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Opportunity at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Ocean Acidification Effects on Alaska Groundfishes


National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Fisheries Science Center

RO# Location
26.03.66.C0552 Newport, OR 97365


name email phone
Thomas Paul Hurst 541-867-0222


Ocean acidification is occurring throughout the world’s oceans due to the release of terrestrially sequestered CO2 into the atmosphere and the subsequent diffusion of that anthropogenically released CO2 into the ocean. There is a significant concern that ocean acidification could disrupt the productivity of fishery species. This pattern of ocean acidification (OA) is co-occurring with long-term increases in the temperatures of the world's oceans that have already been shown to impact distribution and abundance of marine organisms. High latitude seas are predicted to be most affected by the combination of rising temperatures and OA. Previous work on OA interactions with other environmental factors in Alaska groundfish has focused on the potential for OA-induced changes to prey production to exacerbate the direct physiological effects of OA on early life stages. There has yet been little research examining the interaction between OA and elevated temperatures on fish productivity. To address this understanding gap, we will examine the interactive effects of OA and elevated temperatures on three fish species that are critical to Alaska and Arctic fisheries and foodwebs: Pacific cod which supports a major regional fishery and has previously been shown to be sensitive to OA; yellowfin sole which supports the world’s largest flatfish fishery; and Arctic cod which is a keystone species throughout Arctic ecosystems. 

The incumbent will work as part of a research team examining the interactive effects of temperature and CO2 on the early life stages of Alaska fishery species and will be responsible for conducting laboratory experiments, biological measurements, statistical analyses, and production of peer-reviewed manuscripts. Experiments will examine the growth and survival responses, with the incumbent expanding the scope of research with additional response metrics and experimentation based on individual interest, experience, and expertise. Candidates with experience in the experimental culture of marine organisms will be strongly encouraged to apply.  Antipated start date ~ December 2021.

Recent related publications:

Hurst, T.P., L.A. Copeman, S.D. Meredith, S.A. Haines, K. Daniels, K.M. Hubbard. 2019. Elevated CO2 alters behavior, growth, and lipid composition of Pacific cod larvae. Marine Environmental Research 145:52-65. 10.1016/j.marenvres.2019.02.004

Andrade, J., T.P. Hurst, J.A. Miller. 2018. Behavioral responses of speckled sanddab to potential predation cues and the effect of elevated CO2 levels. Journal of Sea Research 140:11-21. doi: 10.1016/j.seares.2018.06.013

Hurst, T.P., B.J. Laurel, J.T. Mathis, and L.R. Tobosa. 2016. Influence of elevated CO2 levels on eggs and larvae of a North Pacific flatfish 73:981-990.  ICES Journal of Marine Science 73:981-990. doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsv050

Research setting: The Alaska Fisheries Science Center's Fisheries Behavioral Ecology Program (FBEP) is located  at Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, OR, USA. FBEP conducts research aimed at understanding how environmental variables (physical and biological) influence distribution, survival, and recruitment of living marine resources in Alaska, primarily focused on groundfishes. Experimental research is conducted with all life history stages from eggs to adults, with existing brood stock populations of multiple Alaska fishery species. Cultures of live prey are maintained to support the culture of larval and juvenile fishes and crabs. The FBEP maintains an excellent suite of experimental laboratories, including > 10,000 s.f. of seawater laboratories and associated analytical labs. A centralized filtration and chilling system provides continuous supply of temperature-controlled seawater. Specialized facilities include low temperature rearing (to -1°C), networked cameras and infra-red lighting systems for observation of fish behavior, and automated CO2 control culture systems. 

acidification; temperature; climate; marine fish larvae; physiology; growth rate


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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