Sunday, 4 August 2013

Post-doctoral positions on biodiversity scenarios open at Ecoland


Two positions to conduct post-doctoral research are open at CTFC for one to two years (with the possibility of an extension) in the context of the two FP7- European projects “EUBON - Building the European Biodiversity Observation Network“, and “TRUSTEE, Towards RUral Synergies and Trade-offs between Economic development and Ecosystem services“.

We are seeking multi-disciplinary researchers to investigate the relationship between biodiversity and drivers of environmental change in Europe and develop relevant indicators of distribution and abundance changes. Main focus of the work will be on birds but integration with data from other taxa on joint collaborations will be developed to test and apply the state-of-the-art methods and models on this rapidly advancing research area. Main objectives of the work will be:

- To analyse biodiversity and their relationships to various drivers, focussing on populations and species ranges, using newly available data from monitoring, collections and remote-sensing.
- To map common bird communities in areas with desirable and undesirable bundles of ecosystem services.
- To project possible future trends and threats to biodiversity across scales based on EU scenario data. Scenarios of biodiversity change for a risk assessment, integrating migration and dispersal mechanisms.
- To perform optimization analyses of monitoring efforts in terms of cost-efficiency and capacity to detect trends, to identify gaps and potential needs for expansion or alteration of monitoring efforts.
- To quantify different sources of uncertainty and develop new approaches for tackling it in terms of analyses and robust decision-making criteria


- PhD. in biology, forestry, geography or similar.

- Excellent publication record.

- Expertise in biodiversity spatial modelling (bayesian methods, advanced statistical methods, landscape and/or process based models).

- Strong background in ecological modelling, programming and analytical skills in R.

- Previous experience in extensive field sampling or monitoring in ornithology.

- Contrasted capacity to lead work and team up with other researchers.

Institutional context and collaborations

The Biodiversity and Landscape Ecology lab (CTFC-CREAF) provides a very stimulating scientific environment with many researchers working in forestry and ecology issues at large spatial scales. Collaborations with researchers all around Europe will be one of main assets of the project as this involves collaboration with several international research teams working on the development of biodiversity scenarios (UFZ, University of Leeds, MNHN). The positions will require extensive interaction with the European ornithological community via the European Bird Census Council  (EBCC). The EBCC is an association of  like-minded expert ornithologists co-operating in a range of ways to improve bird monitoring and atlas work and thereby inform and improve the management and conservation of birds populations in Europe. The post-doc will be expected to coordinate efforts and participate in international meetings in these areas.

Project context

EUBON: Sustainable governance of our biological resources demands reliable scientific knowledge to be accessible and applicable to the needs of the society. The fact that current biodiversity observation systems and environmental datasets are unbalanced in coverage and not well integrated brings the need of a new system which will facilitate access to this knowledge and will effectively improve the work in the field of biodiversity observation in general. In light of the new Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), such a network and approach are imperative for attaining efficient processes of data collation, analysis and provisioning to stakeholders. A system that facilitates open access to taxonomic data is essential because it will allow a sustainable provision of high quality data to partners and users, including e-science infrastructure projects as well as global initiatives on biodiversity informatics. EU BON proposes an innovative approach in terms of integration of biodiversity information system from on-ground to remote sensing data, for addressing policy and information needs in a timely and customized way. The project will reassure integration between social networks of science and policy and technological networks of interoperating IT infrastructures. This will enable a stable new open-access platform for sharing biodiversity data and tools to be created. EU BON’s 30 partners from 18 countries are members of networks of biodiversity data-holders, monitoring organisations, and leading scientific institutions. EU BON will build on existing components, in particular GBIF, LifeWatch infrastructures, and national biodiversity data centres.

The main objective of EU BON is to build a substantial part of the Group on Earth Observation’s Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON). EU BON’s deliverables include a comprehensive "European Biodiversity Portal" for all stakeholder communities, and strategies for a global implementation of GEO BON and supporting IPBES. Due to EU BON’s contribution overall European capacities and infrastructures for environmental information management will be strengthened.

TRUSTEE: The trade-off/synergy dilemma between economic development and ecosystem services is one of the major issues of sustainable rural development. The main research objective of TRUSTEE is to disentangle the complex relationships between economic development and ecosystem services at different spatial scales and on a large European gradient of rural and rural/urban areas. The project implements an interdisciplinary approach bringing together economists, geographers, agronomists, and ecologists. Sub-objectives are: (i) analyse the multi-scaled determinants of economic development and ecosystem services; (ii) increase our understanding of how to achieve mutual benefits for economic development in rural areas and ecosystem services; (iii) identify and assess the governance mechanisms and policy instruments that enhance sustainable rural vitality; (iv) produce synergies among international researchers of varied disciplines and between researchers and various stakeholders at different governance scales.

The work plan relies on seven work packages that involve a cross-cutting strategy linking analyses at various scales (Pan European, gradient of EU countries, local case studies). TRUSTEE will provide a first quantification of the many–to-many relationship between ecosystem services and economic development. It will also produce (i) a large scale inventory of the socioeconomic and policy drivers of ecosystem service sets (ii) a large scale assessment of unlocking ecosystem service potential for rural economic development and (iii) a first internalization of ecosystem services in models of economic development. TRUSTEE will also produce analytical tools incorporating scenarios and policy instruments for the assessment of ecosystem services and their impact on rural development. Last, TRUSTEE will build capacity for interaction between a broad range of academics, experts, stakeholders and policy makers.

Working conditions

- Equivalent to the Juan de la Cierva Postdoc Programme of the Spanish “Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad.
- Working place in the lovely town of Solsona (120 km north of Barcelona, Spain), Forest Science Center of Catalonia (CTFC). Travelling often abroad with European project partners.

Send CV, a motivation letter (one page maximum) and the contacts of two reference researchers, via e-mail before September 15th 2013 to: or  , Lluís Brotons, Àrea de Biodiversitat, Centre Tecnològic Forestal de Catalunya


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