Research Assistant in Landscape Ecology

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 03rd Aug 2021
  • Salary: £28,331.00 - £30,046.00  per annum
  • REF: 10341
  • Closes: 01st January 1970
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: £28,331.00 – £30,046.00 per annum

Closing Date:10 August 2021

The Role

The SAgE faculty are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic individualwith background in ecology/wildlife management/natural resource management to join our team that will develop solutions to restoration challenges in human-modified tropical landscapes.

Our team is working on the question of ‘How should we manage wildlife CORridor RESTORation interventions in tropical landscapes’ (CORRESTOR). Funded by the Science for Nature and People Partnership, we work on a case study in Tanzania. In this landscape, NGOs are currently restoring tree cover habitats to facilitate the restoring movement corridors for elephants (and other wildlife) through the Kilombero Valley, which is now largely farmed. The project evaluates realities on the ground when implementing restoration interventions accounting for biodiversity and well-being outcomes. It does so working with all stakeholders from across sectors and disciplines. The aim is to make restoration effective.

You will join an expert team of UK and Tanzanian academics and practitioners working on restoration and biodiversity challenges in African landscapes (for details on the project team, please click here.)

We are committed to building and maintaining a fair and inclusive working environment. This project is fixed term for 12 months and is available on a full time basis.

Informal enquiries and requests for more detailed project information should be directed to Associate Professor Marion Pfeifer via email to .

For more information about the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences,please click here.
For information on the group you will join, please click here.

Key Accountabilities

• Collect data in the Kilombero Valley, Tanzania, including: crop:elephant conflict data (liaising with Trevor Jones at the NGO STEP), data on well-being and tolerance to conflicts between crop and wildlife (liaising with Susannah Sallu from Leeds & Andrew Marshall from USC Australia and Deo Shirima from Sokoine University of Agriculture) and environmental & remote sensing data for mapping purposes (liaising with Marion Pfeifer, Newcastle).
• Analyse and interpret research data and draw conclusions on the outcomes working with Steve Rushton (Newcastle University). Assess research findings for the need/scope for further investigation.
• Co-ordinate own work with that of others, deal with problems which may affect the achievement of research objectives and contribute to the planning of the project(s): this includes the coordination of in country research assistants for the data collection.
• Present information on research progress and outcomes to the project team and other project partners and project meetings including to the funder.
• Update stakeholders including the funder via social media, webpage updates and reports. To present research findings, either at conferences or workshops or through publications in appropriate journals and grey literature.
• Maintain academic standards and freedom, and work in accordance with university policies (e.g. equal opportunities, health and safety policies). To undertake relevant training and development activities to develop capacity for taking on wider responsibilities.
• Contribute to an internationally visible research profile in landscape ecology, management and restoration, both independently and as a member of the TROPS lab, under the clear guidance of a member of an academic staff.
• To contribute ideas, including enhancements to the technical or methodological aspects of the studies, providing ‘added value’.
• Apply for research clearance in Tanzania and adhere to TAWIRI and COSTECH reporting requirements

The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

• Practical working knowledge of modelling techniques for crop:elephant conflicts in modified landscapes: including linear discriminant analyses and INLA modelling approaches and spatially explicit regression modelling
• Practical working knowledge of the use of remote sensing data for ecological applications, specifically in terrestrial environments
• Experience in the study subject of human wildlife interactions and conflict in human modified tropical landscapes
• Good communication skills including experience of writing grants and reports and presenting outcomes of research at meetings.

Attributes and Behaviour

• Well-developed planning and organisational skills
• Effective time management skills
• Very good level of analytical and problem-solving capability with personal skills, enthusiasm, initiative and drive to achieve the solution
• Good team working skills
• Very good communication skills, both oral and written
• A demonstrated commitment to ensuring our institutional strategy for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) is embedded in all our research group activities, with a commitment to ensuring dignity and respect in the workplace to the highest standard
• Demonstrable commitment to our values:
o Professionalism and Academic Excellence
o Transparency and Accountability
o Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity
o Collaborative and Multi-disciplinary
o Ambition and aspiration
o Motivation and Passion
o Inquisitive, Creative and Imaginative
o Integrity and Respect
o Social Responsibility


• A degree in biological sciences or related subject.
• An MBiol/MSc in ecology, wildlife management, landscape ecology or related subject.

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society. We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

We understand how important the full employment package is to our colleagues at Newcastle University and we are committed to providing a great range of benefits and discounts for all. You can learn more about what is available here on ourBenefitsWebsite page.

Requisition ID: 10341

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