BES Forest Ecology Group

A British Ecological Society Special Interest Group

Forest Ecology Jobs and Studentships

Please send details – in good time – of jobs you wish to advertise here to the FEG Secretary Alan Jones, or contact via our webform. (n.b. Photos and colour logos will make things look more exciting!). Read on for career enlightenment…

Posted 29th March 2017

PhD OFFER 2017 – University of Bordeaux – INRA Biogeco

PhD Offer 2017 U-bordeaux
Assessing ecological and economic consequences of species turnover in French forests / Evaluation écologique et économique des changements d’espèces forestières dans la forêt française

Advisors and working team
Advisors: Marta Benito Garzón. E-mail: marta.benito-garzon@inra.fr.
Annabel Porté E-mail : annabel.porte@u-bordeaux.fr
Place of work: UMR INRA 1202 Biogeco – University of Bordeaux, Pessac, France
Collaborations: Luc Doyen and Laurianne Mouysset – UMR CNRS 5113 Gretha, Pessac
Fabienne Benest – IGN, Division Inventaire Forestier, Caupian, Saint-Médard- en-Jalles, France.
Starting date: Autumn 2017.
Funding: 3 years PhD program co-funded by the “Région Aquitaine” and the “Investments for the future Programme IdEx Bordeaux”.

I- General framework
There is a broad consensus that modern climate change is having important effects on species distributions. However, there are contrasting opinions on how ecosystems will be reshuffled by a changing climate and how to design management practices that can mitigate its negative impacts if any (Pereira et al., 2010; Donoghue & Edwards, 2014). The southernmost populations of temperate tree species in Western Europe are predicted to experience increasing mortality, reduced growth and reproductive rates under future warming, indicating that these species are likely to contract their current distribution in the coming decades and to leave empty spaces available for other species (Brodribb & Hill, 1999; Benito-Garzón et al., 2013a). At the same time, Mediterranean species are expanding northwards as a consequence of climate change (Parmesan, 2006; Delzon et al., 2013), with increasing dominance of broadleaf species following land use changes, in detriment of conifer trees more resistant to drought (Vayreda et al., 2016).

The forecasted changes in species distributions and community composition would have important economic and societal consequences (Millar et al., 2007; Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2008). If species composition was to change in the future, the future of those trees commercially relevant needs to be revisited. The management options considering the translocation of biological material to compensate for climate change are generally enclosed in the term assisted migration (Hoegh-Guldberg et al., 2008; Schwartz et al., 2012). This term encompasses different options that would lead to different climate-related risks and need to be considered separately. In forestry, assisted gene flow has been the most studied option (Aitken & Bemmels, 2016). In Europe, examples of translocation of populations do exit for commercial species (Benito-Garzón et al., 2013b; Isaac-Renton et al., 2014; Benito-Garzón & Fernandez-Manjarrés, 2015), but no attention has been paid to other species that will help to maintain ecosystems services in the future.
France, and the Nouvelle – Aquitaine region in particular, constitutes the ecotone between the temperate and Mediterranean biomes, and observations that Mediterranean trees like Quercus suber and Quercus ilex and submediterranean ones like Quercus pubescens are conquering northern areas do exist (Delzon et al., 2013; Benest, 2015). If climate is favoring Mediterranean species or invasive ones in detrimental of more temperate species, ecosystem services and local economies would need to adapt.
Analyzing time series of species turnover in terms of abundance and individual tree growth over the last 35 years will give us the necessary information to relate the likely species turnover with changes in recent climate and help us to understand the main trends of forests composition in France for the coming years. The final goal of this PhD program is to understand tree turnover in the past to aid decision-making in forest adaptation by generating plausible bio-economic scenarios where the trade-off between maximizing economic return of forests and favoring other forest services is considered (Ay et al., 2014). In particular, these scenarios can help understanding the ecological and economic benefits and drawbacks of changing species composition in those locations where the expected mortality of temperate tree species is high and the natural colonization of Mediterranean tree species is unlikely or too slow.
I- Objectives
The main goal of this PhD is to understand the temporal and spatial distribution of species and communities in France with a particular emphasis on the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and the economic consequences of changing species (naturally or human-mediated – assisted species migration).
The PhD program is divided in three main research tasks:
1) Analysis of temporal series of species turnover (1980 -2015)
The ambition of this task is to understand tree community assembly in the past and anticipate the ecological communities of the future based in the relation between climate and competition of trees in the last 35 years. For doing so, this task will analyze historical changes of species composition taking advantage of ancient National Forest Inventory data collected in France covering a window time of 35 years (1980 to 2015). It will be developed in close collaboration with the IGN (National Forest Inventory Division; Bordeaux: Fabienne Benest).
3
The student will perform a combined analysis of ordination techniques of community composition across spatial and temporal gradients (coenoclines) in combination with the niche breadth across time and space of each species across all the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. Similar approaches have been proposed for analyzing spatial turnover of the species along environmental gradients (Urli et al., 2014; Olthoff et al., 2016). The methodological innovation relies on the analysis of the temporal niche of species using coenoclines based on abundance and fitness-related traits (growth, survival, tree diameter, and tree height) of species co-existing over time.
We expect to analyze the abundance and growth of 14 major trees in France (Abies alba, Fraxinus excelsior, Fagus sylvatica, Larix decidua, Picea abies, Pinus halepensis, Pinus pinea, Pinus pinaster, Pinus sylvestris, Quercus petraea, Quercus robur, Quercus pubescens, Quercus ilex and Quercus suber) from 1980 to 2015 across all the French National Forest Inventories plots sampled, with particular attention at the ecotone between Mediterranean and Temperate forests.
2) Exotic and invasive species assessment
One increasing debate on global biodiversity is taking place around the invasive species and whether climate change would boost or not their range expansions. Expected new climates with no-analogs in the past will likely promote new communities assemblages for all the biomes of the world (Benito-Garzón et al., 2014). However, whether climate change is promoting the spread of invasive species in these new biological communities remains an open question (Willis et al., 2010).
Several exotic species are increasing their presence in France and in particular in the Nouvelle- Aquitaine region, where signs of mediterraneization have being observed. For example Quercus rubra L., Robinia pseudoacacia L., Prunus serotina Ehrh., and Acer negundo L are species well represented in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and in France, and that are expected to increase invasion niches in some parts of their range (Camenen et al., 2016).
In this task the student will study time invasion rates over the last 35 years based on the NFI plots of the most important tree exotic species existing in France: Quercus rubra, Robinia pseudoacacia, Prunus serotina, Acer negundo, and Ailanthus altissima.
4
Figure 2. Current distribution of Acer negundo (B), Prunus serotina (C), Quercus rubra (D) and Robinia pseudoacacia (E) in Europe (from Camenen et al. 2016).
3) Evaluation of the socio-economic consequences of changing species composition
Adapting forests to climate change requires a decision framework in which a major set of parameters depends on the species, populations, seed resources, land use, etc. (Guo & Costello, 2013). In particular, the economic consequences of tree translocation rely on the choice of target species and populations and on the ecosystem services that are attended (production of timber and non-timber products, recreational and cultural value, etc.). Translocation options are based however on the comparison between local versus foreign origins of seed sources of economically important trees, but not on considering a local species turnover towards less productive trees in terms of timber production. For example, Temperate species are more productive than Mediterranean ones but they might also underlie a higher extinction risk from climate change, at least at the ecotone between Mediterranean and Temperate biomes. Adapting forests to the future might hence seek for a compromise between maximizing both ecosystem productivity and ecosystem resistance.
Understanding the ecological and economic consequences of changing tree species composition is urgent to propose innovative management options to optimize forests to future climate change. We propose to quantitatively evaluate these changes in species composition by the generation of bio-economic scenarios that link the choice of species and/or populations with the economic utility of a given region. The analysis will be based on what happened in French forests during the last 35 years, to finally assess a trade-off between economic and ecological values for the future. Econometric models will be manipulated with scenarios of climate change and changes in tree growth to predict the potential consequences of climate change on the economic returns of forests (Ay et al., 2014; Mouysset, 2014) and to infer costs and benefits of changing species composition.
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This task will be developed in collaboration with the GRETHA group for Theoretical and Applied economics (University of Bordeaux; Luc Doyen and Lauriane Mouysset)
II- Working program
This is multidisciplinary research program, that will accomplish three different tasks for which the student will need to collaborate with ecophysiologists, economists and integrate the results in an ambitious modeling framework with a final focus to give educate responses to optimize forests health under climate change.
III- Databases
The basis of this PhD program is to give a multidisciplinary understanding of forests coupling large databases. For doing so, several databases regarding forests, land use and economics will be used:
1) French National Forest Inventory: Ancient (1980 and 1990 campaigns) and new (yearly campaigns from 2005 to 2015) National Forest Inventory campaigns covering all the French territory from 1960 to 2015. 1990 campaign has already been homogenized to match with the new methodology used by the NFI in the newly campaigns. Some work on the harmonization of the data from 1980 is expected to be done during this PhD program.
2) Climate Data: Downscaled CRU yearly data from 1900 to 2014; IPCC climate grid data for future scenarios
3) AGRESTE – TERUTI – LUCAS: Land Use/Cover Area frame statistical survey. In 2014, the French Ministry of Agriculture coupled the TERUTI and LUCAS databases to annually estimate variation in land uses: agricultural, natural or urban.
IV- Supervision and place of work
This PhD is co-funded by the Idex Junior Chair of the University of Bordeaux and the Aquitaine Region. The PhD will be developed at the University of Bordeaux (INRA – BIOGECO. Advisors: Marta Benito Garzón and Annabel Porté, both researchers at INRA BIOGECO), with strong collaborations with the GRETHA (Theoretical and Applied Economics group; CNRS – University of Bordeaux. Luc Doyen, researcher at CNRS) and the IGN (National Forest Inventory, Caupian. Head of the NFI – Ecology division: Fabienne Benest).
V- Required profile
– Good skills in data analysis, statistics and spatial analysis
– Good knowledge of R
– Experience in the management of large databases
– Knowledge of community ecology / spatial ecology
– Capacity to work in a multidisciplinary and international team
– Basic knowledge of French
– Good knowledge of English

 

Posted: 7th March 2017

Two Ph.D. positions in forest ecology
Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague
We are seeking two highly motivated Ph.D. researchers to join our team within the Forest Dynamics Lab of the Department of Forest Ecology, Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, Czech Republic. Our current research is focused on how disturbance regimes drive structural variability, carbon dynamics, and biodiversity at stand and landscape scales in primary mountain forests in central and eastern Europe.
Despite the long history of land use, this region of Europe still has extensive remnants of primary mountain forests, particularly in the Carpathian and Dinaric mountain ranges. The large sub-continental region covered by the current research project includes the two dominant forest types in Europe, Norway spruce and mixed broad-leaf forests dominated by European beech. The aim of the current project is to quantify how disturbances influence forest structure, C dynamics, biodiversity and the multiple pathways of stand development that contribute to complex structure across these two forest types. Based on a unique set of established plots across several forest landscapes, detailed reconstructions of past disturbance histories will allow us to quantify spatio-temporal structural patterns and C dynamics along forest development pathways at stand, local, and landscape levels, as well as across environmental and climatic gradients.
The activities, together with our team, will include field work, laboratory processing of samples (mainly tree cores), statistically analyzing data, compiling results, and preparing peer-reviewed publications in international science journals. Two positions are available: 1) Forest Ecology Ph.D. – the first position will focus on reconstructing disturbance histories using tree ring data and examining links with current forest structure, composition, and indicators of biodiversity. This position will include field work; 2) Dendroecology Ph.D. – the second position will focus more on dendroecological analyses of existing tree ring data (current database of 20,000 tree cores from 1000 forest plots across the study region) to examine links between tree growth and abiotic and biotic factors. Although the candidate for the second position is not expected to participate in field-work, there will be opportunities to visit impressive locations of old-growth forests across the region.
We are a young and energetic research team with close collaborations with international partners. Opportunities exist for exchange visits and meetings. To obtain more information about our team, visit http://scholar.google.cz/citations?user=DaBJTM4AAAAJ
Applicants should have a MSc (or equivalent) in environmental or related sciences (biology, ecology, geography, forest sciences), and good English communication and writing skills. Ideal candidates would have strong analytical skills, experience with large datasets and R, and some past experience working with tree rings, particularly for the second position. Both positions include a monthly salary of 800 Euros.
Applications: Please indicate which position you are applying for and attach a CV listing your skills and qualifications. Applicants should also provide a short statement outlining why they believe themselves to be suitable for the above positions, as well as contact information for at least one reference. Applications are due by May 15th, 2017, and successful candidates would start in October 2017.
Send the application by email to both of the following contacts:
Miroslav Svoboda, Email: svobodam@fld.czu.cz
Thomas A. Nagel, Email: tom.nagel@bf.uni-lj.si
Postal address: Czech University of Life Science, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Science, Kamycka 129, Praha 6 Suchdol, 16521, Czech Republic

Posted: 7th March 2017

Advisory Entomologist to be based at Forest Research’s Alice Holt Research Station. Closing date 19th March. Full specification available here –  https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk/csr/jobs.cgi?jcode=1531677

 

Posted: 20th November 2016

Research manager position (maternity cover)

Position now live at Earthwatch:

http://eu.earthwatch.org/about/job-details/research-manager-one-year-fixed-term-contract

Posted: 19th Oct 2016

The carbon cycle of an artificial tropical forest ecosystem

Supervisors

Main supervisor: Dr Daniel Bebber
Co-supervisor(s): Prof Lynne Boddy (Cardiff University),Dr Rachel Warmington (Eden Project), Ms Katie Treseder (Eden Project), (), ()

Project enquiries

Email: d.bebber@exeter.ac.uk
Contact number: 01392 725851

Host institution: University of Exeter

CASE Partner: The Eden Project

Project description

The carbon cycle is a fundamental Earth system process with profound influences on the global climate. Human activities have altered ecosystem composition and functioning around the world, through habitat destruction and by species introductions. A key question in applied ecology is how these introduced species form novel ecosystems, and how ecosystem services like carbon cycling are affected (Hobbs et al. 2006, Global Ecology & Biogeography 15:1-7). In this PhD, you will study the carbon cycle of one of the world’s most famous artificial ecosystems: the tropical biome of the Eden Project in Cornwall.

phd

The carbon cycle of a forest biome comprises a number of pools (above-ground biomass in trees and other plants and animals, below-ground carbon in roots, litter and soil, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and dissolved organic matter in water) and fluxes (photosynthesis and respiration by plants, leaf litter fall, consumption and respiration by herbivores and microbes). You will measure these pools and fluxes using standard techniques developed for forests around the world (e.g. Fenn, K. et al. 2010, Biogeosciences Discussion 3:3735-63). You will quantify the size of the carbon pools, by measuring the size and estimating the biomass of the trees and plants, and by measuring the organic carbon in the soil and roots. You will quantify the carbon fluxes in the system by measuring changes in tree diameter to estimate biomass accumulation, the fall and decay rates of leaf litter, loss of plant material to herbivores and pathogens, consumption of herbivores by predators, carbon dioxide fluxes from the soil, and losses of organic carbon in irrigation water. By identifying the interacting species, and how their populations change over time, you will build up a detailed, dynamic food web and so understand how these different species interact.

You will benefit from supervisors with expertise in forest carbon monitoring, soil biology, plant pathology, and pest management, and will receive full support from your supervisors and staff at the Eden project. This studentship offers the opportunity to learn techniques employed in forest monitoring around the world, as well as employing sequencing technology to understand the microbial diversity of the ecosystem. The position offers ample opportunities for public engagement with science, and for future contribution to the critical question of how human activities are impacting the global carbon cycle.

References

1. K. Fenn, Y. Malhi, M. Morecroft, C. Lloyd, M. Thomas, The Carbon Cycle of a Maritime Ancient Temperate Broadleaved Woodland at Seasonal and Annual Scales. Ecosystems. 18, 1–15 (2014).
2. R. J. Hobbs et al., Novel ecosystems: theoretical and management aspects of the new ecological world order. Glob. Ecol. Biogeogr. 15, 1–7 (2006).
3. T. Marthews et al., “Measuring tropical forest carbon allocation and cycling: A RAINFOR-GEM field manual for intensive census plots” (Global Ecosystem Monitoring Network, Oxford, 2014), p. 116.
4. M. Lohbeck, L. Poorter, M. Martínez-Ramos, F. Bongers, Biomass is the main driver of changes in ecosystem process rates during tropical forest succession. Ecology. 96, 1242–1252 (2015).

 

Further details: http://nercgw4plus.ac.uk/project/the-carbon-cycle-of-an-artificial-tropical-forest-ecosystem/

 

Posted: 4th Aug 2016

Career paths and Education Provision for Forestry – PhD Scholarship

Applications are invited for a three year funded PhD scholarship in the School of Education at the University of Aberdeen.

This fully funded PhD is aimed at exploring the educational and other influences on young people’s career choices with respect to forestry. There has been, in recent years, worldwide concern raised over the fall in the numbers of students undertaking forestry courses in universities. While there may be some evidence to suggest that young people are now, on the one hand, more attracted by careers that offer higher salaries there is also some evidence that young people may develop an interest through being influenced by their own experiences in outdoor and forest settings.

This PhD, therefore, aims to investigate the conceptions that young people, teachers and career guidance professional have about forestry. How these perceptions compare with the changing nature of forestry requirements for the 21st century, and the experiences that young people have which are influential in setting them on a career path into forestry and forestry related professions.

Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a good honours degree (2.1 or above) and/or a Masters level qualification in relevant disciplines including but not limited to education or a relevant social sciences discipline, environmental sciences or sociology.

The PhD will commence in October 2016 and the successful candidate will be based at the School of Education at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

The funding associated with this project covers the equivalent of three years, full-time UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend (at Research Council UK levels) for three years*.

The project is a collaboration between the University of Aberdeen and the University of the Highlands and Islands, Inverness College and is funded by Scottish Forestry Commission (Scotland and GB) and the Scottish Forestry Trust.

Informal enquiries about this PhD may be made to Dr Donald Gray: d.s.gray@abdn.ac.uk

For further details and information about this scholarship and how to apply go to http://www.abdn.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-taught/apply.php.

Closing date for applications: 5th August 2016

Posted: 4th Aug 2016

Job titleLecturer/Senior Lecturer in Biosciences (Education and Research)Job referenceP46553Date posted07/07/2016Application closing date18/08/2016LocationCornwallSalaryLecturer from £33,574 to £41,255 Senior Lecturer from £41,255 to £55,389 dependent on knowledge, skills and experience.PackageGenerous holiday allowances, flexible working, pension scheme and relocation package (if applicable)Job category/typeAcademicJob description

Multiple Positions

College of Life and Environmental Sciences

The College of Life and Environmental Sciences is committed to providing innovative teaching inspired by our world class research, 85% of which was rated as world leading or internationally excellent in the REF2014. The Times Higher Education World Rankings 2014/2015 place us in the top 100 in the world.

The University of Exeter is a Russell Group University in the top 1% of institutions globally. In the last few years we have invested strategically to deliver more than GBP 350 million worth of new facilities across our campuses with plans for another GBP 330 million of investment between now and 2016. To further strengthen our activities in ecology, conservation or evolution we are seeking to appoint two or more Lecturers or Senior Lecturers (Education and Research) based at the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at our Penryn campus in Cornwall. Applicants should have particular strength in ecology, conservation or evolution.

Applicants for Lecturer positions will hold a PhD or equivalent in ecology, conservation or evolution and have an independent, internationally-recognised research programme in an active field of research related or complementary to existing strengths. Applicants will be able to demonstrate a strong record in attracting research funding, or demonstrable potential to attract such funding, teamwork skills to work in collaboration with existing group members, an active and supportive approach to inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary research that will help to foster interactions and links both within the University and externally, the attitude and ability to engage in continuous professional development, the aptitude to develop familiarity with a variety of strategies to promote and assess learning and enthusiasm for delivering undergraduate programmes.

For appointment at Senior Lecturer level, in addition to the above applicants must be qualified to PhD level and be able to demonstrate a strong potential for research leadership with a track record in refereed publications and proven success in significant grant capture. The successful applicants will also be expected to contribute to teaching at both undergraduate and graduate levels on a range of programmes.

We particularly welcome applications from candidates holding individual fellowships and may make additional appointments to suitably qualified candidates.

To view the Job Description and Person Specification document please click here.

The starting salary for Lecturer will be from GBP 33,574 up to GBP 41,255 on Grade F, and from GBP 41,255 to GBP 55,389 on Grade G for Senior Lecturer, depending on qualifications and experience.

The closing date for completed applications is 18th August 2016. We expect to hold interviews in Cornwall on 26th and 27th September 2016. Full consideration of your application will be made, but please state either Lecturer or Senior Lecturer in your application if you have a preference.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the College, Prof Dan Charman (tel: 01392 725151, email: D.J.Charman@exeter.ac.uk ) to discuss the post further. Informal enquiries can be made to Prof Brendan Godley, Director of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation (tel: 01326 371861, email:B.J.Godley@exeter.ac.uk ). You may also wish to consult our web site at ( http://lifesciences.exeter.ac.uk/research/ ) for further details of the College.

 

Our Exeter Academic initiative supports high performing academics to achieve their potential and develop their career.

 

The department is proud to have a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of their commitment and impact to providing equality of opportunity and advancing the representation of women in STEM/M subjects. All of the University of Exeter’s STEM/M departments hold an Athena SWAN award.

 

The University of Exeter is an equal opportunity employer which is ‘Positive about Disabled People’. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented in the workforce.

 

Posted: 12 Feb 2016

TIm Fayle phd logo

A PhD Studentship is available to work on
The impacts of tropical forest degradation and fragmentation on ant-plant mutualisms, and consequences for plant community dynamics
A highly motivated postgraduate student is sought to join a project exploring the shifts that occur in a mutualistic ant-plant network when tropical rain forest is logged, fragmented, and converted to oil palm plantation in Malaysian Borneo. The student will conduct field surveys for ant-inhabited trees, measure ant and plant fitness correlates, and perform experimental manipulations of the mutualistic communities, in particular in relation to forest regeneration. The studentship will provide the opportunity to collaborate with two cutting-edge large-scale manipulations of tropical forests: 1. The Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems project (SAFE), the world’s largest rain forest fragmentation experiment. 2. The Sabah Biodiversity Experiment (SBE), a project assessing the impacts of different diversities of tree planting on ecosystem functioning. There will also be opportunities to develop the project in a direction of the student’s own choosing. Duties will include spending extensive periods of time in the field in Malaysian Borneo.
The successful applicant will join the Ant Research Group (http://antscience.com/) at the Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre Academy of Sciences, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, under the supervision of Tom Fayle (http://www.tomfayle.com/index.htm). The laboratory is a dynamic, multinational group studying ant ecology, evolution and biogeography, and is embedded within the Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology, a world-class centre for interaction network research with regular publications in Science, Nature and other leading journals. The deadline for applications is February 29th 2016, with a start date of May 1st 2016. The student will receive a scholarship from the University of South Bohemia and employment on an ongoing grant for three years, sufficient to cover living expenses in Czech Republic. Applicants from all countries are eligible.
Required
 A master’s degree (non-negotiable requirement for PhD study in Czech Republic).
 Interest in the ecology of insects or plants.
 1st or 2.1 undergraduate degree in ecology or related subject (or equivalent).
 Enthusiasm for working in the field for extended periods of time in challenging conditions in tropical rain forest.
 Ability to work independently.
 Experience in the use of ecological statistical analyses.
Desirable
 Previous experience of tropical field work.
 Research experience with plant or insect ecology.
 Experience of molecular laboratory work, specifically DNA barcoding for species identifications.
To apply please send a CV, contact details for three references, and cover letter stating qualifications, previous work and motivation to Tom Fayle (tmfayle@gmail.com).



TIm Fayle phd logo

Posted: 12 Feb 2016

A position as Postdoctoral Researcher is available to work on
The impacts of tropical forest degradation and fragmentation on ant-plant mutualisms, and consequences for plant community dynamics
A highly motivated Postdoctoral Researcher is sought to join a project exploring the shifts that occur in a mutualistic ant-plant network when tropical rain forest is logged, fragmented, and converted to oil palm plantation in Malaysian Borneo. The successful candidate will lead a team conducting field surveys for ant-inhabited trees, measuring ant and plant fitness correlates, and performing experimental manipulations of the mutualistic communities, in particular in relation to forest regeneration. They will also conduct analyses and write papers on the main project findings. The project will provide the opportunity to collaborate with two cutting-edge large-scale manipulations of tropical forests: 1. The Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems project (SAFE), the world’s largest rain forest fragmentation experiment. 2. The Sabah Biodiversity Experiment (SBE), a project assessing the impacts of different diversities of tree planting on ecosystem functioning. There will also be opportunities to develop the project in a direction of the postdoc’s own choosing. Duties will include spending extensive periods of time in the field in Malaysian Borneo.
The successful applicant will join the Ant Research Group (http://antscience.com/) at the Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre Academy of Sciences, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, employed on a grant held by Tom Fayle (http://www.tomfayle.com/index.htm). The group is a dynamic, multinational group studying ant ecology, evolution and biogeography, and is embedded within the Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology, a world-class centre for interaction network research with regular publications in Science, Nature and other leading journals. The position allows the successful candidate to apply for standard research grants from the main Czech grant agency (GACR) to expand the project. The deadline for applications is February 29th 2016, with a start date of May 1st 2016, and the appointment lasting until Dec 2018. Applicants from all countries are eligible. Salary for this full time position is CZK 40,000 per month (approx. EUR 1500). Note that living costs in Czech Republic are substantially lower than in many other European countries (e.g. http://bit.ly/1NCkQKJ) and living costs in Malaysia are fully covered.
Required
 A PhD degree in either entomology or plant ecology.
 Experience and enthusiasm for working in the field for extended periods of time in challenging conditions in tropical rain forest, including ability to lead field teams.
 Good publication record for career stage.
 Experience in the use of ecological statistical analyses.
Desirable
 Previous work on insect plant interactions.
 Experience of molecular laboratory work, specifically DNA barcoding for species identifications.
 Experience in use of methods for statistical analysis of interaction networks.
To apply please send a CV, contact details for three references, and cover letter stating qualifications, previous work and motivation to Tom Fayle (tmfayle@gmail.com).

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