For our ERC-Synergy project Pathways of resilience and evasion of tipping in ecosystems (RESILIENCE
), the University of British Columbia offers a postdoc position for a self-motivated candidate with a strong scientific background in the field of ecology, remote sensing, environmental sciences, data science, mathematics or statistics with excellent English language skills. Your job
There is an urgent need to understand the effects that global change can have on the Earth, its system components and ecosystems. One area of critical concern is the imminent abrupt and irreversible critical transitions of ecosystems through tipping points. Recent discoveries indicate that such tipping could be evaded and even reversed in ecosystems through spatial pattern formation, thereby creating pathways of resilience.
The aim of RESILIENCE is to fundamentally advance our understanding and predictions of tipping points and critical transitions in ecosystems and reveal how these can be evaded and even reversed through spatial pattern formation. RESILIENCE will develop a new theory for emerging resilience through spatial pattern formation and link this with real tipping-prone biomes undergoing accelerating global change: savanna and tundra. The candidate will benefit from the expertise of the four Principal Investigators (PIs) in the RESILIENCE project: Max Rietkerk
, an ecologist at Utrecht University, Arjen Doelman, a mathematician at Leiden University, Ehud Meron, a physicist at Ben-Gurion University, and Isla Myers-Smith, an ecologist at the University of British Columbia.
In this postdoc project at University of British Columbia, you will study community assembly in tundra ecosystems, revealing how tundra plant species form spatial patterns and how this confers resilience to global change across the tundra biome. For this project, you will assemble spatially explicit datasets of plant community composition working with the point framing data from the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX+) database. You will then statistically model vegetation change over time and in response to climate change drivers taking into account the spatial arrangement of tundra plants and the spatial patterning of ecosystem types in the surrounding landscape. This research will test the hypothesis that certain spatial patterning can confer resilience to ecological change using approaches previously applied in savanna and dryland ecosystems. This research will increase our understanding of tundra ecosystem resilience and will be used to predict rates of landscape and ecological change with global change across the tundra biome. We collaborate with PhD candidates, other postdocs and senior researchers from the different involved universities to explore mathematical and physical models of the resulting data to address the larger project goals.