Postdoctoral Researcher in Freshwater Ecology and Hydromorphology via EURAXESS

Atlantic Technological University (ATU)

Galway, Ireland 🇮🇪

Job Information

Organisation/Company: Atlantic Technological University

Department: Marine and Freshwater Research Centre

Research Field: Environmental science, Environmental science » Water science, Biological sciences

Researcher Profile: Recognised Researcher (R2)

Country: Ireland

Application Deadline: 19/12/2022 – 12:00 (UTC)

Type of Contract: Temporary

Job Status: Full-time

Hours Per Week: 39

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?: Not funded by an EU programme

Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?: No

Offer Description

Biological tools to measure the impact of flow on ecology in Irish rivers

The ecological status of a waterbody can be assessed using several elements that are linked to water quality, including biological elements, physico-chemical elements, specific pollutants and hydromorphology. Hydromorphological quality elements include the water flow, the underlying substrate and the channel structure. These hydromorphological elements should be directly related to the biological elements as they provide the physical conditions within which aquatic macroinvertebrates, fish and aquatic macrophytes live. Changes in a river’s flow regime can have significant impacts on its ecology, and impacts linked to changes in flow are likely to become increasingly common due to the increasing effects of climate change. There is therefore an urgent need to improve our understanding of the relationship between flow and ecology in Irish rivers. There is an increasing number of biomonitoring tools available for measuring the effects of changes in hydromorphology (and flow in particular) on river ecology, and it should be possible to adapt many of these biomonitoring tools for use in river monitoring programmes in Ireland, thereby providing additional information when assessing ecological status of Irish rivers. This is a major aim of this project, and members of the project team are currently investigating the relationship between river flow and three major groups of aquatic organisms: macroinvertebrates, fish and macrophytes, with the ultimate aim of providing recommendations on the use of biomonitoring tools for flow in Irish river monitoring programmes.

This project also aims to assess a multi-metric approach to measuring the impacts of changes in hydromorphology on Irish river biota, and to develop a multi-metric flow index if appropriate. We are now recruiting a postdoctoral researcher to work primarily on this part of the project. The main tasks of the successful candidate will be to investigate whether a single or multi-metric approach to flow monitoring is the most appropriate for estimating hydromorphological impacts in Irish rivers, to develop a multi-metric flow index if appropriate, and to provide recommendations on how best to incorporate biological flow monitoring into Irish river monitoring programmes, which will include an assessment of the ecological limits of hydrologic alteration (ELOHA) framework for setting river flow thresholds.

Duties include (but are not limited to):

  • Carrying out a review of the literature using a rapid evidence assessment approach to identify all relevant literature on multi-metric approaches to monitoring tools.
  • Developing a statistical model and/or multi-metric index linking biology and flow in Irish rivers, incorporating data on macroinvertebrates, macrophytes and fish, as appropriate.
  • Producing a scientific publication on a multi-metric approach for biomonitoring of flow in Irish rivers.
  • Producing a technical report with recommendations on how best to incorporate biological flow monitoring into Irish river monitoring programmes.
  • Maintaining complete and accurate records of all work carried out.
  • Participating in regular meetings with the project team to communicate project results and progress.
  • Working and interacting with other team members as required.




  • Must hold a PhD in a relevant discipline (e.g., Freshwater Ecology, Hydromorphology, Environmental Science, or a related discipline) or have a relevant Level 8 or 9 Qualification (Hons) with 4+ years relevant post qualification experience.
  • Must be highly competent in statistical analysis and statistical modelling.
  • Must have excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Must have excellent organisational, data management and time management skills.
  • Must have excellent interpersonal skills, and the ability to work effectively as part of a team, as well as the ability to work independently.


  • Proficient user of the R statistical programming language.
  • Experience of carrying out literature reviews using a systematic and/or rapid evidence assessment approach.
  • An interest in, and demonstrable knowledge of, the ecology, management and conservation of river habitats, and their associated species.
  • Strong level of technical aptitude and problem-solving skills.
  • Self-motivated with an aptitude for creative problem-solving, along with the flexibility to adapt to new tools and techniques.
  • Some experience of contributing towards citizen science initiatives.

Additional Information


Salary: €40,306 (Post-Doctoral Researcher PD1 Point 1, IUA Scale )

This position is funded under the EPA Research Programme 2014-2020. The EPA Research Programme is a Government of Ireland initiative funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

Duration: 12 Month Fixed Term Contract. The successful candidate would be expected to start as soon as possible after receiving an offer.

Annual Leave: 22 days annual leave per annum.

Additional comments

In the Supporting Statement that you submit with your application, please make sure that you explain why you are interested in the position, and why you are a suitable candidate for the position.

Work Location(s)

Number of offers available: 1

Company/Institute: Atlantic Technological University

Country: Ireland

City: Galway

Street: Atlantic Technological University, Old Dublin Road, Galway

Where to apply



City: Galway


Street: Atlantic Technological University, Old Dublin Road, Galway






IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development