Postdoc positions available

Three new postdoc positions (with another in theoretical ecology to follow next year) are now available in our lab in London – empirical ecology, ecological modelling and quantitative ecology. Applications close 7 March.

The positions are funded by a 5-year European Research Council Consolidator Grant (ALIENIMPACTS). ALIENIMPACTS aims to develop an approach for predicting impacts of alien plant invasions on plant community diversity, using temperate grasslands as a model system. Brief descriptions are provided below, but please follow the links to get full job description and application details.

Empirical Ecology (3 years + possible 1 year extension): This post will help to experimentally test hypotheses that describe how alien plants can reduce community diversity. Core research for the PDRA will include: co-designing and establishing a new field experiment at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, Minnesota, US to quantify impacts of sown plant invaders released from natural insect and fungal attack; and analysing existing data from experiments in central Europe to quantify impacts of invaders on grassland communities. The enemy release experiment will involve day-to-day coordination and administration of the experiment, collection of field and trait data (and associated lab work), and supervision of research assistants in the field. Key collaborators include Prof. Mark van Kleunen (U. Konstanz), Prof. David Tilman (U. Minnesota) and other members of the ALIENIMPACTS team.

Ecological Modelling (3 years + possible 2 year extension): This post will help to develop new models, and a modelling approach, to predict the establishment and abundance of invading plant species in a site, and the resulting impact on plant community diversity. Core research for the PDRA will include: further developing and empirically validating a mechanistic model of invasion impacts using data from field experiments; and generalising the model to predict current and future impacts of “natural” alien plant invasions in grasslands in the UK, Czech Republic and SE Australia. The post involves: working with a wide range of data and collaborators, including practitioners; model development, coding, parameterisation and validation; and a willingness and ability to work with a wide range of modelling approaches and tools, such as mechanistic niche modelling, dynamic range models, coupled niche-population models, agent based modelling, and GIS. Key collaborators include Dr Laura Graham (U. Birmingham), Dr Adam Clark (U. Graz), Prof. David Tilman (U. Minnesota), Prof. Petr Pysek (Czech Academy of Science), Prof. James Bullock (UK CEH) and other members of the ALIENIMPACTS team.

Quantitative Ecology (2.5 years): This post will help to test competing hypotheses that describe how alien plants can reduce community diversity, and will examine and quantify fitness differences between alien invaders and co-occurring native species. Core research for the PDRA will include: analysing data from the globally replicated grassland experiment, the Nutrient Network; and analysing global observational data about plant functional traits and demography. The post will require collaboration with a wide range of international scientists, management and integration of disparate, large datasets, and creative application of GIS and statistical approaches, including convergent cross mapping. Key collaborators include Prof. Elizabeth Borer (U. Minnesota), Prof. Eric Seabloom (U. Minnesota), Prof. Yvonne Buckley (Trinity College Dublin), Assoc. Prof. Rob Salguero-Gomez (U. Oxford) and other members of the ALIENIMPACTS team.

For further information or questions, please email jane.catford[at]kcl.ac.uk.

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