Algal Toxin Food Web Modeler

Marine, Ocean, and Coastal Sciences and Resource Management Seattle, Washington


About IBSS Corp

IBSS is a Woman-Owned, WBENC certified and MBE/DBE-certified business. Since 1992, IBSS has provided specialized professional, scientific, technical, cybersecurity, IT, and software engineering solutions to the Federal sector. Our clients include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Department of Justice (DOJ). We are committed to serving our clients and employees by delivering service excellence, creating value through technology, and continually improving our skills, services, and processes. Moreover, we maintain an ISO 9001:2015 certification which allows us to optimize current industry best practices to enhance delivery outcomes for our clients.

IBSS offers a competitive benefits package including medical, dental, vision and prescription drug coverage with company-paid deductible, paid time off, federal holidays, matching 401K plan, tuition/professional development reimbursement, and Flex-Spending (FSA)/Dependent Care Account (DCA) options.


IBSS supports NOAA missions within the Environmental and Fisheries Science (EFS) Division.  Research activities within the EFS division include monitoring the presence of environmental biotoxins in food webs and exposure risks to marine wildlife, ecosystems, and fisheries, enhancing seafood safety by developing improved detection methods for biotoxins and other environmental contaminants, and developing models for exposure risk and health impacts. These activities primarily support NOAA Fisheries objectives for Protected Resources, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, Fisheries Ecosystem-based Management, and for advancement of Science and Technology.

Key tasks include the following: 

1. Develop Coupled Biological and Physical Models for trophic transfer of algal toxins in food webs - use environmental data (physical ocean conditions, algal cell densities and toxicity, toxin concentrations in multiple layers of the food web (zooplankton, clams, worms, fish) and behavioral and health data for marine mammals collected over five years in Arctic and subarctic regions to develop toxin - trophic transfer models for toxin accumulation, biotransformation, and adverse health impacts in specific food webs under multiple bloom scenarios and for prediction of future animal mortality events.

2. Sample Collection & Analyses - collect tissue and environmental samples, both in the lab and in the field including on multiple research cruises (up to 2 cruises per year).

3. Record Data & Assay Results - perform data entry into prescribed databases, appropriate data quality checking, documentation of location & accessibility of data & assay results to project lead & shall assist in preparation of reports & manuscripts on a weekly basis. 

4. Maintain & Organize Laboratory - monitor laboratory supply levels & notify the project lead when supplies need to be ordered; maintain lab equipment to working order; maintain safe chemical hygiene practices; & adhere to laboratory safe practices.


Bachelor’s degree, or higher, from an accredited college or university with a major directly related in a field of study with emphasis in quantitative science, biological and physical modeling, trophic transfer of toxins in food webs, oceanography, and ecosystem function plus four (4) years of experience in related field or combination of such totaling eight (8) years combined education/experience. Master’s Degree in a related field or Ph.D. may be substituted for experience.

Additional required qualifications include:

  • Demonstrated ability to develop quantitative biological models for movement of compounds through food webs (i.e. an understanding of; uptake and depuration of toxins in living organisms, ecosystem trophic levels and function, and programming of mathematical formulas for model development). 
  • Demonstrated experience working with large long term data sets including but not limited to biological data, oceanographic data, and climate and environmental conditions data.
  • Demonstrated ability to generate pictorial figures and GIS maps.
  • Demonstrated experience using existing models and software such as Ecopath with Ecosim and Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS).
  • At least 3 years of experience in model development with a documented product such as authorship of a peer-reviewed publication, report, and/or master’s or PhD thesis.
  • Demonstrated ability to give oral presentations such as conference presentations (oral and/or poster) or other public presentations.
  • At least two (2) years of laboratory experience.
  • Must be able to participate in research cruises of multiple days at sea.
  • Must be able to drive a government vehicle.

Additional preferred qualifications include:

  • At least one (1) year of experience working with High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) for toxin analyses.
  • At least one (1) year of experience running ELISAs for toxin detection.
  • At least one (1) year of experience generating standard curves and quantifying toxin levels via Prism Software

IBSS is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.