Description

The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 27 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our unique organisation works across more than 25 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (FAME) Division includes the Oceanic Fisheries Programme (OFP) and Coastal Fisheries Programme (CFP). The goal of the OFP is to ensure fisheries that exploit the region’s resources of tuna, billfish and related species are managed for economic and ecological sustainability using the best available scientific information. In pursuing this goal, the OFP provides scientific support for the management of fisheries for tuna and associated species, with a strong focus on stock assessment and modelling, fisheries and ecosystem monitoring and analysis and data management. The OFP works closely with member countries and territories, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, the Forum Fisheries Agency, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement and other regional and sub-regional entities.

The role – the Postdoctoral Researcher (Acoustics) will undertake a programme of work that supports the understanding of the functioning of the tuna ecosystem, and particularly the mid-trophic compartments of the ecosystem. The role will be in charge of acquiring new acoustic data, analysis and modelling existing acoustic data for the purpose of better describing and understanding the pelagic ecosystems of the WCPO and integrating this information into ecosystem models.

The key responsibilities of the role include the following:

Acquiring data in the field Facilitates

  • Contributing to the design of the sampling plan for acquisition of new acoustic data in the field.
  • Parameterising equipment for optimal acquisition of acoustic data in the field.
  • Participating to field work to supervise the acquisition of new data (EK80, WBAT) and collect it in an appropriate format.

Cleaning and curating data

  • Cleaning the acquired acoustic data (EK80, WBAT) using existing procedures and adapting procedures as needed.
  • Processing and formatting the acquired acoustic data into a standardized format.
  • Curating the data in appropriate databases, at the regional or global level.
  • Getting trained on Echoview (acoustic pro-cessing software).

Analysing acoustic data

  • Defining ecosystems and acoustic ecoregions based on EK60/EK80 acoustic data in particular with statistical models.
  • Studying the vertical structure of micronekton distribution based on acoustic data.
  • Defining a method to study the distribution of micronekton in relation with environmental variability.
  • Linking characteristics of the ecoregions with WideBand acoustic data, environmental parameters, and micronekton trawl content.

Integrating acoustic data in ecosystem models

  • In collaboration with other scientists, evaluating the possibility of assimilating acoustic data into SEAPODYM at the Mid-Trophic Level.

Provide fisheries information

Leading and/or contributing to :

  • Report on field work.
  • Publication in the scientific literature and in appropriate meetings such as the WCPFC.
  • Publication for non-specialist public.
  • Presentation of the work in scientific and non-specialist meetings.

For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the online job description.

Key selection criteria

Qualifications

  • PhD in Ocean-Atmosphere-Climate instrumentation and observation or a related field with a background in acoustic analysis and ecology.

Technical expertise

  • Proven expertise in Ocean-Atmosphere-Climate instrumentation and observation, acoustics analysis and ecology or similar
  • Setting up acoustic instruments for data acquisition
  • Knowledge of acoustic data including wideband data with EK60/EK80 and WBAT instruments
  • Ability to understand and manipulate large datasets of different parameters coming from different sources
  • Knowledge of statistical methods for data integration and analysis.
  • Programming experience in R or Python, or similar high-level language for manipulating large volumes of data

Language skills

  • Ability to write academic texts in English.

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  • Proven ability to work as part of an inter-disciplinary and/or multi-cultural team

Salary, terms and conditions

Contract Duration – This vacant position is budgeted for 1 year and is subject to renewal depending on performance and funding.

Remuneration – the Postdoctoral Researcher (Acoustics) is a band 10 position in SPC’s 2024 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 3,568–4,364 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately XPF 527,770–645,457 (USD 4,745–5,804; EUR 4,423–5,409). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration being given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale is based on annual performance reviews. SPC salaries are not presently subject to income tax in New Caledonia.

Benefits for international staff employees based in New Caledonia – SPC provides subsidised housing in Noumea. Establishment and repatriation grant, removal expenses, airfares, health and life and disability insurances and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 working days of annual leave per annum and other types of leave, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a 10% contribution).

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

Recruitment principles – SPC’s recruitment is based on merit and fairness, and candidates are competing in a selection process that is fair, transparent and non-discriminatory. SPC is an equal-opportunity employer, and is committed to cultural and gender diversity, including bilingualism, and will seek to attract and appoint candidates who respect these values. Due attention is given to gender equity and the maintenance of strong representation from Pacific Island professionals. If two interviewed candidates are ranked equal by the selection panel, preference will begiven to the Pacific Islander. Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s private policy.

How to apply

Application procedure

Closing date: 28 July 2024 – 11:00 pm, Noumea time

Job Reference: SH000346

Applicants must apply online at http://careers.spc.int/

Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.

For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:

  • an updated resume with contact details for three professional referees
  • a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
  • responses to all screening questions

Your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage if all the above documents are not provided. Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference.

Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

SPC does not charge a fee to consider your application and will never ask for your banking or financial information during the recruitment process.

Screening questions

  1. Describe your experience in implementing acoustic instruments in the field for data acquisition and retrieval. What precautions need to be taken and what settings are required for good-quality data?
  2. What experience do you have in processing broadband acoustic data, and what types of results can be expected from these tools compared to narrowband acoustic?
  3. What type of organisms have you worked on acoustically, with what objectives in terms of biology or ecology?


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