To advertise job, studentship, training and workshop opportunities here, please email details to tropical@britishecologicalsociety.org or use our blog contact form.


PhD student position in “Tropical Ecology” at the Department of Forest Ecology and Management at SLU, Umeå, Sweden

We are seeking a highly motivated PhD student to join an interdisciplinary research project that was recently funded by the Swedish Research Council aimed at identifying management practices and native tree species that can be used to guide the transition to a more sustainable bio-based economy (https://www.researchgate.net/project/Balancing-production-and-ecosystem-services-from-degraded-tropical-rain-forests-to-aid-the-transition-to-a-more-sustainable-bio-based-economy). A primary goal of this PhD project is to investigate the links between functional traits of native tree species and ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration and associated biodiversity, with the ultimate goal of identifying tree species that have both high economic and ecological value. It is expected that the PhD student will also use a combination of greenhouse and field experiments to assess key factors limiting tree establishment as well as the resilience of different native tree species to climate change. Field work for this project will be conducted in northern Borneo, Malaysia, within the “INIKEA Sow-a-Seed” rain forest restoration project (https://sites.google.com/site/sowaseedproject). The successful candidate will spend up to five months a year at the field site in Borneo.

The PhD student should start in April or May of 2018, but starting date is flexible. This position is fully funded for four years with the expectation that she or he will complete a PhD-degree within this time. There may be potential to extend the length of the PhD contract with teaching, but the successful candidate is expected to be primarily researched based. The PhD student will be under the supervision of Niles Hasselquist at the Department of Forest Ecology and Management, SLU in Umeå, Sweden and will work closely within an international group of researchers with diverse expertise.

SLU has an international character both when it comes to research and teaching. The department of Forest Ecology and Management has a staff of 76 members, of which 12 are professors. Our mission is to advance the understanding of forest ecosystem processes and to assist in developing sustainable forest management practices. For more information about the department please visit http://www.slu.se/en/departments/forest-ecology-management/.


We are seeking a highly motivated individual with good communication skills in English, both orally and written, a strong work ethic, and someone who works well independently and in a collaborative environment. We are searching for a person with a MSc. in ecology, plant ecophysiology, forest science or a related field. Previous experience working with plant functional traits, biodiversity assessment and/or in tropical ecosystems is a merit. Experience with field data collection, working in remote locations with little to no modern services, analysis of large datasets and/or the use of R or other statistical programs is preferred.

Contact and Application Information

The application should be written in English and include the following:

*             CV

*             Cover letter describing yourself and your motivation for applying for this position

*             Short (max one page) description of your scientific background, research interests and your match to the above mentioned qualifications

*             Verified copies of graduation degrees, or equivalent, as well as other relevant certificates (e.g. English knowledge if you did not do your previous studies in Sweden or in a native English speaking country)

*             Name and contact information of two professional references.

Please visit http://www.slu.se/en/education/programmes-courses/postgraduate-studies/new-phd-student/Read-more/?sprak=e&Uid=2236 <http://www.slu.se/en/education/programmes-courses/postgraduate-studies/new-phd-student/Read-more/?sprak=e&Uid=2236>  and click on the link “Application Form” at the bottom on the page to apply for this position. Apply no later than 2018-01-26. Evaluations will be based on the application letter, references, interview and relevance of previous research experiences.

For additional information about his position please contact Niles Hasselquist (niles.hasselquist@slu.se <mailto:niles.hasselquist@slu.se> ).


We are recruiting for a project co-ordinator, postdoc, and a research technician at the University of Oxford, Department of Zoology. This is for a project investigating the food web consequences of eliminating the vectors of malaria, with a fieldwork component in Ghana. Please feel free to get in touch if you are interested & please share with anyone who might be interested. Closing date is 31st January.
Project co-ordinator: ehttp://www.zoo.ox.ac.uk/jobs/list#job_132573


MSc Course in Sustainable Tropical Forestry:

SUTROFOR is now open for online applications at www.sutrofor.eu with a deadline for applications of 7 March 2018 (for start in autumn 2018). The course offers:

  • A two-year world class MSc
  • Focus on sustainable Tropical forestry
  • Study at two leading European universities
  • Research-based teaching
  • Double Degree
  • EU Scholarships – funds for academic scholars (incoming to EU and outgoing) will also be available through the programme


PhD Opportunity through ENVISION DTP, University of Nottingham:

Being behind the times? Assessing the liana-induced impact on forest phenology using a multispectral Unmanned Aerial System. 

Tropical forests are a major global carbon sink and account for a third of the carbon fixed globally by photosynthesis. Recent research shows that these forests are changing, including increases in abundance and biomass of lianas (woody vines), which may be a result of changing climatic conditions. Lianas reduce growth and increase mortality of their host trees, thereby reducing carbon accumulation in tropical forests by as much as 76%. Increased liana dominance may therefore further reduce carbon uptake and storage and endanger the future of the tropical carbon sink, with serious implications for climate change. Tree canopies suffer from liana infestation, which limits their leaf productivity and leaf area and their reproductive success. Nevertheless, liana-induced impact on phenological processes has received little attention, but is crucial to i) accurately include liana effects in vegetation models and ii) better predict of the fate of tropical forests both due to climate change as well as liana propagation in the future. This project aims to:

  1. Determine whether liana infestation reduces the photosynthetic capacity of their host trees, and
  2. Test whether the presence of lianas affect the timing of main phenological processes in the forest, such as leaf fall, leaf flush, fruiting and flowering.

The project will involve a year-long field campaign in Panama to collect imagery using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and an analysis of remote sensing data to derive information on photosynthetic capacity and timing of phenological events in the forest. The student will work with a collaborative supervisory team, composed of physical geographers and ecologists from the School of Geography, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama, and Marquette University, US.

The applicant should be willing to spend time in a relatively isolated area in Panama to collect field data and to learn advanced statistical modelling and remote sensing techniques. Ecological field experience is an asset, but an enthusiasm for nature and tropical forests is by far the most important prerequisite. Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours degree at 2:1 level, or equivalent, in a subject such as Physical Geography, Environmental Science, Ecology or Natural Sciences.

For further details please contact Dr. Doreen Boyd (doreen.boyd@nottingham.ac.uk) or Dr. Geertje van der Heijden (geertje.vanderheijden@nottingham.ac.uk).


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