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Research Fellow in Forest Ecology

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Birmingham, United Kingdom


  • Posted on: 06th Aug 2021
  • Salary: £36,914
  • REF: 210001G7
  • Closes: 11th September 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time


The position is part of the UKRI-funded project MEMBRA, which aims to understand and quantify how trees acquire, retain, and transmit ‘memory’ of stress. The research fellow will coordinate the data collection and carry out exciting and crucial analyses on the response of trees to different stresses integrating information from forest dynamics, ecology, dendrochronology and molecular biology.

Summary of Role

• Work within the UKRI-funded project MEMBRA
• Lead field expeditions
• Lead to collection and processing of biological material
• Analyse data and interpret research findings and results generating relevant research outputs

Main Duties / Responsibilities

The main responsibilities are to:
• Lead several forest dynamics censuses across the UK.
• Coordinate a team of research assistants to meet project goals.
• Coordinate data collection of tree rings and leaf material for molecular analyses.
• Analyse and measure tree ring samples, and liaise with lab technicians to select and prepare tree ring samples for isotope analysis.
• Analyse of long-term forest dynamics data, demography and dendrochronology data – including data from carbon isotope analyses.
• Contribute to the integration of ecological and molecular data and to the development of new techniques and methods to allow for this integration.
• Publish novel high-quality scientific results in peer-reviewed literature.

In addition, you are expected to:
• Present research outputs at seminars, workshops and conferences.
• Work collaboratively with the wider BIFoR research team, particularly on shared science goals in BIFoR FACE
• Contribute to writing bids for research funding and developing own research proposals.
• Undertake management/administration arising from research and research group activities.
• Contribute to public engagement activities.
• Provide guidance, as required, to support staff and any students who may be assisting with the research.
• Supervise students on research-related work and provide guidance to PhD and undergraduate students.

Person Specification

• PhD degree or near completion in a natural science subject (e.g. ecology, environmental science, geography), or similar, or equivalent qualifications.
• Interest in ecological processes, and experience with study of ecology, forest dynamics, and/or dendrochronology.
• Willingness to learn new techniques and skills and to work across disciplines.
• Ability to work as a team and liaise with others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort.
• Ability to organise field expeditions, and willingness to contribute to the overall planning and organising of the research project and related activities, including project administration.
• Strong written and spoken communication skills in English, and ability to communicate complex information clearly.
• Demonstrated strengths in statistical analysis and processing data, including the ability to use appropriate software (e.g. R, Matlab, Python).
• Able to self-organise and work on own initiative towards the goals of the project.
• Ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively.
• Willingness to travel across the UK and spend weeks to months in field expeditions.
• Being able to drive in the UK is desirable, but not essential.
• Knowledge of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day to day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working

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