Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Research Associate in Modelling Biodiversity Responses to Human Impacts
Salary: £31,300 – £39,920 per annum
Closing date: 4th May 2012

This is an exciting opportunity for a Research Associate with an interest in human impacts on biodiversity. The post is available immediately and is funded for up to 36 months by the Natural Environment Research Council and will be based at the Silwood Park campus.

The main research objective is to develop a rigorous global model of how local biodiversity responds to human impacts, in order to support projections of how alternative socio-political scenarios will affect global and regional biodiversity. Biodiversity data will come from published comparisons of assemblage composition along gradients of threat intensity. You will develop and populate a database of spatio-temporally precise measures of threat intensity corresponding to the diversity data, developing new measures from remote-sensed data as necessary; you will also 
develop a database to hold species’ functional trait data. You will employ advanced statistical modelling tool, such as generalized additive mixed models, to relate diversity to threat intensity. 
The successful candidate will work closely with Professor Andy Purvis (the Principal Investigator) and collaborators at Silwood Park (Professor Georgina Mace FRS and Dr Rob Ewers) and in Cambridge (Dr Jörn Scharlemann and Dr Tim Newbold at UNEP-WCMC and Dr Drew Purves at Microsoft Research).

You must have a PhD in Ecology or Environmental Science or have equivalent level of professional qualifications and experience. Strong expertise in the use of remotely-sensed data (preferably from MODIS) and advanced statistical modelling (preferably in R) are essential, as is proficiency in designing and querying databases, GIS and scripting or programming. Postdoctoral research experience relevant to the project and writing stand-alone software or modules (eg R packages) are desirable.

You must have experience of working in a team, the ability to develop and apply new concepts, and have a creative approach to problem-solving. You must also have excellent verbal and written communication skills and experience of writing papers for leading international journals.

Further details of Prof Purvis’s research group can be obtained from For initial enquiries please contact Professor Purvis by email:

Our preferred method of application is online via our website (please select “Job Search” then enter the job title or
vacancy reference number including spaces – NS 2012 090 DPN into “Keywords”). Please complete and upload an application form as directed.

Alternatively, if you are unable to apply online, please contact Diana Anderson by email to request an application form.

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