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Research Fellow in Spatial Modelling

Global Environmental Change & Earth Obs

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £28,982 to £35,609
Full Time Fixed Term (3 Years)
Closing Date:  Friday 01 April 2016
Interview Date:   Tuesday 26 April 2016
Reference:  699416WR

We are seeking to appoint two researchers to work with Dr Felix Eigenbrod on his ERC Starting Grant, “Scaling Rules for Ecosystem Service Mapping (SCALEFORES)” in Geography and the Environment at the University of Southampton. The other position which can be accessed is a Fellow in Applied Biogeography. Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply for both positions. 

It is now widely recognized that the sustainable management of ecosystem services is essential for humanity’s prospects in the 21st century and beyond. However, at present there is little data on the distribution of most services in most places. The overarching idea underpinning SCALEFORES is that we can use information on the scale-dependency of relationships between existing social and ecological datasets (e.g. land cover, soil type, human population density) to create maps of trade-offs and win-wins among ecosystem services in data-poor regions. The position will be focused on two objectives:

  • Create and analyse artificial surfaces of spatial processes (neutral maps) with known spatial properties. The advantage of this approach – developed in landscape ecology – is that it becomes possible to examine the impact of one particular spatial process in the absence of others, thereby enabling a deeper conceptual understanding of the impacts of different components of scale-dependency on ecosystem service mapping.
  • Use this theoretical modelling to develop a priori predictions about the conditions under which spatial scale will most affect relationships between ecosystem services. These predictions will then be tested using the datasets collated by the Research Fellow in Applied Biogeography.

You will have a PhD*or equivalent qualification and experiencein spatial and/or ecological modelling, including strong skills in computer programming (e.g. in R, Matlab or Python) and statistics, as well as some expertise in GIS and data handling. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the project, there is flexibility to accommodate candidates with expertise derived from related disciplinary backgrounds (e.g. ecology, geography, demography, statistics, computer science, epidemiology etc).

*Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification.  The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD.  Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

The School of Geography is Geography was ranked 5th in the UK in terms of the quality of scholarly outputs in REF 2014, with particular strengths in environmental modelling (e.g. Andy Tatem, James Dyke), ecosystem services (e.g. Marije Schaafsma, John Dearing) and remote sensing (e.g. Jadu Dash). It also offers flexible working opportunities and due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy, onsite childcare facilities and employees are able to participate in the childcare vouchers scheme. Other benefits include state-of-the-art on-campus sports, arts and culture facilities, a full programme of events and a range of staff discounts.

The position is tenable from 1 July 2016 and will be available for 3 years in the first instance (further extensions may be possible subject to funding).

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Felix Eigenbrod ( Dr Eigenbrod is currently based in Biology ( but will have moved to Geography by 1 July 2016.

 Application procedure:

You should submit your completed online application form at The application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Charlene Tyson (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0) 23 8059 6803. Please quote reference 699416WR on all correspondence.      

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

Further details:

We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Please note that applications from agencies will not be accepted unless indicated in the job advert.

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