Postdoc Position Available in International Fisheries Science and Management

Drs. Austin Humphries and Elin Torell at the University of Rhode Island seek a postdoctoral associate to contribute to studies of the social-ecological drivers and impacts of distant water fleets on national fisheries and fisherfolk.

Background: Industrial distant water fleets (DWFs) have typically been identified in U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs as one of many threats to fisheries sustainability that can be mitigated through broader efforts to improve scientific, governance, and enforcement capacities and informed, organized constituencies. More recently, however, some USAID Missions have started to identify illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing by DWFs as a more direct and significant impediment to improving the management of national fisheries and are beginning to consider targeted interventions to counter the many impacts of DWFs on national fishery resources. DWFs sometimes engage in harvesting practices that are legal but unsustainable; the licenses that allow unsustainable activity may be the result of weak data and technical analyses and/or of corrupting influence on issuing officials.DWFs can also degrade fisheries if they extract resources illegally, resulting in habitat destruction or overharvesting. Often enforcement of illegal fishing by DWFs is challenging in developing contexts, either because enforcement institutions are under-equipped or because political influence disrupts the hand of justice. Additionally, there can be conflicts between DWFs and national fishers, which can include physical collisions, perceptions of unfair resource allocations, or extractions that erode domestic support for compliance with management rules.

Position Details: The position entails working with collaborators at the University of British Columbia and others with a focus on characterizing the ecological and socio-economic impacts of DWFs in select geographies. The research will cover a number of geographies missions listed in Annex A of the DWF Research Agenda. The final countries covered will be determined in collaboration with USAID but will include some of the following: a) target countries in U.S. Government’s Global Food Security Strategy: Ghana, Kenya, and Senegal; b) Feed the Future aligned countries Mozambique and Tanzania; c) biodiversity priority countries: Indonesia, Madagascar, the Pacific Islands, and Philippines. The postdoctoral associate will produce/update a set of country level briefs for USAID Missions that includes analysis of the ecological and socio-economic impacts of DWFs. Other products from this research include peer-reviewed manuscripts, white papers, and policy briefs. The postdoctoral research associate will be based at the Coastal Resources Center, Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island and be supervised by Drs. Austin Humphries and Elin Torell. We all have a role to play in cultivating inclusion. Our culture is the result of our behaviors, our personal commitment, our curiosity, how we collaborate, and the ways that we share our perspectives and encourage others to do the same. In turn, this inspires us to try new things, speak openly, and be bold. It brings us together as a research community and empowers all of us to connect, belong, and grow. We are especially interested in candidates that share this vision.

Qualifications: At the time of appointment, the candidate will hold a PhD in fisheries science, marine affairs,or a related field. Candidates should have strong writing and communication skills as well as a track record of delivering research products on time and in a professional manner. A proven capacity to publish in peer-reviewed journals is desired. Also desired is a demonstrated expertise in quantitative data analysis related to fish stock assessment and/or socio-economic impact assessment. Ideal candidates will have experience working with diverse collaborators and across disciplines/geographies.

To Apply: Please follow instructions at questions, email Drs. Austin Humphries humphries@uri.eduand Elin Torell The position is open until filled with first consideration of applicants beginning on October 31, 2021.

Start date is negotiable but is anticipated around January or February 2022. Initial appointment will be for one year,with anticipated funding for two years, conditional upon performance. The University of Rhode Island offers competitive salary ($53,760 to $61,308 for this position) and benefits to its postdoctoral researchers and scholars.

For more information on the benefits available, visit