16/04/2019
The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

Postdoc in theoretical community ecology

This job offer has expired


  • ORGANISATION/COMPANY
    University of Namur
  • RESEARCH FIELD
    Biological sciencesBiodiversity
    Environmental scienceEcology
    Environmental scienceGlobal change
  • RESEARCHER PROFILE
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    Established Researcher (R3)
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE
    01/06/2019 00:00 - Europe/Brussels
  • LOCATION
    Belgium › Namur
  • TYPE OF CONTRACT
    Temporary
  • JOB STATUS
    Full-time
  • HOURS PER WEEK
    37.5

We offer a full-time postdoc position in theoretical community ecology at the University of Namur, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biology, and Research Unit of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology (Belgium). Starting date is as soon as the position is filled and ideally no later than 01/09/2019. This is a position of up to three years. The main objective is to study, using theory and models, the effects of global change on the diversity and functioning of freshwater food-webs (diatoms and invertebrates).

This research is part of an international project targeted at understanding how spatial variability of community composition influences resistance and resilience against global change effects on coexistence and ecosystem function. The recruited scientist will, in collaboration with PI Frederik De Laender and other scientists at the host lab, incorporate stressor effects on resource utilization traits in bioenergetic models to make theoretical predictions. We will collaborate with the universities of Landau (Ralf Schäfer and Martin Schmidt-Entling) and Wageningen (Paul Van den Brink) to investigate how spatial variability in community composition, as inferred from decades worth of biomonitoring data, map to spatial variability of community vulnerability. The planned work is of a theoretical nature but can be extended with a small number of dedicated experiments with freshwater diatom communities to test some of the theory’s assumptions. There is technician support for these experiments. We will also collaborate with the university of Sheffield (Lorraine Maltby) to assess the implications of our findings for the conservation of ecosystem services. Within the project, the hired postdoc will be part of a team of 3 PhD students and 2 other postdocs.

This position offers considerable flexibility for the hired postdoc to define and develop her/his own research program, as long as there is sufficient overlap with the project’s main objective.

Benefits

At the host lab at the university of Namur, the selected candidate will be part of a large, dynamic research team, consisting of eight Ph.D students, one technician, and one other postdoc. The host lab is internationally visible and regularly publishes in high-profile journals. Namur is a small city located in the French-speaking part of Belgium, of which it is the capital. It is located 80km south (or 1h by train) of Brussels and is surrounded by a beautiful countryside.

This position offers considerable flexibility for the hired postdoc to define and develop her/his own research program, as long as there is sufficient overlap with the project’s main objective.

Eligibility criteria

Because of the kind of funding scheme sustaining this position, candidates should (1) have obtained their Ph.D at most 6 years before the start of the position; (2) not have resided in Belgium for more than 12 months within the last three years before the application deadline (short visits, e.g. holidays, study visits etc, do not count towards the 12-month period).

Selection process

Applicants should send their CV (including a publication list), a motivation letter, and a summary of their PhD thesis to Frederik. The best candidates will be shortlisted for an interview and an assignment. This assignment may consist of one or several of the following: a programming task; reading and reporting on a scientific paper; a writing exercise. 

Additional comments

Please contact Frederik.delaender@unamur.be in case of any questions. Please check out https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Frederik_De_Laender or www.eeecology.eu for more information regarding our research activities. Some recent publications are:

  • De Raedt, J., Baert, J., Janssen, CR. & De Laender, F., 2019. Stressor fluxes alter the relationship between beta-diversity and regional productivity. Oikos, in press.
  • Radchuk, V., De Laender, F., et al. The dimensionality of stability depends on disturbance type. Ecology Letters, 22, 674-684.
  • Baert, J., Eisenhauer, N., Janssen, C. & De Laender, F. Biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning respond unimodally to environmental stress. Ecology Letters, 21, 1191-1199.
  • De Laender, F. Community- and ecosystem-level effects of multiple environmental change drivers: beyond null model testing. Global Change Biology, 24, 5021-5030.

Offer Requirements

  • REQUIRED EDUCATION LEVEL
    Biological sciences: PhD or equivalent
    Environmental science: PhD or equivalent
  • REQUIRED LANGUAGES
    ENGLISH: Excellent

Skills/Qualifications

Candidates should (1) have excellent programming skills, ideally in Python or R; (2) have a solid background in quantitative/theoretical ecology; (3) be able to speak, read, and write fluently in English.

Specific Requirements

Candidates should hold a Ph.D in biology, ecology, mathematics, physics, environmental sciences, or similar. Because of the kind of funding scheme sustaining this position, candidates should (1) have obtained their Ph.D at most 6 years before the start of the position; (2) not have resided in Belgium for more than 12 months within the last three years before the application deadline (short visits, e.g. holidays, study visits etc, do not count towards the 12-month period).

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
University of Namur
Belgium
Namur

EURAXESS offer ID: 400157

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