Postdoctoral Researcher (f/m/d) on plural values and equity in biodiversity and ecosystem services governance

Updated: about 1 month ago

The mission of the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) as a nationally and internationally active research institute is to deliver solutions for an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable agriculture – together with society. ZALF is a member of the Leibniz Association and is located in Müncheberg (approx. 35 minutes by regional train from Berlin-Lichtenberg). It also maintains a research station with further locations in Dedelow and Paulinenaue.

As part of the working group “Governance of Ecosystem Services” the postdoc position will engage in the BridgingVALUES project. The project aims to understand how EU nature conservation policies have consequences both within and outside the EU, and to inform both the EU and connected country nature conservation policies and practices towards more equitable and effective biodiversity governance. It will do so by generating a better understanding of the interdependencies and feedbacks between EU and global immaterial and material flows, and local governance of protected areas (PAs), via case studies in Germany, Spain, Sweden, and Brazil, Laos, South Africa. The project’s main research objectives include: to study how local contexts mediate the effects of global environmental policy flows, and assess their local social-ecological impacts; advance the state-of-the-art in transdisciplinary co-production methodologies incorporating the knowledge of stakeholders through case studies; and co-construct a conceptual framework that links conservation policies to social-ecological outcomes by exploring the relationships between bundles of material flows (e.g. finance and technical expertise) and immaterial flows (discourses and knowledge), biodivefsity and ecosystem services (BES) values, power relations, social equity and leverage points for transformative change.

Postdoctoral Researcher (f/m/d)

on plural values and equity in biodiversity and ecosystem services governance

We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher to support the project, amongst others, with fieldwork in South Africa and data analysis. We are offering a 80% part time position temporarily limited for 12 month - desired starting date October 2023 - at our location in Müncheberg, Germany. The position is opened in close collaboration with our project partners Prof. Unai Pascual from the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), Bilbao, Spain and Dr. Odirilwe Selomane from Centre for Sustainability Transitions, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Upon a positive evaluation of the 12 month period at ZALF, the Postdoc will be offered to continue her work for another 12 month period at the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3).

The postdoc researcher will conduct critical literature reviews and engage in transdisciplinary empirical research in the case study in South Africa. In addition, the postdoc will collaborate with the project partners in other work packages of the project, such as theory building and knowledge co-production.

Your tasks

  • identification and adaptation of empirical methods to connect telecoupled flows (drivers) with local social-ecological outcomes, including BES values and social equity
  • development of a research design to analyze impacts of EU conservation policies and related material and immaterial flows on local level stakeholder values and social equity, in the South African case study
  • implementation of the research design / empirical investigation in the South African case study by providing knowledge co-production through participatory approaches. This will require activities such as identifying key local stakeholders, their responsibilities and values, and the wider institutional context; conducting interviews; and organizing and applying visioning exercises through stakeholder workshops to identify opportunities and challenges for transformative change towards desired future systems and how to reach them
  • day-to-day assistance for the management of the project and collaboration with other researchers of the international BridgingVALUES project consortium
  • contribution to developing high-impact, peer-reviewed research papers for scientific journals
  • Your qualifications

  • excellent completion of a PhD in the field of (ecological/environmental) economics, conservation policy, natural resource management, human geography, political ecology, (rural) sociology or related subjects
  • track record of peer-reviewed publications
  • experience in empirical research and managing and conducting fieldwork
  • ability to coordinate teamwork and interact with a broad range of scientific, policy and local stakeholders
  • knowledge of the literature on social-ecological frameworks for nature conservation, protected areas, and methodologies related to knowledge co-production integration
  • knowledge of global and South African conservation policies, the ecosystem services and nature's contributions to people concepts, discourses on values of biodiversity and ecosystem services, environmental justice and telecoupling is an advantage
  • excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Excellent written and oral command of English.
  • knowledge of transdisciplinary and / or multi actor research is an advantage
  • familiarity with the Kruger to Canyon Biosphere Reserve is an advantage
  • We offer

  • an interdisciplinary and international working environment that encourages independence and self-reliance
  • a collegial and open-minded working atmosphere in a dynamic research institution
  • being part of an international project consortium with internationally leading researchers in this field
  • access to training courses (e.g. in-house training, budget for additional training)
  • remuneration in accordance with the TV-L public-sector up to EG 13 (80 % working time), including special annual payment
  • opportunity to partly work mobile
  • company ticket
  • Women are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications from severely disabled persons with equal qualifications are favored. The filling of the position in part-time is possible in principle. Please send your application preferably online (see button online application below). For e-mail applications, create a PDF document (one PDF file, max. 5 MB; packed PDF documents, archive files like zip, rar etc. Word documents cannot be processed and therefore cannot be considered!) with the usual documents, in particular letter of motivation, CV, proof of qualification and certificates, stating the reference number 40-2023 until 2 May 2023 to (see button e-mail application below).

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: Dr. Lasse Loft,, Tel. +49 (0) 33432/82-486.

    For cost reasons, application documents or extensive publications can only be returned if an adequately stamped envelope is attached.

    If you apply, we collect and process your personal data in accordance with Articles 5 and 6 of the EU GDPR only for the processing of your application and for purposes that result from possible future employment with the ZALF. Your data will be deleted after six months.

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