Researcher/Senior Researcher - Palaeoecology - Manaaki Whenua

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: Permanent
Deadline: 03 Jun 2022

Manaaki Whenua's Long Term Ecology laboratory, a leading hub in palaeoecological research, is seeking to recruit a specialist palaeoecologist to work at the interface between palaeoecological and ecological applications to help inform current conservation issues in New Zealand. The successful candidate will have expertise in ancient DNA, but experience with additional palaeoecological methods (e.g., pollen analysis) and a broad interest in New Zealand ecology will be an advantage.

The key research objectives include generating new knowledge about (but not limited to) long-term vegetation dynamics and its response to natural and anthropogenic change; past species interactions and extinctions and the legacy of their loss on the functioning of current ecosystems; and the ecology of extinct fauna. The successful applicant will join a diverse team of vegetation scientists, ecologists, macroecologists and modellers and work towards integrating palaeoecology with contemporary terrestrial ecology, wildlife management and ecosystem function research.

About the opportunity

This open term (permanent) position primarily involves working with the Long-Term Ecology Laboratory group ( ) and with other ecologists in the Ecosystems & Conservation team. We use our own specialised facilities (including a purpose-built ancient DNA lab, clean sampling room, microfossil preparation lab, sample archive facility and palaeo field store) to undertake an array of analyses on a diverse range of sample materials. Our key aims are to advance understanding of current ecosystem function and resilience and help inform the management of contemporary New Zealand ecosystems and species in the face of global change.  This position is based in Lincoln, Canterbury.

About you

You will possess a PhD in palaeoecology, have relevant post-PhD work experience, be regarded as a competent independent researcher, and have relevant peer-reviewed publications inclusive of lead authorship. You will have an in-depth understanding of the principles, concepts, techniques, and applications relating to palaeoecology, and a working knowledge of New Zealand's flora and fauna.  Ideally you will have a broad interest in New Zealand ecology and cultural history, be a flexible, organised self-starter, with good interpersonal skills and able to travel throughout New Zealand. An ability to work collaboratively with diverse groups of researchers and stakeholders to generate new knowledge about the past and apply this to current ecological problems is strongly desired. As a significant part of this role involves collaborating with iwi/hapū on joint projects, an understanding of and enthusiasm for working with Māori communities would be an advantage. 

Why Manaaki Whenua

Our land, our future - this is the essence of why Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research exists. At Manaaki Whenua we undertake research that focuses on preserving New Zealand's rich biodiversity, improving biosecurity, and protecting the health of the land, fresh water and soil resources we need for a prosperous future. We recognise the importance of partnerships, the special role of Māori, and the need to ensure that all New Zealanders have the knowledge, understanding, and tools to truly live in harmony with our precious environment. We are recognised nationally and internationally for the quality of our research and work with a wide range of organisations within New Zealand and globally.

Manaaki Whenua embraces diversity and is committed to an inclusive and respectful workplace where everyone is valued for their unique contribution.

What we offer

As an employee of Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research, you will work with passionate and talented people in a caring and family friendly environment; enjoy good staff benefits and the opportunity for personal growth and career development.

How to apply

Enquiries about the position may be directed to Janet Wilmshurst,  For further details about Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research, watch this short clip: Manaaki Whenua and visit our website:

Apply online by viewing the position description and then clicking the 'Apply Now' button below.

Applications close on Friday 03 June 2022 at 5pm NZT

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