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Opportunity at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Amelioration of Environmental Effects of Fish Net-pens by Sea Cucumber Polyculture as Estimated by Meiofauna Metabarcoding


National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center

RO# Location
26.03.39.C0176 Seattle, WA 98115


Name E-mail Phone
Goetz, Frederick W 360.871.8322


The development of environmentally responsible marine aquaculture requires accurate, reliable and cost-effective methods to ascertain environmental impact as well as technologies that can help to reduce such impacts. Sea cucumbers may be ideal candidates to ameliorate such environmental effects by feeding on detritus and fouling organisms, while providing additional economic benefits given high prices in Asian markets. In addition, DNA metabarcoding allows reliable and cost-effective estimation of the species diversity of different taxonomic groups and the effects of aquaculture operation on such diversity.

This project is a collaboration between the University of Washington (UW, Lorenz Hauser,, NOAA Manchester (Rick Goetz, and the Pacific Shellfish Institute (Andy Suhrbier,  It takes advantage of a unique opportunity offered by two ongoing projects at the NOAA Manchester lab (Port Orchard, WA) involving a pilot-scale experiment to test the commercial viability of sablefish net pen aquaculture, and a hatchery breeding experiment that has produced several thousand sea cucumbers. The aim of the project is to use DNA metabarcoding to quantify the environmental effects of these sablefish net pens, the potential amelioration of such effects by integrated multitrophic aquaculture, and finally the potential for economic sea cucumber production.

A postdoctoral position within this project is being offered through NOAA Montlake (Seattle, WA).  Applications for the position will be carried out through the National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine Fellowship Program.  Successful candidates will have a PhD in Biology or Marine Sciences (or equivalent experience), and experience with molecular genetic lab work, bioinformatics and data analysis. Experience with metazoan metabarcoding is desirable. We would like to fill this position as soon as possible, but the search will remain open until it is filled. The appointment is funded for one year with probable extension for a second year. For additional information, please contact Rick Goetz (, and include a resume, and statement of research interests and background if interested in applying.

Meiofauna; Sea cucumbers; Sablefish; Net-pens; Polyculture; Metabarcoding; Sediments


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
$58,000.00 $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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