POST-DOCTORAL POSITION: Large-Scale Ecosystem Functioning
Understanding the effects of climate change and land use on ecosystem
functioning is a challenging question addressed by the team of
environmental and biological scientists on the BIOTA-AFRICA project
(www.biota-africa.org). As part of the BIOTA-Southern Africa (Phase III)
project, this post-doctoral fellowship will entail analyzing the
long-term data collated over the past 8 years from 35 observatories and
800 sub-sites across the southern African transect (from Cape Point,
South Africa, to Caprivi, Namibia). Specific questions involved in the
project include (1) relationships between abiotic factors (e.g. soil
nutrient content and habitat heterogeneity) with ecosystem structure and
community composition (e.g. woody cover and species turnover); (2) the
influence of land use on soil respiration and therefore ecosystem
productivity; (3) spatial and scaling patterns of species and soil type
distributions; (4) spatiotemporal modelling of the plant-soil
interactions under the current climate change regime.
Preference will be given to candidates with strong skills in large-scale
data analysis using GIS and statistical multivariate methods. The
candidates will also be able to publish the output in peer-reviewed
journals. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is
offering a commencing fellowship of an amount of R120,000 for 2009, and
the position will be based in Stellenbosch University, South Africa. In
addition to the fellowship, the successful candidate will also be
provided with a laptop computer and other research equipment.
Subsistence and transport costs during research expeditions will be
covered. The post-doc will work under the supervision of Dr. Cang Hui
(DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology) and Dr. Anthony J.
Mills (Department of Soil Science).
A detailed CV, project outline (one-page maximum) and one/two
publication reprints, together with contact details of two references,
should be sent by email to chui from sun.ac.za and mills from sun.ac.za by the end
of February 2009. The candidate should be able to start in the first
quarter of 2009.