Two-year Postdoc on Macroecological Isotopic Perspectives on Past Novel Ecosystem Dynamics

Updated: 2 days ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 01 Apr 2023

The Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies and the Department of Biology, Aarhus University, invite applications for a two-year postdoc position on past novel ecosystem dynamics as reconstructed via isotopic studies of selected species in Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene contexts.

The position is for two years and is available from September 1, 2023, or soon thereafter.

This postdoc project is part of the newly established Center for Ecological Dynamics in a Novel Biosphere (ECONOVO), funded by the Danish National Research Foundation. Overall, ECONOVO aims to provide critically new perspectives on the future of the biosphere. Novel ecosystems (NEs) have species compositions or abiotic conditions without historical precedent, e.g., intercontinental species invasions and extraordinary warming. NEs are spreading fast and expected to be globally dominant by the late 21st century. Key drivers are climate change, globalization, and extirpation of large-sized organisms, resulting in ecosystems deviating from anything seen for millions of years. The spread of NEs is likely to profoundly affect biosphere functioning but how so is poorly understood at present. To address this complex theme, ECONOVO will take an unparalleled, interdisciplinary approach, integrating Big Data and field-based ecology, satellite-based remote sensing, archaeology, paleoecology, and population genomics to bridge this crucial knowledge gap. 

Job description 

This postdoc project will be part of the ECONOVO research theme 1: Diversity Dynamics, focused on understanding biodiversity dynamics in novel ecosystems (NEs) past and present. This position is focused on isotopic niche dynamics of selected terrestrial megafauna during the Late Glacial and Early Holocene in Europe and/or Africa. The aim of this project will be first to collate relevant stable isotopic data from the literature and available databases, and then model megafaunal isotopic niche spaces comparatively and in relation to background environmental variables and key markers of ecosystem novelty, as inferred from published proxy records and/or models. The postdoc is expected to lead a systematic compilation of published stable isotope values for relevant terrestrial megafauna and to use existing modelling tools (e.g., rKIN, SIBE

R, nicheROVER) to assess dietary niche breadth and stability across time and space. 

Further, dietary niches should then be assessed in relation to the pace and nature of ecosystem novelty during these periods. Finally, the postdoc is expected to contribute ideas and concepts to the project and lead at least two high-quality papers in this research area. It is also expected that the postdoc contributes to the project’s public outreach and teaching, as well as collaborating with other team members, including students, sharing skills, and helping solve problems in her/his area of expertise. 

Your profile 

Applicants must have PhD degree in ecology, geology, archaeological science, palaeoanthropology, geography or equivalent. Expertise with isotopy is expected, ideally in combination with solid skills in macroecological statistical modelling. The successful candidate is expected to have strong collaborative skills, proven abilities to publish at a high international level, and have good command of English. International applicants who do not have English as their first language must demonstrate excellent English language writing skills and fluency. 


01 April 2023  

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