Multiple Positions Open: Biodiversity and Land-Use Impacts on Tropical Ecosystem Function, University of Aberdeen

The University of Aberdeen is currently advertising four open positions as part of a cluster hire for a NERC research consortium titled BALI (Biodiversity And Land-use Impacts on Tropical Ecosystem Function). BALI focuses on the effects of land-use change and biodiversity loss on ecosystem function along a tropical land-use gradient in Sabah (northeast Borneo) in Malaysia. Open positions are for a Project Coordinator, two Post-Doctoral Researchers, and a Technician.

PROJECT COORDINATOR (Ref:1373671)
£20,764-£24,049 per annum, 4 years, closing date for applications 18 Nov 2013

Job Summary
This exciting opportunity will require a person with strong planning, organisational and communication skills to aid and support the Principal Investigator of a multi-institution international tropical research consortium. The postholder will aid the Principal Investigator in managing the consortium; facilitate communications across the consortium; coordinate logistics and field operations; manage large, complex datasets; and plan science outreach and knowledge exchange activities.

Criteria
As the project is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) the post will be offered for a period of 4 years. This appointment will be made subject to the usual terms and conditions of employment of the University.

  • HND or equivalent in biology, ecology, geology, environmental sciences or a related discipline
  • Good grades in English at Higher level or equivalent
  • Reasonable grades in Maths at Higher level or equivalent
  • Experience in biological, ecological, geological, or environmental research
  • Experience in scientific writing
  • Experience in public speaking (e.g. presented talks at conferences or workshops)
  • Proficient in the use of computer software packages, such as the MS Office suite, statistical and data handling software (e.g. R, Matlab, etc.)

Informal enquiries: Yit Arn Teh (yateh@abdn.ac.uk)
Apply online here

POSTDOC PLANT-SOIL INTERACTIONS (Ref: 1373658)
£25,504-£30,424 per annum, 3 years, closing date for applications 18 Nov 2013

Job Summary
This exciting opportunity will require a person with a strong interest in understanding how human modification of Tropical Forest communities impacts plant-soil interactions. The postholder will join a multi-institutional international research consortium and will be responsible for co-ordination of sampling plant functional traits and establishing field-based biodiversity, soil and litter manipulation experiments in Sabah, Malaysia. In addition, he/she will be responsible for undertaking analyses of a suite of plant traits and integrating these data to test how trait diversity relates to biogeochemical processes. A key requirement will be to liaise with other researchers in the consortium including local project partners on joint research activities, and to contribute to publication of the project’s findings in international peer-reviewed journals.

Criteria
As the project is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) the post will be offered for a period of 3 years. This appointment will be made subject to the usual terms and conditions of employment of the University.

  • PhD (or near completion) in a Biological Science
  • An understanding of plant community ecology, ideally related to tropical systems
  • Knowledge of the factors controlling biogeochemical cycles, especially those related to the influence of plants
  • Current land-use practices in Tropical systems and how they may affect plant communities and biogeochemical cycles;
  • Knowledge of statistical techniques and experimental design
  • Field-based research or sampling experience
  • Track record of scientific and lay-science publications appropriate to level of experience

Informal enquiries: David Burslem (d.burslem@abdn.ac.uk) and Dave Johnson (
d.johnson@abdn.ac.uk)
Apply online here

POSTDOC IN SOIL BIOGEOCHEMISTRY (Ref: 1373587)
£25,504-£30,424 per annum, 3 years (1.5 years in Aberdeen and 1.5 years in
Edinburgh), closing date for applications 18 Nov 2013

Job Summary
This exciting research opportunity will require a person with a strong interest in understanding how human modification impacts biodiversity, biogeochemical cycling and biogenic trace gas fluxes in Tropical Forests. The postholder will join a multi-institution international research consortium, where he or she will be responsible for investigating the effects of land-use change and biodiversity loss on ecosystem functioning in Southeast Asia. In addition to designing and implementing field studies, the postholder will also be responsible for planning process-based laboratory experiments to further elucidate the role of microorganisms in the catalysis of key soil processes, such as the degradation of organic matter or soil nutrient dynamics. A key requirement will be to liaise with other researchers in the consortium, including local project partners, on joint research activities, and to contribute to publication of the project’s findings in leading international peer-reviewed journals.

Criteria
As this project is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Aberdeen will offer the post for a period of 18 months. It is anticipated that the second half of the appointment will be based in Edinburgh and as such the postholder will be employed by
Edinburgh University for a further period of 18 months.

  • PhD (or near completion) in ecosystem ecology, terrestrial biogeochemistry or allied field;
  • Current land-use practices in tropical systems and how this may affect soil processes and biogeochemical cycles;
  • Knowledge of statistical techniques and experimental design
  • Track record of publication in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals (e.g. Science, Nature, Global Change Biology, New Phytologist, etc.) and in lay-science publications appropriate to level of experience;
  • Ability to design and execute field-based manipulative experiments;
  • Ability to operate and maintain analytical instrumentation (e.g. spectroflourometer for extracellular enzymology, gas chromatographs, infra-red gas analyzers, chemiluminescence detectors, laser absorption spectroscopes, elemental analyzers, isotope ratio mass spectrometers);
  • Ability to use statistical software to analyse large datasets

Informal enquiries: Yit Arn Teh (yateh@abdn.ac.uk) and Patrick Meir (P.Meir@ed.ac.uk)
Apply online here

TECHNICIAN (Ref:1373607)
£20,764 per annum, 3 years, closing date for applications 19 Nov 2013

Job Summary
This exciting opportunity will require a person with a strong interest in supporting research on understanding how human modification of Tropical Forest communities impacts plant-soil interactions. The postholder will join a multi-institutional international research consortium and will be responsible for undertaking a suite of laboratory analyses of soil properties and plant traits and managing these data so they can be used to test how trait diversity relates to biogeochemical processes. Knowledge of plant-soil interactions in the context of biogeochemical cycling and experience in analysis of soils and plants for a variety of traits are essential requirements for this post. An ability to interact with a diverse team of research scientists and to manage the running of the laboratory, including excellent organisation skills, are key requirements.

Criteria
As the project is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
the post will be offered for a period of 3 years.

  • HNC/HND in biology or chemistry
  • Experience in analysis of soils and plants for nutrient contents and carbon fluxes
  • Experience in molecular biology
  • Experience in maintaining plants in controlled conditions
  • Good knowledge of statistical techniques and experimental design
  • Data management tools such as spreadsheets and graphical analysis

Informal enquiries: David Burslem (d.burslem@abdn.ac.uk) and Dave Johnson (d.johnson@abdn.ac.uk)
Apply online here

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