Want to work with us?

22 03 2013
© Beboy-Fotolia

© Beboy-Fotolia

Today we announced a HEAP of positions in our Global Ecology Lab for hot-shot, up-and-coming ecologists. If you think you’ve got what it takes, I encourage you to apply. The positions are all financed by the Australian Research Council from grants that Barry Brook, Phill Cassey, Damien Fordham and I have all been awarded in the last few years. We decided to do a bulk advertisement so that we maximise the opportunity for good science talent out there.

We’re looking for bright, mathematically adept people in palaeo-ecology, wildlife population modelling, disease modelling, climate change modelling and species distribution modelling.

The positions are self explanatory, but if you want more information, just follow the links and contacts given below. For my own selfish interests, I provide a little more detail for two of the positions for which I’m directly responsible – but please have a look at the lot.

Good luck!

CJA Bradshaw

Job Reference Number: 17986 & 17987

The world-leading Global Ecology Group within the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences currently has multiple academic opportunities. For these two positions, we are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate and a Research Associate to work in palaeo-ecological modelling.

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences is one of five Schools within the Faculty of Sciences, employing a diverse range of academic and research staff including aquatic and terrestrial ecologists, evolutionary biologists, geologists and landscape scientists. The School plays a key role within the research programs of The Environment Institute and a number of external partner organisations.

The University of Adelaide is a member of the Group of Eight, a coalition of leading, research-intensive Australian universities, and is recognised as one of the top Universities in the world based on various rankings.

The successful candidates will work within the palaeo-ecological theme of the Global Ecology Lab funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project entitled Generalised methods for testing extinction dynamics across geological, near and modern time scales.

Despite the fossil record being patchy and incomplete, there is a general consensus that it is adequate to record major evolutionary patterns; however, poor data quality, geochronological dating uncertainties and preservation biases mean that the timing, drivers and aftermath of extinction events are still hotly contested. The successful applicants will assist us in addressing these problems by (i) developing state-of-the-art analytical tools to both modern, near- and deep-time datasets of species abundance to (ii) provide rigorous and precise estimates of extinction times and speciation events. These results will provide new insights into extinction dynamics, conservation biology, ecological patterns, and policies to reduce species loss in Australia and worldwide.

The successful applicants will be expected to focus on developing mathematical models in the following themes:

  1. Novel quantitative methods to estimate the timing of extinctions for species for which we have detailed fossil and/or ancient genetic information (i.e., dated events in time series) across geological periods.
  2. Additive and synergistic role of climate variation in prehistoric extinction dynamics.
  3. Mathematical approaches to determine the contribution of sampling bias in species with geological ‘gaps’ in their fossil record.
  4. Novel mathematical approaches (e.g., simulation, sensitivity analysis, validation) to correct for the well-established ‘Signor-Lipps’ effect in deep-time fossil series (last and first records of a species’ presence cannot be known due to the low and highly variable chance of fossilisation (and later discovery).
  5. Finer-scale dynamics of extinction and recovery of populations using new mathematical approaches to scrutinise modern species’ abundance time series for ‘signals’ (patterns) reflecting past (unrecorded) declines.

Ref 17986 will focus primarily on the mathematical model development for Themes 1-4, while Ref 17987 will collate the datasets and develop the models applied to modern abundance time series (Theme 5).

Position Requirements

You should have:

  • A commitment to research excellence
  • Well-developed research skills, demonstrated by publications in leading scientific journals and conferences
  • Proficiency in computational and analytical programming, including demonstrated ability in quantitative ecology, environmental and/or climate modelling, and development of computational methods relevant to time series analysis
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively as a member of a research team as well as conducting independent research and undertake project leadership
  • Good verbal and written communication skills and interpersonal skills, including a willingness to supervise students within the lab and engage with external research partners.

In addition to the above, to be considered for the Postdoctoral Research position you will have:

  • A PhD or equivalent degree (or thesis submitted) in a discipline relevant to global change biology or ecological modelling, or comparable relevant experience.
  • In addition to the above, to be considered for the Research Associate position you will have:
  • A BSc with Honours degree (or equivalent) in a discipline relevant to global change biology or ecological modelling, or comparable relevant experience.

Postdoctoral Fellow (Level A) #17988: Wildlife Population Modelling

This fixed term position is available immediately for a period of 3 years and will lead the statistical analysis of existing rabbit demographic and range dynamics data sets and build spatial models to assess the suitability of various rabbit control options (in their exotic range) and conservation measures (across their endemic range) in the near and long-term future at local and regional scales.

Salary: (Level A, Step 6-8) $74 001 – $79 435 per annum

Postdoctoral Fellow (Level A) #17989: Disease Modelling

This fixed term position is available immediately for a period of 2 years and will lead the statistical analysis of existing rabbit disease data sets and build epidemiological models that account for environmental variation and how disease dynamics may respond to climate change.

Salary: (Level A, Step 6-8) $74 001 – $79 435 per annum

Research Associate (Level A) #17990: Data Management and Analysis

This fixed term position is available immediately for a period of 18 months and will carry out extensive literature reviews to establish key drivers of rabbit disease and demographic rates, prepare spatial data for models and ensure effective knowledge transfer between research staff.

Salary: (Level A, Step 1-3) $58,534 – $65,221 per annum

Postdoctoral Fellow (Level A) #17992: Climate Change and Range Dynamics

This fixed term position is available immediately for a period of 2 years and will lead the development of models that integrate bioclimatic envelopes, ecological dynamics and genetic traits, to better inform habitat restoration under global change.

Salary: (Level A, Step 6-8) $74 001 – $79 435 per annum

Research Associate (Level A) #17991: Ecological Data Analysis

This fixed term position is available immediately for a period of 2 years and will lay the groundwork for the case studies, organising data sharing with collaborating researchers and Government/NGO agencies, undertaking quality controlled data entry, GIS and species database management, querying and archiving, assisting with model parameterisations, and preparation of publications.

Salary: (Level A, Step 1-3): $58,534 – $65,221 per annum

Programmer (Contract): C#/Python Script Programmer

Expressions of interest from consultants are sought to undertake a 2 year contract to develop code for fast model execution, assist the other researchers in interlinking different software modules, write user-friendly front-end interfaces, and translate and optimize the new demographic-genetic climate algorithms developed by the other project researchers into high-performance code in C#, Delphi, Python or a related language.

Salary: Ongoing project-based contract services, rate by negotiation


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