Research Fellow – AR2042MR

University of St Andrews - School of Biology

Fixed Term: 2 years, Start Date: May/June 2018

The Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) is seeking a post-doctoral research fellow to join a project team which aims to make fundamental advances in the information collected and transmitted by animal—attached satellite relay dataloggers (SRDLs). The specific goals of this fellowship are to develop, test and implement algorithms running on SMRU SRDLs to calculate and telemeter the body density of free-swimming seals. The algorithm will be based upon analysis of performance during glides made by the animal during descent and ascent phases of dives. Such glides are affected by the body density and net buoyancy of the seal (Miller et al. 2016; J Exp Biol 219, 2458-2468).

The project will focus on the model species Northern Elephant Seal, but the method should be designed to function with any diving mammal. Key tasks of the Research Fellow will be to: use archival biologging datasets to develop an efficient but effective algorithm for onboard calculation of body density, attend fieldwork sites to deploy tags, quantify the performance of the algorithm after deployment, and author/co-author key project outputs.

The successful applicant will have experience working with high-resolution biologging data with marine mammals, particularly depth and accelerometer sensors. Experience writing algorithms to process time-series data is essential, and experience developing and using data-analysis simulators is desirable. A PhD in Biology or appropriate Engineering or Computer Science is desirable, and demonstrated experience working within teams of collaborators is essential. The post will last a minimum of 2 years, expected to start May-June 2018 and end early summer 2020. Further information can be obtained in the further particulars below, or by contacting Prof Patrick Miller (

The University is committed to equality for all, demonstrated through our working on diversity awards (ECU Athena SWAN/Race Charters; Carer Positive; LGBT Charter; and Stonewall). More details can be found at

In 2018 the University will establish purpose built office accommodation at Guardbridge, by St Andrews, to provide a state of the art working environment for a number of our Professional Services Units. It is anticipated that up to 350 Professional Services staff from a range of Units will be based in the new development at Guardbridge.

This post will not be primarily based at Guardbridge.

Please quote ref: AR2042MR

Closing Date: 23 March 2018

Further Particulars: AR2042MR FPs.doc

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