Post doc on models of land-use change from global to local scales

Post doc positions at Department for Biology, Aarhus University, Denmark
SustainScapes – Center for Sustainable Landscapes under Global Change at Department of Biology funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation advertises a 3-year post doc positions.

SustainScapes is a newly established research centre focused on providing the scientific basis for rethinking landscapes for restoring biodiversity in a world with increasing resource needs and a changing climate. SustainScapes aims a providing transformative real-world sustainable solutions that will alleviate biodiversity loss while satisfying societal needs for agricultural and forestry products across Denmark and beyond. Overall, SustainScapes addresses: (i) how delays in response to multiple global change drivers affect our ability to maintain biodiversity jointly with a sustainable bio-based production of food, materials, and energy, (ii) how nature-based solutions (NbS) and landscape-scale prioritization can best contribute to bio- and geodiversity recovery, (iii) how local to nation-wide sustainable solutions can be embedded in a globalized context, and (iv) how visualisation of co-benefits of multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can foster implementation of transformative, sustainable, and actionable solutions.

The centre is based on a 6-years project funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and led by Prof. Signe Normand, Department of Biology and Prof. Tommy Dalgaard, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University.

You will be part of an excellent, divers, inclusive, and vibrant research environment and supervised by Alejandro Ordonez, Peter Verburg, and Signe Normand. The project is embedded in a network of national and international collaborators.

Research area and project description
General background: Beside climate change, human activities, especially conversion and degradation of habitats, are one of the main causes of biodiversity declines and reductions in Nature-derived good quality of life. To fully understand the future trajectories of both biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people it is necessary to develop scenarios of national-wide changes to future human pressures. These scenarios need to be placed in a global context and to consider not only worse-case scenarios but also the possible outcomes of transformative changes in the way humans interact with nature. As part of SustainScapes, you will use both Danish and European landscapes as test areas for conceptualizing, developing, and visualizing spatially explicit scenarios of nation-wide land use and land cover change in a globalized context. The analyses will thus range from global to landscape scales.

These scenarios will be developed by combining normative ‘pictures’ of Natures Futures with simulations, modelling, or full driver analysis. The goal is to translate possible storylines of transformative change into models that can be extrapolated as geographic complex outputs useful for spatial-planning and policy development.

The scenarios to be developed in this project should take into consideration national priorities and commitments and be hierarchically embedded in the predictions of global and European scale land change models. The scenarios you will develop should also consider how global trends affect prioritization of land within Denmark and Europe, and how decisions in Denmark affect biodiversity and climate change mitigation elsewhere. Likewise, the developed scenarios should consider the achievement of multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially biodiversity protection, sustainable bio-based production, and climate actions.

Qualifications
We are looking for a candidate with a PhD in ecology or geography (or equivalent) or have submitted their PhD thesis for assessment before the application deadline. The successful candidate should have solid experience with land change models, geospatial modelling, or spatial econometrics.

We look for the following specific qualifications:

  • Knowledge on the implementation of land change models and/or Environmental Spatial Analysis.
  • Proven capabilities in handling and analysing geospatial data.
  • Cutting-edge expertise in advanced statistical analyses of large data sets.
  • Strong knowledge of programming languages (e.g., R, Python).
  • Proven ability to publish at a high international level.
  • Good collaboration skills across different groups of employees.
  • It is a prerequisite that you are good at communicating in English.
  • Prior experience with European land use change scenarios is an advantage, but not a prerequisite.
  • Strong collaborative skills.

Place of employment
The place of employment is Aarhus University, Department of Biology, Section for Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity (ECOINF), Ny Munkegade 114, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark. You will be part of SustainScapes – Center for Sustainable Landscapes under Global Change, a newly established research centre focused on establishing research-based sustainable solutions for maintenance of biodiversity and production across landscapes.

Contact information
Any questions about the position can be directed to Assistant Professor Alejandro Ordonez or Prof. Signe Normand (Director of SustainScapes).
For more information about Section for Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity: https://bio.au.dk/forskning/forskningsomraader/ecoinformatics-and-biodiversity/

The Department of Biology
The Department of Biology (http://bio.au.dk/) provides research and teaching in all major biological subdisciplines. The department is especially known for its research contribution in biodiversity, global change and conservation biology, aquatic biology and ecology, arctic environment and ecosystems, genetics and evolution, microbiology and zoophysiology. The department currently encompasses approximately 150 academic and technical staff and 30 PhD students. Nearly 500 students follow the BSc and MSc programs offered by the institute.
The department offers a vibrant and informal research environment with a long-standing tradition of collaboration with international university partners. Much of the internal communication is in English and we welcome international applicants.

Application procedure
Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants.

Letter of reference
If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in question before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline. Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

Formalities and salary range
Natural Sciences refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

Aarhus University
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at www.international.au.dk/

Deadline: 01 March 2021

 


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