Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Postdoc position: Macroecology and diversity of species interactions - University of Oulu

Position 1: Macroecology and diversity of species interactions

Coevolution among species via species interactions is the major driving force of biodiversity. Yet, the concept of and metrics to estimate species interactions is largely missing from biodiversity studies. The project has two major aims. First, our goal is to create a novel community diversity index, which quantitatively grade communities in terms of the sign, strength and variation of interactions. We will then examine how interaction index varies relative to taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity, stability of the communities and the level of disturbance. Second, we aim to estimate a novel species-specific characteristic, which describes species competitive – facilitative interaction abilities. The association of this new metric with species capability to adapt to global changes is then examined. The project uses comprehensive and long-term bird survey data from Europe and moth data from Finland. We will use a state-of-the-art statistical modelling technique, Joint Dynamic Species Distribution Modelling, developed by one of the PIs of the project, Dr. James Thorson, in extracting species associations from the survey data.

The position is approximately for 2.5 – 3 years, depending on the starting salary of the recruited person. The start date of the position is flexible but should preferably take place in autumn 2017, and definitely by the end of 2017. Position may involve occasional teaching. The location of the position is at the Research Unit of Ecology, Faculty of Sciences.

Research Group. Principal Investigators of the project are Dr. Jukka Forsman (University of Oulu, Finland) and Dr. James Thorson (National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, Seattle, USA). The recruited post-doc is expected to visit Dr. Thorson and learn modelling techniques. Other collaborators of the project are Vincent Devictor (University of Montpellier, France), Mikko Mönkkönen (University of Jyväskylä) and Panu Välimäki (University of Oulu, Finland).

Qualification requirements. Applicants must have a PhD in ecology, evolutionary biology, statistical modeling or related areas. The recruited post-doc is expected to be enterprising and have excellent English communication skills, as well as experience programming in the R statistical environment. Following qualifications and experience is considered as an advantage: managing and analyzing large data sets, species distribution modeling, experience in estimating diversity indexes (taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic), statistical modelling, experience in applying GIS-data on biological systems, and global change studies.

Contact persons for further information. Project leaders Jukka Forsman, email: jukka.forsman (at)oulu.fi, tel.: +358 2494 481951 and Dr. James Thorson, email: James.T.Thorson(at)gmail.com

The University of Oulu in Northern Finland, with approximately 16,000 students and 3,000 employees, is an international, multidisciplinary research university with a rich pool of creative and intellectual talent. The strengths of the University include broad, multidisciplinary research interests, a modern research and study environment, and wide cooperation with international research and educational institutes (http://www.oulu.fi/university/).

The salary will be based on the levels 5 – 6 of the demand level chart for university-level teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 46.3 % of the job-specific component). The salary is thus in practice roughly 3,500 – 4,000 € per month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience.

Application Procedure
The following documents must be attached to the application:
1) Brief curriculum vitae in English
2) List of publications in international peer-reviewed journals
3) Brief description of research merits
4) Brief (1 – 2 pages) research and action plan in English
5) Contact information of two or three (2-3) persons whom may be asked to give a statement of the candidate

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using electronic application form by 30.6.2017. NOTE: Mark the number of the position you are applying.

A link to recruiting system: https://rekry.saima.fi/certiahome/open_job_view.html?did=5600&jc=1&id=00003892&lang=en

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