Freshwater Biodiversity: Postdoctoral Fellowship

South African National Biodiversity Institute

Cape Town, South Africa 🇿🇦

Kirstenbosch Research Centre

Applications are invited for one postdoctoral fellow to join the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) Freshwater Biodiversity Programme for a two-year postdoctoral fellowship to support the implementation of the research programme in the unit. The fellowship is expected to commence in June 2022, on a full-time basis.The fellowship will be co-supervised by Professor Michael Grenfell, University of the Western Cape, and Nancy Job, Lead of the Freshwater Biodiversity Programme at SANBI.

Requirements: SANBI’s freshwater programme seeks to award a postdoctoral fellowship with experience in geospatial terrain analysis and modelling for hydrological and geomorphological applications, and empirical statistical analysis of hydrological and geomorphological data, with a particular focus on rivers. The postdoctoral fellow will be required to advance research on river ecosystems, their state, drivers, pressures and resilience to support and improve the freshwater component of the upcoming National Biodiversity Assessment, which SANBI is mandated to conduct, and associated projects of SANBI’s freshwater programme.

The postdoctoral fellowship is open to anyone who has completed their PhD in the last five years.  Candidates must be independent and productive, and have a PhD (with evidence of completion at least, if graduation is pending) that is related to Freshwater Ecology, Hydrology, Geomorphology, Physical Geography, Earth Science, Statistical Ecology, Civil Engineering or a related subject. Applicants will be required to work within multi-disciplinary teams, synthesise literature and data sources, acquire, manipulate and analyse large spatiotemporal data sets, and find scientific evidence to formulate defendable recommendations. Experience in GIS software and allied modelling tools (e.g. TAUDEM), statistical analysis/ data analysis and visualization/R-statistical software, hydrological modelling, and conducting spatial analysis of hydrological/geomorphological/ecological data would be beneficial.

Responsibilities may include the implementation of research projects that:

  • characterise river habitat
  • link flow/sediment dynamics to ecological structure and function in the river
  • represent the national distribution of river types, their drivers and resilience
  • inform indicators and thresholds of change and the status assessment of river ecosystems
  • inform the strategic planning, prioritisation, monitoring and rehabilitation of freshwater biodiversity areas
  • inform future research needs for river-related freshwater biodiversity planning

Bursary value: A fellowship of R300,000 per year for two years (24 months) is available.  The postdoc fellow will be required to register at the University of the Western Cape. Some running expenses will also be made available for the two years.

Application procedure: Each application is to be accompanied by a standard bursary application cover sheet (attached to this advert). Applications are to include a full CV that shows the applicant’s educational background, relevant research, work experience, publications and other scholarly activities, two letters of reference (one must be from an academic supervisor); certified copies of ID and academic records; one or two published/submitted articles and a 2-page outline of the applicant’s vision for the postdoc, envisaged outputs, and how the outputs can contribute to the upcoming National Biodiversity Assessment and SANBI’s Freshwater research programme. Send all documents to [email protected] with “SANBI freshwater programme postdoctoral fellowship” in the subject line.

Contact details

For academic queries: Prof Michael Grenfell ([email protected]) and Ms Nancy Job ([email protected])

For questions about the application process: Ms RenĂ© du Toit ([email protected])

Applications close: 10 May 2022, and the successful candidate will be notified before the end of May 2022.

SANBI reserves the right not to fill this fellowship. If no response has been received within 21 days of the closing date, candidates may assume that their applications were unsuccessful.