Line Gordon and I are looking for a PhD student to be part of an international research project that will examine social-ecological resilience of Arctic ecosystems to changes in hydrological flows.
The PhD student will develop a conceptual framework and empirical methods to investigate how globally driven hydrological changes could alter the social-ecological resilience of Arctic ecosystems. This research includes reviewing evidence for possible hydrologically triggered abrupt threshold changes or regime shifts in Arctic ecosystems, the synthesis of existing social, ecological and physical data to map social-ecological resilience in the Arctic, and the construction of minimal social-ecological models of Arctic regime shifts.
Qualifications: The successful candidate should be enthusiastic about conducting trans-disciplinary studies and is expected to have a background in physical geography and/or ecology and have substantial knowledge of global environmental change. Knowledge of resilience theory, hydrology, and the Arctic are desired. A good command of English is required and experience in geographical information systems (GIS). Experience in modeling, GIS, remote sensing, geostatistics and data fusion are merits.
This PhD project is part of a larger research project on Pan-Arctic ice-water-biogeochemical system responses and social-ecological resilience effects in a warming climate, which is coordinated from the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology and involves collaborators from the Bert Bolin Centre for Climate Research and the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University as well as international collaborators.
The proposed starting date is January 1, 2009 (although this can be negotiated). Applications are due by Oct 31th, 2008.
The official job ad and details are here.
Furthermore, Stockholm University is particularly exciting places to work on resilience and water. The Stockholm Resilience Centre hosts a world leading research group on social-ecological resilience, and Physical Geography and the Resilience Centre both contain world leading water researchers. The student will be part of a small group of PhD students linked to this project and will have the opportunity to work with researchers from both groups.
This project will build upon previous work that Line Gordon and I have done on mapping hydrological flows, resilience and ecological regime shifts. Some of our papers that this work will build on include:
- Gordon LJ, Peterson GD, Bennett EB. 2008. Agricultural modifications of hydrological flows create ecological surprises. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 23(4):211-219.
- Chapin et al. 2006. Policy strategies to address sustainability of Alaskan boreal forests in response to a directionally changing climate. Proceedings National Academy of Sciences, USA 103:16637–16643.
- Gordon L., et al. (2005) Human modification of global water vapor flows from the land surface. Proceedings National Academy of Sciences, USA 102: 7612-7617.
- Bennett, EM, GS Cumming, GD Peterson. 2005. A systems model approach to determining resilience surrogates for case studies, Ecosystems 8(8): 945-957.
- Peterson, G.D., S. Carpenter, and W.A. Brock. 2003. Model uncertainity and the management of multi-state ecosystems: a rational route to collapse. Ecology. 84(6) 1403-1411.
- Peterson, G.D. 2002. Estimating resilience across landscapes. Conservation Ecology 6(1): 17.
- Peterson, G., C. R. Allen, and C. S. Holling. 1998. Ecological resilience, biodiversity and scale. Ecosystems 1(1): 6-18.