Spatial ecology in a changing world

Post-Doctoral position on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Scenarios and Modelling in Mediterranean Forests

Post-Doctoral position on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Scenarios and Modelling in Mediterranean Forests

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A new position to conduct post-doctoral research is open at CEMFOR (CTFC)CREAF Joint research unit (InFOREST JRU) for one to two years (with the possibility of an extension) in the context of the new joint research unit between the two research institutions and the new project INFORMED of the FORESTERRA-ERA-NET.

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We are seeking multi-disciplinary hearted researchers to investigate the relationship between forest dynamics and drivers of environmental change in a Mediterranean forest context. Main focus of the work will be on testing and applying state-of-the-art methods and models in forest and biodiversity dynamics modelling at different spatial and temporal scales. More specifically the candidates will:

• Integrate knowledge on socio-economic-ecological processes that operate at different spatial and temporal scales.

• Produce robust and credible projections of future changes in forest ecosystem services under different scenarios of global change drivers and management options.

• Translate the acquired knowledge on processes and interactions into operational tools.

• Increase research capacity by efficient interaction with other related projects in this research area.

The candidate is also expected to be involved in the activities related to the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and promote the leadership of the InForest JRU in terms institutional organisation, development of research activities (workshop organisation) and project writing and coordination (H2020 and similar calls).

Requirements

– PhD. in environmental sciences (ecology, forestry, geography or similar).

– Excellent publication record.

– Expertise in forest or biodiversity modelling development (statistical, landscape and/or process based models).

– Strong background in modelling, programming and analytical skills in R or equivalent.

– Contrasted capacity to lead work and team up with other researchers.

– Previous experience in international project management and leadership.

Institutional context and collaborations

The InFOREST JRU is a joint research venture by CTFC and CREAF. These are two forest research centres belonging to the Catalan network of research institutions CERCA. A strength of CREAF-CTFC is that it is built on strong national, European and global networks. Collaborating with scientists within CREAF-CTFC and with the InForest research partners across Europe, America and Australia will greatly expand the candidate international network. The post-doc will be expected to coordinate collaborative research with these research groups, and participate in meetings and in the writing of project proposals related to the topics of the call.

Research context

Mediterranean forests are complex socio-ecosystems characterized by an important biodiversity, high levels of spatial environmental heterogeneity, deep interlinking with human populations to which they provide a bunch of ecosystem services. Mediterranean forests are also considered as a hotspot of global change impacts. Based on meta-disciplinary research, the InForest JRU and the project INFORMED will develop a dynamic approach to the resilience of Mediterranean forests by considering an integrated socio-ecosystem where management, ecological processes and socio-economic processes interact. Climate change, land-use change and new demands on ecosystem services act on the system as new disturbance factors or modify previous disturbance regime, which will simultaneously impact the different compartments of the system. Resilience is the maintenance of the capacity to respond to disturbance and continue providing ecosystem services, forest composition and structure can change. There is also a feed-back of the socio-ecosystem on global change: forest functions may contribute to climate change mitigation and governance response will contribute to changes in the demand for particular ecosystem services.

The InForest JRU and its research activity through research projects such as INFORMED will aim at fill-in knowledge gaps on the basic mechanisms that determine the response to disturbance of the socio-ecosystem, and it will extend existing models to integrate different processes and perform simulations that account for their interactions. Modelling expertise by project partners includes: forest dynamics and silviculture, fire behaviour, fire vegetation succession, niche models, functional and evolutionary models, economics and optimization strategy, innovative governance modes.

Working conditions

– Equivalent to the Juan de la Cierva Programme of the Spanish “Ministerio de ciencia e innovación” (http://www.investigacionenconservacion.es/index.php/becas-y-contratos/801-ayudas-juan-cierva-formacion-2015).

– Working place in Solsona (120 km north of Barcelona, Spain), CEMFOR-CTFC (http://www.cemfor.cat). Travelling often abroad with European project partners.

Send CV, a motivation letter (one page maximum) and the contacts of two reference researchers, via e-mail before March 6th 2015 to: lluis.brotons@ctfc.cat , InForest JRU (CEMFOR-CREAF), Solsona.

Research context of the INFORMED project and the InForest JRU:

Mediterranean forests are complex socio-ecosystems characterized by an important biodiversity, high levels of spatial environmental heterogeneity, deep interlinking with human populations to which they provide a bunch of ecosystem services. Mediterranean forests are also considered as a hotspot of global change impacts.

The Mediterranean forest scientific community has long collaborative experience in each discipline and this project will contribute to strengthen its interdisciplinary expertise.

Based on meta-disciplinary research, our research vision will develop a dynamic approach of the resilience of Mediterranean forests by considering an integrated socio-ecosystem where management, ecological processes and socio-economic processes interact through a variety of ecological and social processes.

Climate changes, land-use changes and new demands on ecosystem services act on the system as new disturbance factors or modify previous disturbance regime, which will simultaneously impact the different compartments of the system. Resilience is the maintenance of the capacity to respond to disturbance and continue providing ecosystem services, forest composition and structure can change. There is also a feed-back of the socio-ecosystem on global change: forest functions may contribute to climate change mitigation and governance response will contribute to changes in the demand for particular ecosystem services, but these feed-back issues will not be addressed in this project.

The InForest JRU through the INFORMED and related projects will fill-in knowledge gaps on the basic mechanisms that determine the response to disturbance of the socio-ecosystem, and it will extend existing models to integrate different processes and perform simulations accounting for their interactions. Modelling expertise by researchers included in the InForest JRU includes: forest dynamics and management, fire behaviour, fire vegetation succession, niche models and optimization strategy and scenario development. The research context will focus on case studies representative of different scenarios related to global change effects in the Northern and Southern edges of the Mediterranean.

Particular attention will be given to temporal issues, velocity and frequency of changes, time scale of the responses, and INFORMED will consider different time scale issues from one year to one century.

Acquired knowledge will be translated into operational recommendations and tools to support decision, from management at stand level to framework planning and to policy making at regional or national scale. Beyond the cross-evaluation of current practices or organizations (e.g. evaluation of fire prevention strategies on biodiversity evolution or on the response to drought stress), we aim to propose innovative, alternative but still operational, management strategies.



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