Position title: Assistant Researcher in Marine Mammal Behavior and Acoustics

Salary range: Commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Percent time: Part-time (16.67%)
Anticipated start: As soon as possible after initial review of the applications.
Position duration: Two years. Reappointment may be considered contingent upon the availability of work and appropriate funding.


Open date: November 3rd, 2021

Next review date: Friday, Dec 3, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Thursday, Jun 30, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


The Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) invites applications for the position, Assistant Researcher in Marine Mammal Behavior and Acoustics. Under the direction of IMS Director Daniel Costa, the assistant researcher is expected to carry out research specializing in behavioral ecology and acoustic communication among marine mammals. The successful candidate will build a long-term, externally funded research program that combines both field and laboratory studies to answer questions relating to the social behavior of marine mammals and the role of learning in vocal production. In order to increase public engagement in UCSC’s ongoing research, the assistant researcher will need to build a strong working relationship with educational entities including the Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Año Nuevo State Reserve, and other local institutions.To achieve these goals, the position requires successful mentorship of both undergraduate and graduate students; experienced community outreach and education, knowledge of in operant training protocols with captive marine mammals to accomplish research objectives, and demonstrated competency in standard field methods including identification and abundance estimation on land and at sea.

Additionally, applicants with any of the following areas of expertise are strongly encouraged to apply:

  • Advanced expertise in behavioral ecology, bioacoustics and field research with pinnipeds.
  • Experience leading field teams and organizing research in remote field sites (particularly pinniped rookeries in remote locations).
  • Experience in mark/re-sight techniques, in boat and shore-based VHF radio telemetry, and focal animal behavioral sequencing and observations.
  • Experience in bioacoustics field methods including passive acoustic recording, behavioral response studies, and playback experiments.
  • Record of scholarly publications exploring sound production, reception, and the impacts of anthropogenic noise on marine mammal behavior
  • Experience conducting research with marine mammals both within a laboratory and field setting.
  • Proficiency in passive acoustic analysis of marine mammal, natural abiotic, and anthropogenic sounds.

The hiring unit will not sponsor employment-eligible immigration statuses for this position.

Institute of Marine Scienceshttps://ims.ucsc.edu/


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

Ph.D. (or an equivalent foreign degree) in ecology, evolutionary biology, bioacoustics, ethology, wildlife biology, environmental science, behavioral analysis, natural resources and conservation, wildlife and range management, or a closely related field; experience in the field of ethology and bioacoustics; and field experience working with pinnipeds.


Document requirements

  • Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V., which must include your publications.
  • Cover Letter – Letter of application that briefly summarizes your qualifications and interest in the position.
Reference requirements
  • 3-6 letters of reference required
Applications must include confidential letters of recommendation*. Note that your references, or dossier service, will submit their confidential letters directly to the UC Recruit System.*All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. For any reference letter provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service, career center), direct the author to UCSC’s confidentiality statement at http://apo.ucsc.edu/confstm.htm.

Apply link: https://recruit.ucsc.edu/JPF01175

Help contact: costa@ucsc.edu


The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University’s equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 or by phone at (831) 459-2686.Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check (see https://www.uscis.gov/e-verify). The university sponsors employment-based visas for nonresidents who are offered academic appointments at UC Santa Cruz (see https://apo.ucsc.edu/policy/capm/102.530.html).

UCSC is a smoke & tobacco-free campus.

If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact Disability Management Services at roberts@ucsc.edu (831) 459-4602.

UCSC is committed to addressing the spousal and partner employment needs of our candidates and employees. As part of this commitment, our institution is a member of the Northern California Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (NorCal HERC). Visit the NorCal HERC website at https://www.hercjobs.org/regions/higher-ed-careers-northern-california/ to search for open positions within a commutable distance of our institution.

The University of California offers a competitive benefits package and a number of programs to support employee work/life balance. For information about employee benefits please visit https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/compensation-and-benefits/index.html

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. For new University of California employees, the applicable deadline is eight weeks after their first date of employment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.)

VISIT THE UCSC WEB SITE AT https://www.ucsc.edu