Spatial ecology in a changing world

Species Distribution Modelling (SDM) and the impacts of global change in the Mediterranean: Ecosystem services provides by birds and forest landscape dynamics

Application date: January 2019

We search for PhD candidates interested in developing a PhD under the Spanish or Catalan offical PhD funding schemes (FI-DGR 2018) o (FPU 2018). The PhD candiate will work on the applications of species distribution models (SDM) in the evaluation of the impacts of climate and land use changes on fire regimes and biodiversity. A focus on the delivery of ecosystem services provided by birds such as seed dispersal and the use of long term monitoring data is expected. The successful candidate will work in the Biodiversity and landscape Ecology lab within the INFOREST Joint research unit that the CTFC has created with the CREAF in Barcelona (  


•  Academy score higher than 7.12 (“grau”) and 8.33 (“master”). It is also compulsory to hold a Master title (2016 or later) or to be registered at an official University Master during the academy year 2018-2019.  


•    Experience in GIS and remote sensing data.  analyses. Programming skills preferred.
•    Experience in R statistical programming language .
•    Experience in the development of species distribution models (SDM).
•    Experience in writing scientific articles.
•    High proficiency in English language.  

Interested candidates can send a CV and a short motivation letter, via e-mail to  

Institutional context and collaborations

The InFOREST JRU is a joint research venture by CTFC and CREAF with the involvement of CSIC. 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 PhD will be expected to coordinate collaborative research with these research groups, and participate in meetings and in the  related to the topics promoted by the unit.

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 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 such as those provided by bird communities may contribute to climate change mitigation and governance responses will promote changes in the demand for particular ecosystem services.

The InForest JRU aims at fill-in knowledge gaps on the basic mechanisms that determine of socio-ecosystems to disturbances. The main  research activities revolve around research infrastructures based on the analysis of long term biodiversity datasets and the modelling of Mediterranean landscapes MED-LDM. These approaches extend existing models to integrate different global change processes and perform simulations that account for their interactions. Expertise by group members includes: species distribution modelling, forest dynamics and silviculture, fire behaviour, fire vegetation succession and optimization strategy aimed at developping innovative governance modes.


Es busca candidat per a sol·licitar una beca de doctorat de Formació d’Investigadors (FI-DGR 2018) o (FPU 2018) per a la realització d’una tesi doctoral sobre la predicció dels potencials efectes del canvi global sobre l’estructura i composició dels boscos a Catalunya, dins del grup de biodiversitat i ecologia del paisatge. Es cerquen candidats interessats en desenvolupar aplicacions de models de distribució d’espècies (SDM) a l’avaluació dels impactes del canvi climàtic i dels canvis d’ús del sol sobre el regim d’incendis i els serveis ecosistèmics proporcionats pels ocells com la dispersió de llavors. Els treballs utilitzaran grans bases de dades basades en seguiments de la biodiversitat a llarg termini. El candidat treballarà en el marc del Biodiversity and landscape Ecology lab que forma part de la creada unitat mixta de recerca entre el CTFC i el CREAF (  


•  Es requereix tenir una nota mitjana de l’expedient acadèmic superior a 7.12 (grau) i 8.33 (master); i tener el títol de Máster (posterior al 2016) o estar matriculat en un Màster Universitari Oficial en el present curs 2018-2019.  

•    Experiència en anàlisis SIG i d’informació provinent de sensors remots. Preferentment amb coneixements de programació.
•    Experiència  en llenguatge de programación estadística R.
•    Coneixements d’ornitologia.
• Experiencia prèvia en el desenvolupament de models de distribución d’espècies (SDM).
•    Nivell d’anglès alt.  

Lloc de treball:

•    Centre Tecnològic Forestal de Catalunya, a Solsona (Lleida).  

Candidats interessats podeu enviar el CV i un escrit curt de motivació, via e-mail a

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *