Postdoctoral Investigator

Job ID
Location : Location
US-MA-Woods Hole

Job Summary

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is currently searching for a Postdoctoral Investigator to join the Biology Department and Woods Hole Sea Grant (WHSG) program. This is a temporary, full-time, exempt position, and is eligible for benefits. The appointment will be for eighteen months.  


This project will provide funding for an 18-month Postdoctoral Investigator position in the Biology Department at WHOI, to be co-mentored by WHOI scientific staff and Woods Hole Sea Grant (WHSG) Extension agents. The postdoc will be tasked with investigating cultured shellfish disease with the overarching goal of gaining a better understanding of the pathogen, the disease it causes and how it impacts, or can be managed by, shellfish growers and/or resource managers. The postdoc will be expected to conduct fieldwork, to present research results at stakeholder meetings and scientific conferences, and to publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals. In addition to a competitive salary and benefits, travel and research funds will be made available to the postdoc.


Candidates for this position must have completed the requirements of their PhD before starting the position and be available to start no later than April 1, 2023.


Because there are multiple diseases that affect different shellfish species, there are several tractable research projects that could be undertaken with available resources and within the funding period. Potential projects are as follows: 


  1. What molecular and environmental cues are associated with disseminated or hemocytic neoplasia in hard clams (Mercenaria mercenaria)? Are there genetic markers for resistance to transformation/infection? 
  2. What is the life cycle of a shellfish disease like Dermo or MSX? What drives disease transmissibility for more complicated diseases like MSX that may not be directly infectious between animals?  
  3. Identifying genetic markers for resistance to diseases that can help guide local hatcheries in broodstock selection.
  4. How does the growing environment determine the prevalence of shellfish pathogens and/or the disease they can cause? 
  5. Are there differences in shellfish pathogen virulence or transmission capability by environment?

Online application forms should be submitted with a cover letter, a complete curriculum vitae, and the names/contact information of three potential recommendation letter writers uploaded as a separate document.


In their cover letter, applicants should explain how a project(s) direction fits their expertise, interests, and career goals. The letter should also describe their proposed outreach activities, and describe how their efforts will contribute to enhancing diversity and inclusion in the marine sciences. The cover letter is limited to, single spaced with minimum 11 point font.


The deadline to apply is September 30, 2022. Incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline may not be considered. Inquiries should be addressed to Rebecca Gast ( or Matt Charette (


The institution has a top-rated postdoctoral program ( that supports a dynamic postdoctoral community with formal mentoring and career guidance programs. While the primary focus of the work will be in research, the Postdoctoral Investigator will have the opportunity to participate in educational and outreach activities associated with the project.


Based at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Woods Hole Sea Grant program encourages environmental stewardship, long-term economic development, and responsible use of the nation's coastal and ocean resources.  The program supports research and education, and an extension program in collaboration with the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension.  It is part of the  NOAA-funded National Sea Grant College Program, a network of 34 individual programs located in each of the coastal and Great Lakes states.


WHOI and WHSG are committed to building inclusive research, extension, communication, and education programs that serve people with unique backgrounds, circumstances, needs, perspectives, and ways of thinking.  As such we strongly encourage applicants of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, gender identities, sexual orientations, disabilities, cultures, religions, citizenship types, marital statuses, education levels, job classificiations, veteran status types and socioeconomic status types to apply.



Essential Functions

. The postdoc will be expected to conduct fieldwork, to present research results at stakeholder meetings and scientific conferences, and to publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals.  


Education & Experience

  • Ph.D. in related field
  • Must have previous experience with shellfish, parasites and diseases of shellfish and or bioinformatic skills.
  • No prior postdoctoral experience is necessary, however, those with more than 3 years of combined postdoctoral level experience are not eligible to apply.



Special Requirements

WHOI has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy in effect, where you must register your full vaccination status [vaccination plus booster] in order to begin your employment. The registration process is confidential and entails submitting your official vaccination records, or requesting to engage in the interactive exemption process for either a medical or religious reason 

Physical Requirements

Occupational Requisites: depth perception, far vision, near vision, peripheral vision and ability to distinguish color.  Ability to hear, talk, travel, work with and around others as well as alone.  

Sea Duty



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