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Opportunity at National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Systematics and Evolutionary Relationships of Marine Mammals


National Marine Fisheries Service, HQ-OST/National Systematics Laboratory

RO# Location
26.03.00.B7721 Washington, DC 20560


Name E-mail Phone
Vecchione, Michael 202.633.1751


NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has statutory obligations to protect marine mammals within its Extended Economic Zone and beyond. Such protection requires thorough understanding of the natural history of the various groups, such as cetaceans, pinnipeds, and sirenians, including all levels of evolutionary relationships. The marine-mammal collection of over 11,000 specimens at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) is a result of long-term collaboration between NMNH and NMFS and is one of the best in the world. The diversity of this collection allows broadly-based research on comparative morphology of systematic characters. The large number of specimens of many species permits analyses of variability among individuals, sexes, life-history stages. and geographic areas. Furthermore, the museum’s Laboratory for Analytical Biology, located at the Museum Support Center, provides the capability for state-of-the-art analyses for molecular systematics. We expect that the Associate will work with the National Collection at NMNH using combined morphological and molecular methods to investigate questions of importance to NMFS. Possible general directions for the research include (1) examination of taxonomic problems of complex groups of species and their populations, (2) phylogenetic and biogeographic investigations using molecular techniques in combination with morphological characters from specimens in museum collections, and (3) comparative studies examining evolution of life-history characteristics or biogeography.


Evolution; Biodiversity; Biogeography; Life history; Taxonomy; Classifications;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and non-U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$56,000.00 $3,000.00

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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