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Research Fellow in Applied Biogeography

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:  699516WR

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 Spatial Modelling. 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. This position will be focused on two objectives:

  • Understanding global patterns of co-variation of the key variables within existing datasets used to characterize the socio-ecological systems of planet Earth. In doing so, we will gain an understanding of the biogeography of the Anthroprocene, and the distributions and scale-dependencies of relationships between different social and ecological variables.
  • Testing the key prediction of SCALEFORES that the scale-dependency of relationships between ecosystem services can be predicted by the scale-dependency of these key existing social and ecological datasets. These tests will be primarily conducted in Europe, taking advantage of both the quality and quantity of data available, and of existing collaborations.   

You will have a PhD* or equivalent qualification and experience in biology, geography, environmental studies or a related discipline, advanced skills in GIS and data handling and some understanding of statistical analyses of large-scale datasets. Some knowledge of programming in the R and/or Python and experience with remote sensing analysis software (e.g. ENVI) would be advantageous.

*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.

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 699516WR 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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