Research Assistant in Ecological Database Development

Updated: 3 months ago
Location: Bedford Park, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Job Type: PartTime

About Flinders

Our bold vision, captured in our Strategic Plan: making a Difference: The 2025 Agenda, is to be internationally recognised as a world leader in research, an innovator in contemporary education, and the source of Australia’s most enterprising graduates.

To realise this ambition, we recently made a significant organisation change to a six College structure with a professional staff and services alignment.

We recognise the key to our success is exceptional people and we’re seeking an outstanding individual to join the team of our transformed university.

Employment Type:

Fixed Term (Fixed Term)

Position Summary

Fixed term until December 2023 | Part-Time at 0.8FTE
Higher Education Officer Level 5
Salary Range:
$74,270 - $81,966 (pro rata)
Reporting to:
Dean, People and Resources (or Delegate)
Biological Sciences
The Research Assistant, based at Flinders University, will work in collaboration with several other institutions (e.g., UoW, UTAS, ANU, UQ, Deakin, Australian Museum, etc.) to locate and gather information on: (a) traits of extant and recently extinct Australian and New Guinean terrestrial vertebrates, and (b) predator-prey interactions involving top predators among these terrestrial vertebrates. The Research Assistant will create a comprehensive database that will be hosted on open web platform according to the FAIR data-principles and
will help design and run workshops and outreach activities based on the trait/interaction database.
Beyond the importance of the number of species that comprise an ecosystem, the collective diversity of all the traits of those species and the interactions that occur among species (themselves determined by traits) confer ecosystem stability and resilience to environmental disturbances such as fires, droughts, invasive species, and storms. Measuring traits and species interactions is therefore essential to identify the mechanisms involved in extinction events and their larger ecological consequences.
Through global initiatives, the volume of available trait and species interaction data has grown rapidly in the last two decades. However, the geographic and taxonomic coverage of these data remains patchy, limiting detailed analysis of trait variation and species interactions in some regions and for some taxa. If we are to understand past, current, and future extinctions in Australia’s biological unique and diverse region, databases containing detailed trait and interaction data for extant and recently extinct (i.e., from the past 100,000 years)
species are required.

Key Position Responsibilities

  • Completing the AIATSIS Core Cultural Learning Program Foundation Course.

  • Gathering data on traits of extant or recently extinct mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles.

  • Developing a stand-alone trait database.

  • Integrating the database into the OCTOPUS platform.

  • Helping organise and host workshops to show the diverse applications of the database.

  • Developing and distributing infographics and animated videos promoting the database.

  • Contributing to the preparation of reports and research publications.

  • Liaising with staff, students and external collaborators.

  • Any other responsibilities in line with the level of the position as assigned by the Supervisors.

Key Position Capabilities

Essential criteria

  • Honours degree in a discipline relevant to ecology, or comparable relevant experience.

  • Experience in trait-based ecology.

  • A commitment to research excellence and attention to detail.

  • Well-developed organisational and analytical skills.

  • Effective communication (verbal and written) and interpersonal skills, including a willingness to engage with external research partners.

Desirable criteria

  • Experience building databases.

  • Experience in R programming.

  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively as a member of a research team as well as conduct independent research and undertake project leadership.

Prescribed Conditions for Employment

  • A valid National Police Certificate which is satisfactory to the University will also be required before the successful applicant can commence in this position.

  • Flinders University has introduced a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy  that requires all new staff members to be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, subject to medical exemptions and limited exemptions.

How to Apply

Please review the Key Position Capabilities of the position description and submit a Suitability Statement of no more than 3 pages addressing the criteria. Applications without a Suitability Statement may not be considered. For more information, please see our How To Apply page.

For more information regarding this position, please contact Dr Frederik Saltre

Click here to view the Position Description

Information for Applicants:

A valid National Police Certificate which is satisfactory to the University will also be required before the successful applicant can commence in this position.

We are seeking to increase the diversity to improve equal opportunity outcomes for employees, and therefore we encourage female applicants, people with a disability and/or from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders descent to apply.

Please note, late applications and applications sent via agencies will not be accepted.

Applications Close 11:59pm:

19 Nov 2022
View or Apply

Similar Positions