The global ocean is experiencing unprecedented threats from a changing climate and centuries of poor management. The health and function of our oceans is compromised by widespread declines of critical species. The Nature Conservancy and UCSB are teaming up to address this challenge through a solutions-focused effort to restore our ocean through assisted species recovery. The postdoctoral researcher will work with Dr. Jono Wilson of The Nature Conservancy and Dr. Halley Froehlich of the University of California Santa Barbara on a large-scale project aimed at advancing the science of ocean species recovery. Specifically, the postdoctoral researcher will explore the following topics:
- A call to action for ocean species recovery through a comparison of terrestrial vs ocean species restoration and recovery. The researcher will highlight the need for ocean species recovery and identify the similarities and differences, investment of public and private dollars, the socio-economic costs, different strategies, knowledge gaps, scientific frontiers, and the success and failure of terrestrial species recovery vs ocean species recovery. Research will be focused on identifying unique challenges of ocean spp. recovery relative to terrestrial (permitting, connectivity, etc.), key trade-offs, as well as providing guidance and recommendations to the scientific community regarding the future of ocean species recovery. The specifics of a co-authored manuscript will be mutually agreed upon by Drs. Wilson, Froehlich and the researcher.
- Develop an ocean species recovery prioritization framework that draws upon key (terrestrial) frameworks in existence (IUCN, USFWS, etc.) and/or existing ocean prioritization frameworks. The researcher will develop an ocean specific prioritization and decision-making framework for the various forms of ocean species recovery modes (translocation, assisted migration, fisheries enhancements, reintroduction). The development of the framework will draw on the previous work (a) and identify what is unique about developing an ocean spp. recovery framework relative to terrestrial frameworks. The researcher will then apply the framework to a broad array of species across the Pacific with the aim of guiding restoration opportunities and identify the potential and challenges of large-scale species recovery. The specifics of the framework will be mutually agreed upon by Drs. Wilson, Froehlich and the researcher.