Ocean Career: Marine eDNA Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Southern Mississippi

A postdoctoral position is available in marine environmental DNA (eDNA) research in the School of Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences at the University of Southern Mississippi.

The candidate will design novel species-specific eDNA assays for marine fishes of interest and conduct eDNA fieldwork and lab analysis. The candidate will compare resultant data with those acquired via other approaches to assess the efficacy of eDNA methodologies to assess the presence and relative abundances of marine target species. The successful candidate will be highly motivated and have the ability to work independently. Funding is available for two years; continuation in the second year is contingent upon satisfactory performance and progress during the first year.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Work closely with PI and the multi-institutional research team to plan, design, and execute field and lab research activities.
  • Lead eDNA fieldwork, which will include water sampling and filtration in coastal and offshore marine waters. Fieldwork will require travel.
  • Design species-specific multiplex Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR) assays. Lab analysis of eDNA samples, including DNA extractions, ddPCRs. Maintain a detailed laboratory notebooks and data records. Prepare reports and peer-reviewed publications.
  • Data analyses, which may include: limits of quantification, detection probabilities, relative abundance estimates, and/or eDNA particle tracking models.
  • Train and mentor graduate and undergraduate students in the lab.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Ph.D. degree in Biological Sciences (Ecology, Genetics, Marine Science, or a related field).
  • Demonstrable record of publishing scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Knowledge of marine fish biology, ecology.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

Ability and willingness to conduct marine fieldwork in hot, cold, or rainy condition and lift 40 lbs repeatedly during fieldwork activities. Meticulous attention to detail; ability to follow rigorous methodological protocols, work independently and multi-task. Excellent teamwork and communication skills in a diverse lab group.

Preferred Qualifications

Demonstrable experience conducting marine eDNA research, developing novel multiplex and/or species-specific PCR assays, and competency with R and/or python. Strong background in molecular ecology or population genetics in terms of theory and lab techniques. Proficiency with primer/probe design, qPCR, and/or ddPCR.

Salary: $50,000 – $54,000
Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Instructions to Applicants

Review of applicants will begin August 10 and the position will remain open until filled. Applicants must submit:

  1. a cover letter detailing qualifications and relevant experience,
  2. CV,
  3. a statement of research interests (not to exceed 2 pages), and
  4. names and contact information for three references.


About The University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is a comprehensive public research institution delivering transformative programs on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, at teaching and research sites across the Mississippi Gulf Coast, as well as online. Founded in 1910, USM is one of only 131 universities in the nation to earn the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education's "R1: Doctoral Universities - Very high research activity" designation, and its robust research enterprise includes experts in ocean science and engineering, polymer science and engineering, and large event venue safety and security, among others. USM is also one of only 37 institutions in the nation accredited in theatre, art and design, dance and music. As an economic driver, USM generates an annual economic impact of more than $600 million across the state. USM welcomes a diverse student body of more than 14,000, representing 71 countries, all 50 states, and every county in Mississippi. USM students have collected four Truman Scholarships and 37 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, while also leading Mississippi with 27 Goldwater Scholarships, an honor that recognizes the next generation of great research scientists. Home to the Golden Eagles, USM competes in 17 Division I sports sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). For more information, click here.

As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer/Americans with Disabilities Act institution, The University of Southern Mississippi encourages minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities to apply.

Our Partners

Frontiers in Marine Science

ECO Magazine is a marine science publication committed to bringing scientists and professionals the latest ground-breaking research, industry news, and job opportunities from around the world.


8502 SW Kansas Ave
Stuart, FL 34997


Newsletter Signup

The ECO Newsletter is a weekly email featuring the Top 10 stories of the past seven days, providing readers with a convenient way to stay abreast on the latest ocean science and industry news.