Postdoctoral offer: ecosystem modeller to work in the ERC-funded BIODESERT project

We are looking for an ecosystem modeller to work as a postdoctoral researcher in the Dryland Ecology and Global Change Lab. The requeriments of the work are the following:

*  PhD in biology, physics or mathematics (in the former case knowledge of physics or mathematics, preferably on complex systems and dynamics is required)
* Interest in classical ecological theory and the mathematical modelling of ecological systems.
* Advanced knowledge on scientific programming and/or computing, for instance using R, Python or Matlab. Programming tools for reference (not necessary to know them all): Rcpp, parallel computation, gpu computation, plyr constructs and for/while loops.
* Experience with the use of cellular automaton models such as those used in Kéfi et al. 2007.
* Experience publishing scientific articles in international, peer-reviewed journals. At the Maestre lab do not care about the journal impact factor and publications will be assessed based on their content and match to the profile requested.

The person to be hired will continue work in progress on the development of spatially explicit mutispecific ecological models. We aim at using these models to analyze richness effects in cellular automatons considering facilitation/competition mechanisms in which richness exerts additive effects on facilitation. Opportunities of exploring trade offs between facilitation and competition driven by aridity, and of incorporating identity effects through trait modelization are also part of the questions of interest. The ultimate aim is to understand whether species richness may play a major role on modulating catastrophic shifts in multi specific models of drylands, and to investigate its role on vegetation pattern formation. 

The position is based at the University of Alicante (UA), and involves a collaboration with Sonia Kéfi (CNRS, Montpellier, France) and Miguel Berdugo (UPF, Barcelona, Spain). The post-doctoral researcher will work in a brand new, state-of-the-art building where the Multidisciplinary Institute for Environment Studies "Ramon Margalef” of the UA is located. Alicante is a very lively city by the beach with a high quality of life (and some of the best paella in the world!), and the UA has a beautiful campus. The selected candidate will closely work with the research team working in the BIODESERT project, awarded to Fernando T. Maestre by the Consolidator Grant program of the European Research Council for the period 2016-2020.

The Maestre lab strives to be a healthy research environment where the principles outlined in this "Ten rules" article are followed.

The appointment is available for six months, and may be renewed for another 12 months depending on the development of the work. Full contract with health/unemployment/retirement benefits according to Spanish laws is offered. The salary will be equivalent to that of a "Juan de la Cierva formación" (1792 €/month gross) or "Juan de la Cierva incorporación" (2084 €/month gross) fellowship of the Spanish Ministry of Science, depending on the experience of the candidate. Please note that we can´t provide moving/installation costs.

Because of the slow, painfull and anachronic burocratic process we face at UA to hire foreign people with non-Spanish PhD titles, which hopefully will be changed soon but right now is the one we have,  priority will be to Spanish/EU applicants. Female applicants are particularly encouraged to apply and will also be given priority in the selection processes. Please note that profiles that do not match the requeriments of the position will not be considered.

Interested candidates in applying to this position should send their updated CV and three references to Fernando T. Maestre ( before 5 March 2020. The selected applicant will be notified by 6-7th March.


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