Post-doctoral fellow in Earth observation of vegetation fires (PA2023/2974)

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 15 Oct 2023

Wildfire frequency and severity is expected to increase in the future due to anthropogenic climate change. With the combined effects of climate change, an increasing human population and the associated land use changes, it is fundamental to understand the patterns, drivers and effects of vegetation fires in order to prevent fires and reduce harm to ecosystems and societies. Collecting data on fire, biodiversity and socio-economic variables is therefore imperative to better understand the feedbacks, tipping points and regime shifts related to the Anthropocene.

Against this background, this project aims to 1) study overall patterns and trends in vegetation fires, and 2) map landscape fires and burn scars at a detailed level, in order to allow for both general and detailed studies of the spatiotemporal patterns of vegetation fires, their drivers and their impacts on the surrounding environment.

The project involves studying time series of coarse scale fire/burned area data, as well as developing products based on more detailed satellite data, such as the Sentinel and Landsat programmes. The project is funded through to the Strategic Research Area Biodiversity and Ecosystems in a Changing Climate (BECC) at Lund University.

 Work duties

 The main duties involved in a post-doctoral position is to conduct research. Teaching may also be included, but up to no more than 20% of working hours. The position includes the opportunity for three weeks of training in higher education teaching and learning.

 These tasks will be performed:

  • Analysis of time series of active fire and burned area data together with ancillary datasets (e.g. biomass, land cover, population)
  • Classification of burned area and active fires using medium resolution data from the Landsat and Sentinel programs
  • Spatiotemporal analyses of fire behaviour in different contexts
  • Publication of high-quality research papers in international journals
  • Communication of research results at conferences and workshops
  • Actively seeking external research funding
  • Communication and outreach outside of academic circles
  • Administration related to the work duties listed above 

 Qualification requirements

Appointment to a post-doctoral position requires that the applicant has a PhD, or an international degree deemed equivalent to a PhD, within the subject of the position, completed no more than three years before the date of employment decision. Under special circumstances, the doctoral degree can have been completed earlier.

Additional requirements:

  • PhD in Physical Geography, Geoinformatics, Environmental Science or a closely related field
  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Experience of publication in peer-review journals
  • Demonstrated proficiency in Geographical Information Systems/Spatial Analysis and Earth Observation
  • Excellent communication skills, ability to work in a team and independently, and to complete activities on time

Assessment criteria and other qualifications

This is a career development position primarily focused on research. The position is intended as an initial step in a career, and the assessment of the applicants will primarily be based on their research qualifications and potential as researchers.

Particular emphasis will be placed on research skills within the subject.

For appointments to a post-doctoral position, the following shall form the assessment criteria:

  • A good ability to develop and conduct high quality research.
  • Teaching skills.

Additional assessment criteria:

  • Demonstrated knowledge in remote sensing approaches focusing on different aspects of fire ecology, for example, vegetation fires, vegetation dynamics and biodiversity impacts
  • Experience in multivariate statistics and spatio-temporal analysis, e.g., time-series analysis, land use/land cover classification, machine learning methods
  • Experience analysing and visualizing large remote sensing datasets in modern programming language (e.g. R, Python, JavaScript, etc.)
  • Experience working with interdisciplinary research questions
  • Experience communicating research results to non-academic audiences

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant’s experience and skills complement and strengthen ongoing research within the department, and how they stand to contribute to its future development.

Terms of employment
This is a full-time, fixed-term employment of a maximum of 2 years. The period of employment is determined in accordance with the agreement “Avtal om tidsbegränsad anställning som postdoktor” (“Agreement on fixed-term employment as a post-doctoral fellow”) between Lund University, SACO-S and OFR/S, dated 1st February 2022.

The position will start on 1 November 2023 or at a mutually agreed date, and last for two years.

 Instructions on how to apply

Applications shall be written in English and be compiled into a PDF-file containing:

  • résumé/CV, including a list of publications,
  • a general description of past research and future research interests (no more than three pages),
  • contact information of at least two references,
  • copy of the doctoral degree certificate, and other certificates/grades that you wish to be considered.

We welcome Your application.

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