Field assistant for hire!

The Puget Sound Institute is hiring a research assistant position, to be filled ASAP. We’re looking for field and lab assistance with a Puget Sound herring project, beginning in February 2013. The project is a collaboration between the Puget Sound Institute (UW Tacoma) and NOAA.

We for sure need full-time help in late winter-early spring (Feb-April), and potentially part-time help for several months afterwards. There is also potential for part-time employment in 2014. The field work will include measuring herring egg mortality and collecting herring eggs in Puget Sound, and measuring egg mortality in a common garden lab experiment in the NOAA Manchester lab. Our ideal candidate will have boat experience and field experience.

The aim of the project is to determine spawning habitat limitation of herring in Puget Sound. It’s a 2-year project, and a mixture of field work, lab work and likely some analyses as well, depending on experience. Mainly, we need help with the field and lab work.

Interested parties should contact: Tessa Francis, tessa-at-uw-dot-edu.

Welcome to my website!

I am an aquatic ecologist, and my primary research interests relate to how species, communities and food webs respond to changing environments, including land-use change in watersheds, and changing climate. I’m interested in the important associations between terrestrial and aquatic habitats, and how watershed and shoreline dynamics impact aquatic food webs and populations.

My PhD dissertation focused on the consequences of lakeshore urbanization in the Pacific Northwest on lake food webs, shallow-water habitats, macroinvertebrate communities and ecosystem processes including land-water interactions. I conducted research related to the importance of marine-derived nutrients delivered by sockeye salmon to streams in southwestern Alaska. I also reviewed the use of Best Available Science in updates of Washington State’s Critical Areas Act by local jurisdictions.

As a postdoctoral researcher at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center, I conducted food-web analyses of the Northern California Current ecosystem. This included describing the effects of large-scale climate indices and local environmental conditions on zooplankton community interaction networks. I developed a moving-window autoregressive model to describe changes in zooplankton community stability through time, and to identify correlations between stability and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). I used a qualitative food-web model to identify the key prey and predators of groundfish species of importance in the Northern California Current. I also reviewed the use of futures analyses in the Puget Sound region.

I received my Ph.D. in Biology and Urban Ecology (advisor: Daniel Schindler) in 2009 from the University of Washington. I received my B.S. in Forestry (Wildlife Science) with a Minor in Quantitative Science in 2002 from the University of Washington. I also hold a B.A. in Political Science (UC Berkeley 1992), and have worked in theater, film and television. I am the mother of two small children: Oscar (5.5) and Edie (2).