Research Associate in Ecosystem Modelling

Job summary

The maximum starting salary on appointment is £37,904 per annum. The Department of Life Sciences was the top ranked university department in the UK for research intensity in Biological Sciences in REF2014 Times Higher Education, scoring 100% on our environment. A 3 year Research Associate position in ecosystem modelling is available to join the laboratories of Dr Samraat Pawar (pawarlab.org) and Dr James Rosindell (rosindell.org) based at the...

Job listing information

  • Reference NAT00297
  • Date posted 19 October 2018
  • Closing date 20 November 2018

Job description

Job summary

The maximum starting salary on appointment is £37,904 per annum.

The Department of Life Sciences was the top ranked university department in the UK for research intensity in Biological Sciences in REF2014 Times Higher Education, scoring 100% on our environment.

A 3 year Research Associate position in ecosystem modelling is available to join the laboratories of Dr Samraat Pawar (pawarlab.org) and Dr James Rosindell (rosindell.org) based at the Silwood Park Campus (http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/silwoodparkcampus ) of Imperial College London.

This position is a key component of a large, multi-institutional, interdisciplinary UK NERC funded project led by Professor Guy Woodward at Imperial, within the new NERC Emerging Chemicals Risks Programme (https://nerc.ukri.org/press/releases/2018/30-chemicals/). We will use a novel combination of mathematical theory, ecoinformatics (e.g., including analysis of a global traits database), lab experiments and mesocosm experiments to understand alterations and recovery of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning following exposure to chemical (and climatic) stressors.

The ultimate aim of this project is to provide freshwater bioscientists a new framework for predicting the impacts of chemical stressors in ecosystems. To develop such a framework in the context of rapidly changing environments we need to move beyond the current reliance on static diversity indices and single-species lab “ecotox” models towards a general functional and trait-based approach that can be used as an integrated diagnostic tool in any ecosystem.

The primary responsibility of the successful candidate will be the development, parameterization and analyses of mathematical models to this end. One of the main theoretical challenges we enviage addressing in this project is to develop models that can predict responses and recovery of functioning of ecosystems away from dynamical equilibrium (see Woodward et al. (2016) The effects of climatic fluctuations and extreme events on running water ecosystems. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 371, 20150274).

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work closely with the empirical teams engaged in associated Workpackages based at Imperial College London and the University of Essex, as well as with the wider multidisciplnary cross-programme researchers based at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Duties and responsibilities

• Developing new mathematical models
• Parameterizing the models using traits-based ecoinformatics
• Analysing the models through computer simulations
• Validating the models using empirical data from micro- and mesocosms
• Working as part of a team to collate data with which to parameterise and test the models
• Publishing your findings in leading journals and present your work at scientific conferences
• Taking the opportunity to further develop your own research skills and assist with supervision of graduate students

Essential requirements

• A PhD ( or equivalent) in a relevant discipline such as theoretical ecology, mathematics or computer science or biology.

You must be able to demonstrate:
• strong skills in the development of mathematical models for ecosystems
• experience in computational / simulation modelling
• experience in dynamical systems theory relevant to ecology
• familiarity with open-source computational tools / languages for efficient numerical analyses

You must also be able to demonstrate:
• excellent verbal communication skills for a range of audiences including the general public
• excellent written communication skills including the ability to write clearly and succinctly for publication
• ability to use initiative and apply a creative approach to problem-solving
• ability to learn, develop and apply new techniques and concepts

Further information

The Silwood Park campus offers a vibrant academic environment in beautiful natural settings. The candidate will also have access to the Imperial College London support network and postdoctoral training opportunities.

Any candidate who has not been yet been awarded their PhD, will be appointed as a Research Assistant within the salary range £33,380 - £35,061 per annum.

This is a full time, fixed-term position available for up to 36 months.

For further information and informal enquiries please contact Dr Samraat Pawar (s.pawar@imperial.ac.uk) or Dr James Rosindell (j.rosindell@imperial.ac.uk).

Should you have any queries about the application process please contact Peggy Baker by email at peggy.baker@imperial.ac.uk  and refer to the job reference number NAT00297.

For technical queries during the application process, please contact recruitment@imperial.ac.uk  

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-evaluation/  

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level. http://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-integrity/animal-research/     

Documents

About Imperial College London

Imperial College London is the UK’s only university focussed entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business and we are consistently rated in the top 10 universities in the world.

You will find our main London campus in South Kensington, with our hospital campuses located nearby in West and North London. We also have Silwood Park in Berkshire and state-of-the-art facilities in development at our major new campus in White City.

We work in a multidisciplinary and diverse community for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle the big global challenges our complex world faces.

It’s our mission to achieve enduring excellence in all that we do for the benefit of society – and we are looking for the most talented people to help us get there.

Additional information

Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

All Imperial employees are expected to follow the 7 principles of Imperial Expectations: 

  • Champion a positive approach to change and opportunity
  • Communicate regularly and effectively within, and across, teams
  • Consider the thoughts and expectations of others
  • Deliver positive outcomes
  • Encourage inclusive participation and eliminate discrimination
  • Develop and grow skills and expertise
  • Work in a planned and managed way 

In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations.

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment. We are an Athena SWAN Silver award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.