents;

·        Collate and organize data relevant for EwE models;

·        Develop, modify and parameterize an existing EwE model for the pelagic ecosystem of the Azores, including megafauna predators; 

*        Write and contribute to peer-reviewed publications;

*        Support students and research assistants in data analysis and fieldwork; 

*        Participate in project meetings, workshops and events;

*        Assist in producing reports, project deliverables and background documents for meetings, throughout the duration of projects in a timely manner.



5- Applicable legislation:  Law Decrete nº 40/2004 of August 18, that established the Statute of the Scientific Research Fellow , with all the changes introduced: (Law Decrete nº 202/2012  of August, 27, Law Decrete nº 89/2013 of 9 July, Law Decrete nº 233/2012 of  29 october , Law nº 12/2013 of 29 January, Law Decrete nº 123/2019 of August 28) Research Fellowship Regulations of the Foundation for Science and Technology I.P. in force; https://www.fct.pt/apoios/bolsas/regulamento.phtml.pt

6- Workplace: The work will be developed at IMAR – Institute of Marine Research, hosted by the Department of Fisheries and Oceanography of the University of the Azores (DOP-UAc) in Horta (Faial Island), under the coordination of Dra. Mónica Almeida e Silva, Dr. Pedro Afonso and Dr. Telmo Morato.

7- Duration of the scholarship: The fellowship will have the maximum duration of 24 months, renewable up to 36 months, starting on May 2020, or as soon as the selection process is completed.

8- Compensation: The research fellow will receive a monthly allowance of 1,600.00 €, in accordance to the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) official table of fellowships (http://www.fct.pt/apoios/bolsas/valores). The fellow will be covered by a personal insurance and voluntarily contribution to the national social security system.

9-Selection criteria: The selection of candidates will be based on curriculum evaluation, taking into account the academic record and the demonstration of the skills listed in the admission requirements. Candidates who do not meet admission requirements in points 1 to 4. Admitted candidates will be excluded. Interviews may be conducted to better assess the capability of the candidadtes. 

10- Application submission: The call will be open from 09 to 27 March (15 working days).Applications must be submitted by email with the subject “Call IMAR/Postdoc – Food-web interactions and modeling”) to Doutora Mónica Almeida e Silva (monica.silva.imar at gmail.com,) CC: Dra Sandra Silva (sandra.eg.silva at uac.pt) with the following documents: letter of motivation with justification of skills for the position, detailed Curriculum Vitae, and copy of university degrees and other certificates. Failure to submit the requested documents will result in the exclusion of the applicant.

11- Evaluation committee: Dra. Mónica Almeida e Silva (President of the jury), Dr Pedro Afonso (vogal), Dr. Telmo Morato (vogal). The composition of the evaluation committee may be changed in case of eventual conflict of interests with competing candidates.

12- Notification of results: The final results will be presented in a list ranked by the candidates’ final scores, to be sent by e-mail to all applicants. The successful candidate will be notified via email. If the decision is unfavourable, the candidates have 10 working days to appeal. The jury reserves the right not to award the scholarship based on the adequateness of the applications.



Mónica Almeida e Silva

(Marine Biologist, PhD)


MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre

IMAR - Institute of Marine Research

Rua Frederico Machado, 4

9901-862 Horta Portugal

Phone: (+351) 292200400

Email:  <mailto:masilva at mare-centre.pt> masilva at mare-centre.pt;  <mailto:monica.silva.imar at gmail.com> monica.silva.imar at gmail.com

 <http://whales.scienceontheweb.net> http://whales.scienceontheweb.net


Guest Investigator 

WHOI – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA


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