Tag Archives: PhD

Three new positions in ecosystem services research at McGill University

We’re looking to hire three new people to join our team working on the role of landscape structure and biodiversity in the provision of ecosystem services. The new positions include a postdoc to work on developing models of ecosystem services, a PhD position in historical ecosystem ecology,  and a (part time) project manager. We’re working in the Montérégie, a lovely agricultural landscape just southeast of Montreal.

For more about the project, check out our website: http://www.monteregieconnection.com/

Here’s more detail on each of the three positions:

Postdoctoral researcher

We are seeking an outstanding postdoctoral researcher to be a part of a dynamic multi-lab team that is mapping and modeling past, present, and future provision of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the agricultural landscape around Montréal. The primary research project would involve synthesizing historical and current geospatial data to evaluate how landscape configuration effects the provision of ecosystem services in this region. This analysis will inform the development a spatial model of the provision of ecosystem services under different land use/land cover configurations in the greater Montreal region.

A successful candidate will have a PhD in a related field (e.g., Geography, Ecology); experience with ecosystem modeling techniques, including GIS and computer programming; and be familiar with the literature on ecosystem services. The applicant should have a good publication record and a demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a large team. Capacity to read and speak French is a plus.

The successful applicant would be primarily based in the lab of Dr. Elena Bennett at McGill’s Macdonald Campus, but would also be supervised by the co-PIs on the project, including Dr. Jeanine Rhemtulla (Geography), Dr. Andrew Gonzalez (Biology), and Dr. Martin Lechowicz (Biology). An office on McGill’s downtown campus will also be provided. Salary will be $35,000 per annum plus standard McGill benefits. We encourage applicants of all nationalities to apply.

Applicants should submit a CV, a statement detailing how their research interests align with the focus of the project, and the names and contact information for three references. Start date is targeted for January 2012. Please submit applications by September 1, 2011 to: Elena Bennett (elena dot bennett at mcgill dot ca)

PhD Student in Historical Ecosystem Ecology

We are seeking a PhD student interested in historical ecology, landscape ecology, and ecosystem services to be a part of a dynamic multi-lab team that is mapping and modeling past, present, and future provision of ecosystem services in the agricultural landscape around Montreal. The student’s project would involve examining historical records to estimate past provision of ecosystem services, interpretation of historical air photos and other maps, and modeling relationships between land use, spatial configuration, and ecosystem services through time. There is considerable room for a student to develop their own project within these general parameters.

A successful candidate should have an MSc degree in a related field, experience with GIS, remote sensing, or other ecosystem modeling techniques, and an ability to work independently and as part of a large team. Ability to read and speak French is a plus.

The successful applicant could be a PhD student in either Geography or Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University and would be co-supervised by Dr. Elena Bennett and Dr. Jeanine Rhemtulla. McGill University, located in Montreal, QC, is one of Canada’s top universities and boasts a large international student population.

Applicants should submit a CV, a statement of research interests, a copy of their transcripts, and the names and contact information for two references. Start date is targeted for Fall 2012. Please submit applications to: Jeanine Rhemtulla and Elena Bennett (jeanine dot rhemtulla at mcgill dot ca) and (elena dot bennett at mcgill dot ca)

Project Manager (Part Time)

We are seeking an organized, energetic, and enthusiastic project manager for a new project about biodiversity, connectivity, and ecosystem services in the settled landscapes of the greater Montreal region. The project involves a large team of professors and their students (~30 people total) working on both the fundamental and applied aspects of this research. Our project seeks to understand how past and future land use change will affect habitat connectivity, biodiversity, and the provision of multiple ecosystem services. Policy makers and managers often must make decisions with limited rigorous information about how to manage for sustainable landscapes. In order to improve the link between science and decision making our project includes actively engaged partners from local cities, counties, NGOs, as well as regional and provincial government. Our research will improve both the science and decision-making required to manage for sustainable and resilient landscapes.

Project management would include:

  • Managing the activities and people associated with the project and ensure that we are meeting project goals
  • Ensure communication across the researchers involved with the project
  • Management of GIS data central to the project, creation of geodatabases
  • Coordinating and tracking the project budget
  • Maintaining communication with our project partners
  • Identify opportunities for improving and enhancing the project

We seek a project manager who is self-motivated, extremely organized, and has experience running a major research project or managing a research team. Because the project manager would also have a role in managing geodatabases for the project, experience with GIS and geodatabase management is also important. A graduate degree (M.Sc. or PhD) in environmental sciences would be an advantage. The position will involve considerable communication with our local management partners, so the successful applicant must be bilingual (French/English).

We envision a part-time (up to 3 days/week) position with a salary of approximately $20,000 per annum.

Applicants should submit a CV, a statement of interests and experience, and contact information for three references. Start date is targeted for Fall 2011. Please submit applications by July 1, 2011 to: Elena Bennett (elena dot bennett at mcgill dot ca)

Two PhD positions on governance of ecosystem services in Southern and Eastern Afric

Two PhD positions at the Stockholm Resilience Centre.  Applications are due May 2nd.  The positons are with a project Governance of ecosystem services under scenarios of change in southern and eastern Africa, funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).  To address the question  How may ecosystem assessments be best designed and applied for poverty alleviation?

One student will focus mainly on mapping and modelling of ecosystem services drawing on methodologies from the natural and systems sciences, while the other will focus primarily on governance of ecosystem services drawing more strongly on methodologies from the social sciences.

Both students will work on case studies in the Eastern Cape and/or Western Cape regions of South Africa , as well as in Madagascar, depending on their interests and skills. We envisage that the two students will work together closely to share experiences and insights, and advance novel social-ecological understanding of the case studies and methods for assessing and managing ecosystem services.

The students will need to spend at least 6 months/year in Stockholm the first two years and part of the year during the remaining period.

Position 1: Mapping ecosystem services and regime shifts in a poverty context
There are currently a limited range of approaches available to measure, quantify, assess and display data on ecosystem services. Many of these approaches are quite data intensive in their requirements and to date have not been applied in the management of African ecosystems and services.

This project aims to develop new methods for assessing multiple ecosystem services which can be applied in data poor situations. In particular, this project aims to understand how the “bundle” of ecosystem services associated with a particular social-ecological system may change under different future scenarios. We envisage paying particular attention to the potential for “regime shifts” — large, persistent changes in social-ecological systems and their trajectories of development (e.g., rangeland degradation, or the shift from subsistence to commercial farming).

Such shifts can have large impacts on ecosystem services and human well-being, and the data collected in this study will be incorporated into the developing global Regime Shifts Database.

The student will be supervised by Dr. Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs (Stockholm Resilience Centre,Sweden ), Dr. Belinda Reyers (CSIR,South Africa ) and Prof. Thomas Elmqvist (Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden).

More details about the position and how to apply herePDF (pdf, 50 kB)

Position 2: Governing ecosystem services and regime shifts in a poverty context
How do bundles of ecosystem services co-vary with local livelihood strategies, ecological knowledge, and social organization? A combination of qualitative and quantitative social science methods and spatial tools such as participatory GIS will be used to identify and map how local ecosystem management, land use, and institutional structures across scales interact with and respond to the dynamics of multiple ecosystem services.

In particular, the project will focus on implications for amplifying or moderating the potential for so called regime shifts, i.e. large persistent changes in ecosystem services. The project will also assess barriers and bridges for improved governance of multiple ecosystem services at local and regional scales that allows for sustainable poverty alleviation in Southern Africa.

The student will be supervised by Dr. Maria Tengö and Prof. Thomas Elmqvist (Dept of Systems Ecology & Stockholm Resilience Centre).

More details about the position and how to apply herePDF (pdf, 50 kB)

Adaptive governance PhD and Postdoctoral positions @ UW Madison

One postdoctoral research and one PhD student position are available with Dr. Adena Rissman‘s research group in Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The job ad states:

The geographic setting for this project is the Yahara Watershed, an urbanizing agricultural watershed in southern Wisconsin, containing the city of Madison. Here and elsewhere, human needs for freshwater are growing as changes in climate, landscapes, the built environment and institutions alter water flows and quality in sometimes unpredictable ways. These changes affect ecosystem services related to freshwater, such as flows of freshwater for domestic, agricultural, industrial, recreational and other uses; regulation of floods; water quality; and aspects of human health. To strengthen conceptual frameworks and improve predictive capacity, our interdisciplinary project will integrate biophysical and social-economic aspects of regional water systems. The overarching question of our work is: How will ecosystem services related to freshwater vary and how can they be sustained in regional watersheds as climate, land use and land cover, land management, the built environment and human demands change? As a part of this overarching question, we ask: How can regional governance systems for water and land use be made more resilient and adaptive to meet diverse human needs? In what ways are regional human-environment systems resilient and in what ways are they vulnerable to potential changes in climate and freshwaters? These positions will focus on regional governance; adaptive management and decision making under uncertainty; spatial analysis and geovisualization; and the historical development of policy, politics, science and conservation interventions.

Applicants should have a prior degree in natural resources, geography, political science, planning, environmental policy, or related field. Previous research experience, social science background, and experience with coupled social and environmental systems are preferred. Experience with a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods are desired. Experience with ArcGIS, spatial analysis, and geovisualization desired but not required. Strong GPA, GRE scores, and oral and written communication skills are required. Applicants bringing diverse backgrounds and perspectives to the research program are encouraged to apply.

The PhD position will start Fall, 2011. Review of applications will begin December 20, 2010 and continue until an applicant is selected. Prospective PhD students should refer to the webpage for further information on applying to the UW-Madison.

The 2-year Postdoctoral Research position will begin in the Spring or Summer 2011. Review of applications will begin January 10, 2011 and continue until an applicant is selected.

To apply, email to arrissman@wisc.edu the following in a single PDF document: cover letter, CV with undergraduate/graduate GPA and GRE scores, and unofficial undergraduate/graduate transcripts.

Dr. Adena Rissman, Assistant Professor

Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison


Four PhD positions in sustainability and biodiversity

My colleague Joern Fischer is offering four new PhD positions at Leuphana University Lueneburg. He writes:

Expressions of interest are being sought for four new PhD positions, for commencement in 2011 (details to be negotiated). Please register your interest and send your CV to Joern Fischer (Joern.Fischer@uni.leuphana.de , also see https://sites.google.com/site/joernfischerspage/). Do not send complete applications at this stage.

The project
Unprecedented global change poses an urgent challenge to humanity because it threatens ecosystems and human well- being, especially in poor countries. We will implement a transdisciplinary research agenda to foster sustainable development in ancient agricultural landscapes in Central Romania. The area is fascinating because ancient agricultural practices without machinery or artificial fertilisers have maintained unusually high biodiversity, from large carnivores to rare orchids. Following its recent inclusion in the European Union, Central Romania now faces a delicate balancing act between the aspirations of local people for greater economic prosperity and the region’s unique heritage values. You will be part of a team involving natural scientists, social scientists and regional stakeholders. We will map biodiversity and the ecosystem services generated by it, and will identify formal and informal institutions that can provide leverage points for enabling sustainable land use practices.

The project is funded through a Sofja Kovalevskaja Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (through funds by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research). Visit https://sites.google.com/site/landscapefutures/Home

PhD 1: The future of birds and large carnivores
Primary focus: ecology. This component will gather data on birds and large carnivores, will map their distribution, quantify habitat relationships, and analyse likely changes under different scenarios of future development. Methods will include field surveys, statistical modelling, and GIS applications.

PhD 2: The future of plants and butterflies
Primary focus: ecology. The study area is exceptionally rich in plants and butterflies. This component will gather original field data, will map the distribution of the groups, quantify habitat relationships, and analyse likely changes under different development scenarios. Methods will include field surveys, statistical modelling, and GIS applications.

PhD 3: Cultural ecosystem services and historical changes
Primary focus: social sciences, humanities. This component will analyse land use changes since the middle ages, and will quantify the cultural benefits that people derive from nature. The possible impacts of different future trajectories on the provision of cultural ecosystem services will be assessed. Methodology will be broad and flexible, potentially including literature reviews, analysis of historical sources (e.g. old maps), interviews and workshops with local people, and GIS analysis. Experience with some of these methods, and ability to speak Romanian, will be advantages.

PhD 4: Changes in institutional arrangements
Primary focus: social sciences. This component will analyse informal and formal institutions, and their dynamic changes in the past – with a particular emphasis on recent changes since Romania joined the European Union. How can institutional arrangements foster the sustainable development of the region? Methods are flexible, including participatory methods with local people, and analysis of official policy documents (e.g. regarding EU agri-environment schemes).
This well-funded project includes collaborative links with St. Andrews University, Cambridge University, the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and the Mihai Eminescu Trust (Romania). All components will be theoretically grounded in a shared conceptual framework of ecosystem services, resilience theory, and social-ecological systems analysis. The research team will also involve more senior scientists who will focus on other, complementary aspects.

Prof and Phd Environmental Political Science jobs at Lund in Sweden

Lund University invites applicants to

1) a tenure track position (Associate Senior Research Lecturer) on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Climate, and

2) a PhD position on international climate policy focusing on REDD and carbon accounting (4 year).

Both positions are placed at the Department of Political Science (http://www.svet.lu.se) and are part of the strategic research program Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Climate (BECC) at the Center for Environment and Climate (http://www.cec.lu.se) at the Faculty of Science.

More information (in English and Swedish) on the Associate Senior Research Lecturer can be found here:
http://www3.lu.se/info/lediga/admin/document/PA2010-2073engny.pdf (English)
http://www.sam.lu.se/lediga-tjaenster (Swedish)

More information (in English and Swedish) on the PhD position can be found here:
http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/o.o.i.s?id=24914&Dnr=363076&Type=EU (English)
http://www.lu.se/o.o.i.s?id=22598&Dnr=363076&Type=S (Swedish)

Come and join a thriving research group in environmental politics!


Phd and Postdoc funding on marine protected areas

Helen Fox of WWF writes to tell me that:

WWF is offering Fuller Fellowships to support doctoral and postdoctoral marine protected areas (MPA) research in our marine priority geographies that shows promise to enhance scientific understanding of their ecological and social impacts.

She is also co-organizing a 1-day symposium New Perspectives on MPA Performance:
Linking Knowledge to Action
on November 5 which will be webcast.

Feedback Analysis Job at PIK

The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) is looking to fill a research position within the Marie Curie Network GREENCYCLES-II, based in Potsdam, Germany:

T5.3 Feedback analysis and evaluation using the CLIMBER model

The Early-Stage Researcher (PhD candidate) will investigate feedbacks between climate and vegetation using the CLIMBER family of intermediate-complexity Earth-system models developed at PIK. Specifically, the established CLIMBER-2 model will be used to evaluate biosphere-climate interactions at global and continental scales. This will be complemented by more detailed investigations of feedbacks resulting from large-scale modifications of the land surface such as due to expanded biofuel production with the CLIMBER-3 model currently under development.

The successful candidate will actively participate in network-wide workshops and training events.

The position is expected to start on 1 January 2011 and run until 31 December 2013. Applications should arrive before 1.10.2010, but will be also accepted until the position is filled.

Interested candidates should send a CV, a half-page statement of interest, copies of your high-school and academic certificates, the names of two referees and a completed Eligibility Form (http://www.greencycles.org/vacancies/) to Dr. Andrey Ganopolski, preferably by e-mail (Andrey.Ganopolski@pik-potsdam.de) or by post (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, PF 60 12 03, 14412 Potsdam, Germany).

Payment will be according to Marie Curie rules (http://ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions/), including an allowance for transnational travel and mobility.

At the start of their fellowship, researchers may not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in Germany for more than 12 months in the preceding 3 years. German nationals are eligible only if they have been active in research in a non-Associated Third Country for at least three of the last four years

Early-stage researchers (ESRs) must be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers, including the period of research training, starting at the qualification date.
PIK seeks to increase the number of female scientists and encourages them to apply. Disabled persons with comparable qualifications receive preferential status.

More PhD positions in Stockholm

There are three new PhD positions in hydrology at the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, pertaining to the following projects:

  1. Nutrient sources, retention-attenuation and transport in hydrological catchments under climate change (Ref# 463-39-10)
  2. The role of permafrost, hydrological and ecosystem shifts for arctic hydro-climatic interactions and carbon fluxes (Ref# 463-40-10)
  3. Determining and mapping spatial distributions and thawing rates of inland permafrost under climatic change in the arctic/sub-arctic (Ref# 463-41-10)

Click on the links for the complete announcements.  Deadlines for applications are May 23rd.