Post doc on Nature-based solutions for biodiversity restoration

Postdoc position at Department for Biology, Aarhus University, DenmarkSustainScapes – Center for Sustainable Landscapes under Global Change at Department of Biology funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation advertises a 30-month full-time post doc position.

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 lead 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 embedded in a network of national and international collaborators. The project will be supervised by Jens-Christian Svenning and Signe Normand.

Research area and project description:
General background:
Biodiversity and geodiversity are interlinked and important for maintaining ecosystem processes and their services. For a sustainable future, we need to halt their loss and work towards their recovery. Nature-based solutions (NbS) help reach this goal while at the same time comply with several other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A key approach in NbS is to bring more ecological features and processes into landscapes, e.g., through actions that promote natural hydrology, natural grazing regimes, enhanced connectivity, land spared for restoration, sustainable crop rotation, and recovery of soil health and functions. There is increasing support for NbS but considerable delays in ecological dynamics might be involved in biodiversity recovery using NbS. Choosing and implementing NbS requires proper examination of where and by when NbS will contribute to maintain and recover biodiversity. SustainScapes will test to which degree the potential of NbS for restoring ecosystems and biodiversity, jointly with biobased production, depends on the delay in natural process restoration and geodiversity.

Focus on Nature-based solutions for biodiversity restoration:
The key questions you will address are: What is the potential of NbS for restoring ecosystems and biodiversity across Danmark and other European landscapes? Within this overall theme, a focus will be on how NbS for carbon sequestration (climate mitigation) and flood control (climate adaptation) can be placed to maximally benefit biodiversity? Key factors to consider for the effect on biodiversity include current ecological status, biodiversity source areas, connectivity, and geodiversity. Temporal delays in these effects will need to be addressed as well as how future climate and societal change affect the potential of NbS for the mentioned climate and biodiversity outcomes.

You will be part of a work package with three PhD students, working on NbS for agriculture, forestry, and cities. Through conceptualizing and quantifying the potential of NbS you will contribute to lay the scientific basis for NbS to maintain and restore biodiversity, evaluate the effects on ecosystem services, and assess magnitude and dynamic of these effects during implementation - now and in the future. Within NbS, the focus will be on approaches restoring natural ecological processes, e.g., natural hydrology and grazing regimes, as envisioned in the ‘rewilding’ approach to ecosystem restoration.
Your main approach will be Denmark-wide and European-scale geospatial analyses, followed by spatial optimization scenarios and re-assessments under future climate and societal scenarios. Depending on your skills and interests it is possible to couple the analyses with field surveys.

Qualifications
We are looking for a candidate with a PhD in biology or geography and with a strong research background in ecology or physical geography. Experience with rewilding, nature-based solutions, or ecosystem services would be an advantage.
We look for the following specific qualifications:

  • Proven capabilities in handling and analysing geospatial data. Handling and analyses of remotely sensed data is an advantage.
  • Strong knowledge of programming languages (e.g., R, Python)
  • Excellent knowledge in statistical analyses and modelling, machine learning, prioritisation algorithms, data wrangling, visualization & communication.
  • Ability to synthesis and conceptualize on a theoretical and empirical basis. Proven skills with systematic reviews is an advantage.
  • Proven ability to publish in key journals within the field in a timely manner
  • Good collaboration skills across different groups of employees.
  • It is a prerequisite that you are good at communicating in English.

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 Prof. Jens-Christian Svenning 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/

Further information
Interviews
(expected): medio February
Start date: 1st of April, or thereafter (latest august 2021)

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 February 2021

 


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