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2-yr postdoc on "Climate change and societal drivers of global vegetation dynamics"

 Research Area and Project Description:

This postdoc project is part of the big VILLUM Investigator project “Biodiversity Dynamics in a Changing World” (BIOCHANGE), funded by VILLUM FONDEN. BIOCHANGE aims to address one of the key challenges facing humanity – how to conserve the diversity of life on a planet heading towards 11 billion inhabitants and facing strong climate change in order to safeguard our natural and cultural heritage, quality of life, the numerous ecosystem services on which society depends, and even the basic functioning of the biosphere. Ecological science is key to overcoming this challenge, and BIOCHANGE will work towards this goal via basic research on fundamental Anthropocene ecological dynamics; climate change impact predictions, scenarios, and mitigation options; Big Data ecological approaches (including remote sensing), and interdisciplinary perspectives on human-nature relations and solutions.

The postdoc project will contribute to this broader objective by improving our understanding of climate change and societal drivers of current and, possibly, future global vegetation dynamics. It will include an integrative macroecology-remote sensing perspective, and optionally also field-based work. The postdoc is expected to contribute ideas and concepts to the project and to lead at least two high-quality papers per year in this research area; contribute to the project’s public outreach and teaching, as well as collaborate with other team members, including students, by sharing skills and helping solve problems in her/his area of expertise.

Qualifications and Specific Competences:

Applicants must have PhD degree in ecology, geography or equivalent, or have submitted their PhD thesis for assessment before the application deadline. Solid experience with 1) vegetation ecology, macroecology and/or global change biology and 2) analysis of remote sensing data is required; with experience with socio-ecological perspectives also an advantage. Strong skills in statistical and geospatial modelling are expected, hereunder solid experience with R. The successful candidate is expected to have strong collaborative skills, proven abilities to publish at a high international level, and be fluent in English. International applicants who do not have English as their first language must prove strong English language writing skills and fluency.

Supervisors and collaborators: Project PI prof. Jens-Christian Svenning will be the main supervisor. The postdoc will join a team working on BIOCHANGE (being build up over the next ½ year). Selected top-level international collaborators will be included where relevant.

Place of Employment and Work: The place of employment and work is Section of Ecoinformatics & Biodiversity (ECOINF), Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 114, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark. BIOCHANGE and its team members will be closely integrated into ECOINF, an ambitious, collaborative and highly international research community. Postdocs and PhD students are encouraged to collaborate within the group, across departments and with other universities. More information about the people and research activities of the group can be found at

Application dead-line: June 23 2017. Starting date: September 1st 2017, but negotiable.

Contacts: Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact: Professor Jens-Christian Svenning, phone +45 28992304, e-mail:
Application procedure
Short-listing 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, including the main considerations emphasized during the selection process.

Formalities and salary range

Science and Technology 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 motivation letter, a 2-page curriculum vitae (including number of citations and H-index from Google Scholar), degree certificate, a complete list of publications, and a 1-page outline of your ideas for the postdoc research project. 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.

Aarhus University offers Relocation service to International researchers. You can read more about it here.


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