Jobs at Western

Assistant Professor in Marine Molecular Biology

Apply now Work type: TT Faculty
Location: Bellingham, WA
Categories: College of Science & Engineering

Position Title Assistant Professor in Marine Molecular Biology
Western Washington University, with over 16,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 83,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the Cascade mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. WWU’s Shannon Point Marine Center is a teaching and research facility located in Anacortes, WA, which is 45 miles southwest of the main campus.
About the Program

Marine and Coastal Science (MACS; is an interdisciplinary program with permanent and affiliated faculty in units across the university, drawing together the wealth of marine expertise in the Biology, Geology and Environmental Sciences departments and at the Shannon Point Marine Center. The mission of MACS is to promote the study of marine systems with an emphasis on place-based learning, early exposure to research, and cohort-based, immersive educational experiences. The goal of the program is to help students develop into confident, thoughtful, ethical scientists ready to address the growing challenges affecting our marine and coastal environments.

The MACS program, the College of Science and Engineering, and the Shannon Point Marine Center support WWU’s mission, which states that together with our students, staff, and faculty, we are committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement. We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.

About the Position

The Biology Department and the Marine and Coastal Science (MACS) program at Western Washington University (WWU) invite applications for a tenure-track, assistant professor position in MARINE MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, beginning FALL 2020. As one of the initial faculty hires into the MACS program, the successful applicant will foster an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research in marine and coastal science. We seek an individual who is enthusiastic about teaching and who will establish a vigorous research program, focused on testing biological questions in marine biological systems using molecular approaches, that involves undergraduate and Masters-level students.

As a member of the MACS core faculty, the successful applicant will teach in MACS and the Biology Department, with teaching assignments split evenly between the two units. The MACS teaching responsibility may include already developed courses such as our cohort and skills development seminar series for 1st and 2nd year students, and/or it may involve development of new courses such as a marine science and society course, an interdisciplinary course-based research capstone, and/or a marine science elective in the applicant’s area of expertise that is suitable for students with broad interests and backgrounds. A primary teaching responsibility in Biology will be introductory molecular and cellular biology for majors (Biol 205). Additional teaching responsibilities in Biology could include advanced courses in molecular biology, genetics, cellular biology, and/or bioinformatics/computational biology/’omics (Biol 321, 323, 324, 397B/497R, and/or similar courses).

Position Responsibilities:

  • Teach introductory molecular and cellular biology (Biol 205).
  • Potentially teach advanced courses in molecular/cellular biology, genetics, and/or bioinformatics/computational biology/’omics (Biol 321, 323, 324, 397B/497R and/or similar courses).
  • Teach interdisciplinary marine science courses potentially including the 1st and 2nd year seminar series, marine science and society, a research capstone, and/or an elective in the applicant’s area of expertise.
  • Contribute to the development of the MACS curriculum and fostering a culture of collaboration between departments in research and teaching.
  • Participate in service activities for both the Biology Department and the MACS program.
  • Fulfill teaching and mentoring responsibilities in ways that provide equitable and inclusive learning environments for all students.
  • Establish an active research program that can be sustained at a primarily undergraduate institution.
  • Mentor undergraduate and graduate (Master’s) students’ research projects.
  • Seek extramural research funding.
Required Qualifications
  • PhD in biological sciences or a closely related field, completed at the time of application.
  • Postdoctoral experience and strong research record in molecular and/or cellular biology in a marine biological system.
  • Evidence of the ability to teach introductory molecular and cellular biology (Biol 205).
  • Evidence of the ability to develop and teach interdisciplinary marine science courses suitable for students with broad interests and backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated record of, or commitment to, mentoring early-stage students in course-based research or skills acquisition.
  • Demonstrated record of, or commitment to, cultivating learning environments that are equitable and inclusive of students with diverse social identities and backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated record of, or commitment to, establishing a research program in marine molecular biology that supports the MACS program’s mission of place-based learning by a strong involvement of undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills, including demonstrated ability to communicate clearly, engage collaboratively, and develop constructive interpersonal relationships with students and colleagues.
  • Evidence of strong time-management skills and ability to manage multiple priorities, ensuring that various deadlines, meetings, and other work duties are completed in a timely manner without sacrificing a student-centered and collaborative approach.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Teaching experience using student-centered approaches to foster active learning.
  • Evidence of the ability to teach advanced courses in molecular biology, genetics, cellular biology and/or bioinformatics/computational biology/’omics (Biol 321, 323, 324, 397B/497R and/or similar courses).
  • Research focus that can be applied to local systems within the Salish Sea.
  • Demonstrated ability of engaging in research that traverses different scientific disciplines.


 Commensurate with experience and qualifications

Bargaining Unit

 United Faculty of Western Washington

Application Instructions

A complete application includes: (1) a cover letter addressing the required and preferred qualifications, (2) curriculum vitae, (3) a statement of teaching philosophy and interests, including how your experiences (academic or non-academic) have prepared you to fulfill teaching and mentoring responsibilities in ways that provide equitable and inclusive learning environments for all students, (4) a detailed statement of research plans, and (5) contact information for three references.

You must upload all the requested materials into Western PageUp as instructed.

Additional Questions

Contact Professor Alejandro Acevedo-Gutierrez:

Closing Date Notes

Application review begins October 8, 2019; position is open until filled.

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Office, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("The Clery Act"). It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western's campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at The report can be found at: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires.

Job no: 497146
Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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