Postdoctoral Research Officer
Applications are invited for a full-time postdoctoral researcher post working in the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering with the post based in the School of Natural Sciences.
Candidates should have a PhD (or near completion) in a relevant discipline such as geography, environmental science or management, forestry/agroforestry, agriculture/agronomy, soil science, climate science or a related subject. Other desirable characteristics include an understanding of socio-ecological system dynamics, spatial modelling, ecosystem services, participatory research and UK forest/land-use policy. Essential parts of the role will be to interact with Welsh policy makers, present at workshops and conferences, and publish results in peer-reviewed academic journals.
The ability to communicate through the medium of Welsh is desirable for this post.
The successful candidate will be expected to commence in May 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter and the post is available until 31/12/2019 in the first instance.
Applications will only be accepted via our on-line recruitment website, jobs.bangor.ac.uk. However, in cases of access issues due to disability, paper application forms are available by telephoning 01248 383865.
Committed To Equal Opportunities
This post will be held in the School of Natural Sciences at Bangor University. Bangor University is both the first and largest educator of students in the forestry subject area in the UK, spanning a large cohort of PhD students, full-time MSc degrees in Environmental Forestry, Agroforestry, Sustainable Tropical Forestry, and Sustainable Forest and Nature Management (the latter Erasmus Mundus programmes with four European partners); Distance-Learning MScs in Forestry and Tropical Forestry; as well as BSc degrees in Forestry, Conservation with Forestry, and Geography with Environmental Forestry. The school is also a leading international centre of research spanning forest science and social science, agroforestry, ecosystem services, and detailed knowledge of forest management practice and of land use dynamics. Bangor has a strong reputation at the interface of forestry with biogeochemistry and soil science, and with biodiversity conservation.
The Climate Smart Woodlands (CSW) project investigates and identifies areas of Wales where establishing new woodland will provide significant benefits for climate change mitigation and net gains to other ecosystem services. It also assesses the realistic likelihood of transformation of land use or adaptation of existing farming systems to ‘climate smart’ woodland within these areas. The main focus of the project is to review the viability of “land sparing” and “land sharing” strategies for woodland expansion within Wales ̶ focusing on commercial woodland systems and agroforestry. Agroforestry presents a significant opportunity in Wales and CSW will provide advice to Welsh Government on potential areas where tree cover could be more broadly integrated into other land uses outside larger woodland developments.
The project is being led by Bangor University (Dr Tim Pagella, Professor John Healey) in direct collaboration with Aberystwyth University and in partnership with Forest Research.
Purpose of the Job
We are looking for a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher to work as part of the CSW team. Your main role will be to assess the likelihood of land cover transformation to woodland and adaptation of farming systems to include new tree planting. This would include an assessment of how different stakeholder groups perceive: a) opportunities, b) dis-benefits, and c) the broader non-financial costs of transformation (to commercial woodland) or adaptation (to agroforestry systems) at a range of scales. This will involve interviews with a range of stakeholders and result in outputs that detail stakeholder attitudes, and identify barriers, to the spatially-explicit commercial or publically-funded transformation to woodlands and/or adaptation of farming systems. We anticipate that this work will be carried out in collaboration with key partner organisations, such as Coed Cymru.
The post holder would also co-ordinate activity, working closely with project partners and Welsh Government, to a) identify and map spaces that would be suitable for the commercial forestry sector (as part of transformation/land sparing measures) and b) identify areas that are suitable for integration of agroforestry (as part of adaptation/land sharing measures). In both cases we will seek to model/value the gains in ecosystem service provision associated with transformation/adaptation relative to potential.
We are looking primarily for applicants with experience of working with socio-ecological systems, particularly in relation to understanding system dynamics relating to transformational potential. A knowledge of UK forestry/woodlands policy, management and ecology would be beneficial, but is not essential for the post.
Main Duties and Responsibilities
- Application of relevant expertise in the development and co-ordination of activity to research the likelihood of tree cover change in Welsh landscapes that will deliver a net gain to ecosystem service provision.
- Contribute to analysis of where expansion of commercial woodland and agroforestry will provide greatest net societal benefit in delivery of carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services.
- Coordinate project activities to meet aims and objectives, participate in project meetings, and liaise with stakeholders (external and internal).
- Write and complete report(s) associated with the project.
- Lead on scientific research publications with co-researchers in peer-reviewed literature.
- Engage in proposal writing for further research in this area using the results obtained during the research.
Other Duties and Responsibilities
- The post holder will be expected to participate in performance review and developmental activities.
- The post holder will be expected to comply with the University’s equality policies and statements, Dignity at Work and Study Policy and the University’s Welsh Language Scheme.
- The post holder has a general and legal duty of care in relation to health, safety and wellbeing and must take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for her/himself and for other members of staff, students and visitors affected by her/his actions or inactions. The post holder is also required to comply with all applicable health and safety policies, procedures and risk assessments.
- The post holder must comply with relevant legal and financial policies and procedures and be aware of their responsibilities in terms of the legal requirements of their post.
- A PhD (or near completion) in a relevant discipline such as geography, environmental science or management, forestry/agroforestry, agriculture/agronomy, soil science, climate science or a related subject.
- An established record of research in a relevant field.
- Research experience following achievement of PhD.
- Experience of organising and supervising a project team.
- Ability to undertake quantitative analysis, using strong research methods and skills.
- Track record of publications in quality journals.
- Track record of conference presentations.
- Good general computing competency.
- Good statistical skills.
- Experience of working with UK/Welsh woodlands/forestry policy.
- Experience of working with dynamic socio-ecological systems.
- Experience of working with agroforestry systems.
- GIS expertise.
- Experience with carbon modelling
- Demonstrate good verbal and written skills.
- Demonstrate good analytical skills, ability to analyse numerical data and present results appropriately.
- Demonstrate the ability to prioritise workload and work to deadlines.
- Demonstrate proven project management skills.
- Good general computing competency.
- Good statistical skills.
- Ability to travel to complete research activities and attend meetings, conferences as is required by the role.
- Demonstrate ability to work as part of a team.
- Demonstrate interpersonal skills.
- The ability to communicate in Welsh is desirable for this role.
All members of staff have a duty to ensure their actions are in line with the overall environmental aims of the University and minimise their environmental impact.
All offers are made subject to proof of eligibility to work in the UK and receipt of satisfactory references.
All candidates must meet the requirements of UK ‘right to work’ requirements*.
* If you require Home Office permission to work in the UK, or need to switch your visa status in order to take this job, please note that following the introduction by the Government of immigration limits on skilled workers we recommend you use the following link to information about the routes into employment and to check eligibility requirements: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/