Professor of Biology and Scientific Director of the Ocean Tracking Network


Position title: Professor of Biology and Scientific Director of the Ocean Tracking Network

Posting number: F217P

Type of position: Tenure stream

Department/unit: Biology

Location: Halifax

The Faculty of Science at Dalhousie University invites applications for an appointment with tenure at the rank of Associate or Full Professor of Biology to serve as the new Scientific Director of the Ocean Tracking Network (OTN). The primary faculty appointment will be in the Department of Biology with potential cross-appointments in other departments across the university such as Oceanography, Marine Affairs, Mathematics and Statistics, and/or Computer Science.

OTN is a global aquatic animal tracking, technology development, data management and partnership platform headquartered at Dalhousie University. OTN was launched in 2008 as a $45.3M International Joint Venture Project and rapidly became the world’s leading global aquatic animal tracking network and training hub. In 2017, OTN was recognized as one of Canada’s 17 National Research Facilities (Major Science Initiatives, MSIs), and the only one in Atlantic Canada. OTN is currently funded ($31.3M through its 1st 6 years as an MSI) by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and provincial and other partnership support. These high-profile multi-million-dollar national facilities ( tackle some of the most important issues facing society and are in essence evergreen in that they are renewable every five years as long as they remain relevant to supporting researchers and stakeholders across Canada and internationally. During 2021/2022, OTN will undergo the renewal process for its MSI funding and Strategic Planning to prepare for OTN’s newest operating cycle (2023-2029). It is the intent of the current Scientific Director to work with the new Scientific Director upon arrival for one year in implementing this new cycle.

Dalhousie University is Atlantic Canada’s leading research-intensive university and the region’s only member of the U15 group of major research-intensive universities in Canada. Our 6,000 faculty and staff foster a diverse, purpose-driven community, one that spans 13 Faculties and attracts more than $180 million in external research funds. Dalhousie has a long history of excellence in marine science and the successful candidate is expected to help establish linkages across sectors and be engaged with the development of Dalhousie’s Ocean Research Strategy. Dalhousie’s ocean research crosses all 13 Faculties and our ocean researchers drive breakthrough discoveries every day. Dalhousie’s multidisciplinary approach and involvement in international research projects including OTN; the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI); the Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) network, and others allows Dalhousie researchers to contribute to the most pressing ocean challenges of our time.

The successful candidate will be appointed as a tenured Associate or Full Professor within the Department of Biology and as such will report through the Chair of the Department to the Dean of the Faculty of Science. They will also be appointed as Scientific Director of OTN and in this capacity will report to Dalhousie’s Vice-President of Research and Innovation, OTN’s external governing Council, and to CFI and other supporting organizations on the activities and progress of OTN. As Scientific Director the successful candidate will provide leadership for OTN strategic planning and facilitate and grow scientific activities, leveraging the assets of the network and seeking mutually beneficial partnerships and synergies with other science networks and groups. The Scientific Director also leads the internal OTN management team, and oversees the management of 22+ permanent staff, as well as rotating interns and co-op students working on operations and maintenance activities. Using the OTN platform, the Scientific Director will provide leadership for the engagement of the Canadian and international scientific community in related research work and oversee the funding and science planning associated with these programs. They will also identify and pursue new funding opportunities for the network and act as a chief spokesperson and champion for OTN within and outside the university. In undertaking their duties, the Scientific Director will work closely with, and be assisted by, the OTN Executive Director. As a member of the Department of Biology, the successful candidate is also expected to undertake their own research program and supervise graduate students in areas that overlap directly with OTN’s mandate, major activities and strategic research directions. Given the extensive responsibilities of the OTN Scientific Director, it is expected that this position will have limited undergraduate teaching, but at the same time, it will be important that this new person is visible to and has some interaction with the undergraduate community, which also serves to begin building a pipeline of honours students and graduate students.

Applicants must have a PhD in a relevant field, an outstanding scientific reputation and an exceptional track record of scholarly and research achievements. The successful candidate must be eligible for an appointment with tenure at the rank of Associate or Full Professor and have extensive experience in leading large-scale initiatives and establishing multi-disciplinary collaborations across sectors. The successful candidate will have a deep understanding of ocean and aquatic ecosystems and their importance to the planet. Desirable assets include demonstration of excellence in teaching and supervision of undergraduate and graduate students.

The appointment will be effective as soon as feasible in 2022 and is expected to overlap for one full year with OTN’s current Scientific Director and current Executive Director.

A complete application includes a cover letter outlining qualifications for the position; a curriculum vitae including a list of publications and research support; a summary of the proposed research program and how it aligns with leadership of OTN; a brief statement describing teaching interests; and contact information for three referees. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply, although Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Dalhousie University is committed to fostering a collegial culture grounded in diversity and inclusiveness. The university encourages applications from Indigenous persons, persons with a disability, racially visible persons, women, persons of a minority sexual orientation and/or gender identities, and all candidates who would contribute to the diversity of our community. For more information, please visit

Dalhousie University recognizes its obligation to accommodate candidates in order to ensure full, fair, and equitable participation in the hiring process. Our complete Accommodation Policy can be viewed online at: To request accommodation please contact 

Applications should be submitted online through Dalhousie’s secure online portal at this link: 

The deadline for applications is January 14, 2022. Note that only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. For additional information, please contact Dr. Glenn Crossin, Chair of the Search Committee (

Documents Needed to Apply

Required Documents

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Résumé / Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  3. Research Statement
  4. Teaching Statement
  5. List of referees

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