Postdoctoral Scholar or Staff Scientist in Ichthyology

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST; see is a dynamic new graduate university of science and technology in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The university is located on 85 hectares of protected forestland overlooking beautiful shoreline and coral reefs. The campus is striking architecturally, and the facilities are outstanding (OIST campus video tour). There are no academic departments, which facilitates multidisciplinary research. Outstanding resources and equipment are provided and managed to encourage easy access and collaboration. English is the official language of the University, and the university research community is fully international, with more than 50 countries represented. OIST is rapidly gaining recognition in the worldwide academic community as a model for excellence in education and research.

Position summary:

A postdoctoral researcher (PhD <5 years) or staff scientist position (PhD >5 years) in ichthyology is available in the new Marine Macroevolution Unit at OIST. We seek a highly motivated, expert researcher with a deep knowledge of fish biodiversity, including but not limited to systematics, taxonomy, and ecology. The researcher will pursue groundbreaking projects on ichthyological topics, such as the origins of the Indo-Pacific biodiversity hotspot, diversification of fish groups, description and characterization of species and communities, and/or the influence of environmental and ecological factors on fish biodiversity.


1919‐1 Tancha, Onna‐son, Okinawa, Japan 904-0495


  1. Lead innovative projects focused on the ichthyological interests of the Marine Macroevolution Unit,
  2. Publish results in high-quality journals.
  3. Present at national and international conferences.



  1. PhD in Ichthyology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Organismal Biology, Fisheries, Systematics or related field with dissertation focused on fishes.
  2. Deep experience and understanding of fish biodiversity and taxonomy, with expertise in at least one major clade.
  3. Interest in biodiversity, macroecology, and/or systematics questions.
  4. Experience with specimens and museum collections, including imaging, preservation and dissection.
  5. Familiarity with various descriptive and quantitative methods in Ichthyology (e.g. systematics, Phylogenetic Comparative Methods, CT imaging, geometric morphometrics, community metrics, etc.).
  6. Willingness to develop knowledge about clades, areas, and events of interest to the unit if outside of past experience (e.g. paleoichthyology, evolutionary development).
  7. Willingness to learn new methods as needed.
  8. Willingness to collaborate with other units in the Marine Science and Ecology at OIST and other labs outside.
  9. Willingness to travel to museum collections or field sites.
  10. Good spoken and written English skills, including relevant scientific terms and concepts. Japanese is not required but classes are provided to OIST employees and their families.


  1. Proficiency in phylogenetic comparative methods and image processing.
  2. Proficiency in quantitative methods (e.g. Systematics, Phylogenetic Comparative Methods, geometric morphometrics, CT scan data, etc).
  3. Proficiency in R or other programming language.
  4. Proficiency in molecular phylogenetics.
  5. Track record of publications demonstrating broad interests in fishes, including descriptive, systematic, and macroevolutionary.

Report to 

Prof. Lauren Sallan, Marine Macroevolution Unit.

Starting Date 


Term & Working Hours 

Full-time, the postdoctoral position (PhD<5 years) is initially for one year and can be extended to 2 more years based on performance and mutual agreement. The staff scientist position (PhD>5 years) is initially for one year and can be extended further based on performance and mutual agreement.

Working hours: Discretionary working hours

Compensation & Benefits 

Compensation in accordance with the OIST Employee Compensation Regulations


  • Relocation, housing and commuting allowances
  • Annual paid leave and summer holidays
  • Health insurance (Private School Mutual Aid )
  • Welfare pension insurance (kousei-nenkin)
  • Worker’s accident compensation insurance (roudousha-saigai-hoshou-hoken)

How To Apply 

Apply by emailing your Submission Documents to:


(Please replace [at] with @ before using this email address)

Submission Documents 

Single PDF with Title “LastName_FirstName_PositionArea” including:

  1. Cover letter including brief statements of research interests and interest in the unit (3 pages max).
  2. List of top three representative publications (or manuscripts in prep) with one paragraph summary of key findings and scientific value for each.
  3. Contact information for 3 recommendations (will be contacted after first evaluation)
  4. Full CV including publication list.

* Prior to the start of employment all new hires are required to successfully complete a background check. Personal information including employment history and academic background should be submitted to third-party administrators after a conditional offer of employment.

Application Due Date 

June 1, 2022 for full consideration. Applications will continue to be screened until the position is filled.


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