Fisheries Research Technician at East Carolina University

*Fisheries Research Technician Position in the Department of Biology at

East Carolina University *



_Position Description_: The Asch Fisheries Oceanography Lab

( at East Carolina

University (ECU) is seeking to hire a research technician for a

full-time, temporary position. The technician will be involved in two

research projects. Approximately, 75% of the technicianâÂEURÂ(tm)s time will be

spent on a project funded by the North Carolina Division of Marine

Fisheries focused on identifying the offshore migration corridor and

spawning grounds of southern flounder (/Paralichthys lethostigma/). A

team of researchers at ECU, along with collaborators at the University

of North Carolina-Wilmington and North Carolina State University, will

undertake a multi-pronged approach to answer this question. The

technician will play a lead role in aging larval southern flounder based

on daily otolith growth increments. The technician will work closely

with other Asch lab personnel to utilize data on larvae ages to run a

larval dispersal model to back calculate the potential spawning

locations from which these fishes originated. The technician will also

work with a team of ECU researchers from multiple labs to tag adult

southern flounder prior to the start of their offshore migration. The

technician will be involved in fieldwork deploying and maintaining

acoustic receivers to track tagged fishes and utilizing a wave glider

equipped with additional acoustic receivers to follow the location of

tagged fishes. If candidate spawning grounds are successful located, the

technician will assist this research team in conducting surveys to

confirm spawning activity. Using data from these surveys, the technician

will sort plankton samples and use DNA barcoding to confirm the

occurrence of southern flounder eggs and will use histology to assess

the reproductive state of fishes caught near the potential spawning


Approximately 25% of this technicianâÂEURÂ(tm)s time will be spent on a second

project where the Asch Lab is partnering with the Beaufort, North

Carolina branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

(NOAA) to expand the Beaufort Inlet Ichthyoplankton Sampling Program

(BIISP). BIISP has been collecting weekly ichthyoplankton samples at

Beaufort Inlet during fall through spring months since the year 1987,

making it the longest continuously operating ichthyoplankton time series

on the east coast of the U.S. This time series has the potential to

provide valuable information on how local fish communities are

responding to climate variability and climate change. We have expanded

the BIISP time series by lengthening the duration of the sampling season

so that it is year round, as well as by collecting weekly

mesozooplankton samples and conducting YSI profiles of temperature,

salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, and fluorescence. Together with other

members of the Asch lab and NOAA, the technician will be responsible for

traveling to Beaufort once a week, collecting the enhanced BIISP

samples, and recording and transcribing YSI water quality measurements.

Since larval fish are capable of avoiding capture by plankton nets

during the day, all sampling will be conducted at night and will be

timed to coincide with tidal fluctuations. During time periods when

fieldwork is not underway for the southern flounder project, this

technician will help process ichthyoplankton and zooplankton samples

collected by BIISP. Mesozooplankton samples will be analyzed using a

ZooScan system ( and Ecotaxa

software, which is used to image a subsample of zooplankton and then

apply a machine learning algorithm to semi-automatically identify taxa.

The technician may also help sort and identify species from BIISP

samples of larval and juvenile fishes collected during summer months.

Lastly, it is expected that this technician will take on some duties

associated with lab management including training students in lab

protocols, helping to order lab supplies, assuring compliance with lab

safety regulations, and maintaining the lab in clean and functioning

order. The successful candidate for this position will also be

encouraged to take on additional roles associated with statistical

analysis of data, preparation of manuscripts for publication, and the

presentation of results at scientific conferences.

This will initially be a one-year position, with the potential for

renewal contingent upon available funding and satisfactory performance.

We aim to have the selected candidate start work in early June. However,

given the COVID-19 pandemic, the starting date for this position is

flexible and may depend on university priorities for critical and

non-critical research during the pandemic.

Located in Greenville, North Carolina, ECU seeks to create an

environment that fosters the recruitment and retention of a diverse

student body, faculty, staff and administration and works to increase

diversity and access to higher education for groups underrepresented in

the sciences by building an environment that welcomes, celebrates, and

promotes respect for diversity. East Carolina University is an equal

opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants

will receive consideration for employment without regard to their

race/ethnicity, color, genetic information, national origin, religion,

sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, political

affiliation, or veteran status.

_Minimum Education/Experience_*:*

Ò·B.S. degree in marine science, biology, ecology, oceanography, natural

resource management, or similar fields. Must have taken at least some

coursework in marine ecology.

Ò·Ability to drive state owned vehicles, conduct ecological fieldwork in

wet and occasionally uncomfortable conditions at night-time, and carry

field equipment weighing up to ~30 lbs.

Ò·Independent self-starter who is excited to learn new skills and has the

ability to problem shoot technical challenges.

_Preferred Experience, Skills, Training/Education:_

Ò·Masters of science degree in marine science, biology, ecology,

oceanography, natural resource management, or similar fields.

Ò·1-2 years of experience at the post-baccalaureate level working in a

lab focused on conducting marine ecological or fisheries research.

Ò·Previous experience examining fish otoliths, tagging fishes, collecting

and processing ichthyoplankton and zooplankton samples in marine and

estuarine environments, operating a ZooScan, and/or modeling larval


Ò·Experience operating small boats.

Ò·Experience analyzing data with MATLAB or R.

Ò·Has written and published scientific manuscripts and has presented

scientific results at conferences.

_Salary_: While this is an hourly position, we anticipate that the

salary for this hire will be approximately $31,200 per year. The exact

annual salary will vary depending on the level of experience and hours




_Application Instructions_: The full job announcement and instructions

for applying to this position are available: Please submit a CV, cover

letter, and list of references to Ms. Jennifer B. Jacobs at . This position will be

open for applications through April 30, 2020. Please contact Dr. Rebecca

Asch ( regarding any questions

that you may have about this posting.