Post-Doctoral Associate - The Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado-Boulder

Opportunity Type: Job

Organization: The Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado-Boulder

Position: Post-Doctoral Associate

Type: One-year, Full-Time; possibility for extension depending on progress and availability of funds

Location: Boulder, CO

Salary: ~$55,000.00 annually

Deadline: Rolling

Start Date: Preferred start date July 1, 2022

Description: The Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) at the University of Colorado-Boulder is seeking a highly qualified postdoctoral fellow to assess climate change impacts on the bioenergetics and vulnerability of fish species in Alaskan and Yukon rivers. The candidate will join a large, multidisciplinary team, guided by an Indigenous Advisory Council, that aims to co-produce knowledge of the impacts of climate change on rivers, fish, and communities.

The successful candidate will join the Arctic Rivers Project, funded by the National Science Foundation’s Navigating the New Arctic program. The post-doctoral fellow will work collaboratively with multidisciplinary investigators from the USGS, CU Boulder, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council, the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, and Canadian universities. The post-doc will conduct research into how changes in streamflow and river temperature determine fish physiology and behavior. While the exact research questions can be aligned with the interests of the successful candidate, the general project goal is to assess the metabolic response of fish to projected changes in climate, e.g., using the Fish Bioenergetics 4.0 (FB4) model. Fish species of interest will be co-identified by Indigenous community members and project investigators. Bioenergetics modeling will be used to simulate historical conditions and future changes in fish growth under different climate scenarios as represented by a chain of climate and hydrologic models. The unique model chain resolves climate and land surface variables, streamflow, and river temperature at high resolution over Alaska and the Yukon.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.


The person in this position will conduct research on the topic of climate change impacts on fish species that spend part of their life cycle in the Alaskan and Yukon rivers. The post-doc will work with a broad and interdisciplinary research team of physical and social scientists at CU Boulder, the US Geological Survey (USGS), and NCAR. The position is located within the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) on CU Boulder’s East Campus in Boulder, CO, USA.

In collaboration with the research team, the post-doctoral fellow will define the specific research tasks to be conducted as part of the project. They will: solve problems that may arise while completing the research plan; work independently to solve these problems; establish schedules to meet deadlines as needed by project supervisors; and obtain guidance when they cannot make a decision or solve a problem independently. Primary responsibilities will include:

  • Use existing guidance and observations from Indigenous knowledge holders to form research questions.
  • For fish species identified by Indigenous partners – and for those fish species without direct measures of growth, metabolism, or waste – estimate bioenergetic parameters using values in the literature.
  • Use a bioenergetics model to simulate historical conditions and future changes in fish growth under different climate scenarios.


  • A Ph.D. degree in ecology, biology, the natural sciences, or related fields.
  • Expertise in fish ecology, food web dynamics, and/or climate change impacts on fish.
  • Experience communicating research results through public or partner engagement, publication in peer-reviewed journals, and presentations at scientific meetings.
  • Experience with or willingness to learn data analysis software such as R, MATLAB, or Python.

Contact: Boulder Campus Human Resources,