Post-doctoral Research Associate (Watershed Management Lab)

University of Florida

Milton, FL, US


The Watershed Management Lab at the University of Florida’s West Florida Research and Extension Center (WFREC) is seeking a postdoctoral associate to lead research in water quality, quantity, and watershed dynamics as they relate to the health of estuaries in Florida’s Panhandle Region. This three-year grant-funded position is located at WFREC in Milton, Florida. The project is a collaboration between UF, the University of West Florida (UWF), and regional conservation groups forming Estuary Programs in the Pensacola and Perdido Bays, Choctawhatchee Bay, and St. Andrew and St. Joseph Bays.

The UF postdoc will work closely with the Project PI at WFREC, co-PI and postdoc at UWF, and regional conservation groups to develop the scientific foundation to support long-term restoration and management strategies for estuaries in the Florida Panhandle. Research will include investigating spatial variations and temporal trends in water quality and quantity in freshwater streams; watershed modeling to examine dynamics of inputs such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and fine sediment; and collaborative ecosystem modeling to examine how inputs from watersheds and other sources affect estuary ecosystems. Research for this project requires extensive analysis of abundant local data sets. The postdoc will also take a leadership role in identifying and compiling data sets, working with Estuary Program partners and other local science and management groups.

Specific tasks and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Compile water quality data collected by regional conservation and management groups into data sets suitable for statistical analysis.
  • Consult scientific literature to research appropriate methods for conducting analysis of historical water quality data and relationships to land cover.
  • Conduct watershed modeling studies using tools that may include statistical models or semi-deterministic models such as SWMM or SWAT.
  • Create, expand upon, and maintain project databases.
  • Use ArcMap to maintain spatial library of data collection sites.
  • Develop metadata documenting all data sets developed through the project.
  • Work with project teams to develop quantitative adaptive management frameworks to predict the benefit of potential strategies for near-term and long-term restoration on ecosystem stressors and indicators.
  • Attend monthly or quarterly Estuary Program meetings to discuss project updates and research findings, and how adaptive management frameworks can be incorporated into Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plans (CCMPs).
  • Write and present project status reports for review and use of the Principal Investigator.
  • Take a lead role in writing research publications describing project research studies and results.
  • Attend research conferences and other meetings.
  • Travel will be required.


Required skills and experience include:

  • PhD in Environmental Science-related field, with focus on hydrology, water quality, and/or watershed processes.
  • Ability to work independently to research methods, develop data sets, and implement studies.
  • Experience conducting research using watershed modeling techniques.
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct studies looking at the relationship between development, land use, human water demand, etc., and environmental variables such as water quality, hydrologic dynamics or ecological indicators.
  • Demonstrated ability with R, SAS, or other statistical software programs.
  • Experience working in collaborative groups of scientists and natural resource managers.
  • Demonstrated experience working with large data sets.
  • Experience developing and authoring peer-reviewed manuscripts for reputable and topically relevant scientific journals.
  • Experience using ArcMap or other GIS software; Python experience preferred.
  • Ability to give presentations describing project results to scientists at technical conferences as well as local community stakeholders in meetings.
  • Interest in contributing to the success of nonregulatory stakeholder-driven programs with a goal of improving water quality and other ecological conditions in the project region.

Application Instructions

In order to be considered, you must upload the following materials to : (i) Cover Letter stating your interests and background, and how they relate to the project, (ii) Resume, (iii) name and contact information of three references.

Contact Dr. Matthew Deitch, [email protected], for more information. For more information about the WFREC Watershed Management Lab, visit

Selected candidate will be required to provide an official transcript to the hiring department upon hire. A transcript will not be considered “official” if a designation of “Issued to Student” is visible.  Degrees earned from an education institution outside of the United States are required to be evaluated by a professional credentialing service provider approved by National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352-392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at 800-955-8771 (TDD). Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US. The University of Florida is a public institution and subject to all requirements under Florida Sunshine and Public Record laws.

The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is committed to creating an environment that affirms diversity across a variety of dimensions, including ability, class, ethnicity/race, gender identity and expression. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service.