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Three Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunities

Posted on June 28, 2017 by in The OFI Blog

The Center for Tropical Forest Science – Forest Global Earth Observatory (CTFS-ForestGEO) is a global network of forest research plots and scientists dedicated to the study of tropical and temperate forest function and diversity. CTFS-ForestGEO conducts long-term, large-scale research on forests around the world to increase scientific understanding of forest ecosystems, guide sustainable forest management and natural-resource policy, monitor the impacts of environmental change, and build capacity in forest science.

CTFS-ForestGEO invites applications for two-year postdoctoral fellowships to conduct independent study or research in soil-forest interactions, plant-water relations, and tropical forest dynamics.

Opportunity: Soil-Forest Interactions

The initiative aims to develop a quantitative understanding of the influence of soil nutrient availability on the structure and function of lowland tropical forests. The fellow may use data from forest dynamics plots to link soil nutrients to the biomass, productivity, and diversity of lowland tropical forests. The project requires expertise in geostatistics, including the ability to handle large datasets in R software, and will involve fieldwork in forest dynamics plots. Appointees will have an opportunity to work within the CTFS-ForestGEO Soils Initiative led by Dr. Ben Turner.

Opportunity: Plant-Water Relations & Forest Function

The initiative seeks to understand how functional and physiological traits of tree species mediate their distributions, growth, and survival in relation to site hydrological conditions, including episodic extreme fluctuations in soil water availability, with the ultimate aim of understanding carbon and water dynamics of forests and their interactions with the climate system. The fellow may combine collection of new data on plant functional and physiological traits at tropical forest sites with synthesis of existing data on tree species and climate. The ideal applicant has extensive experience with plant water relations physiology, knowledge of forest ecology, and a strong analytical background. Appointees may work within the CTFS-ForestGEO Ecosystems and Climate Initiative led by Dr. Kristina Anderson-Teixeira at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Virginia and collaborate closely with Lawren Sack at UCLA.

Opportunity: Tropical Forest Dynamics

The postdoctoral fellow will have an opportunity conduct analyses of data from the network of large forest plots, and where necessary collect additional supplementary data. Candidates should have a strong analytical background, an established record of research and scholarly publication in forest science. Research topics may include subjects related to the dynamics of tropical or temperate forests, including comparative studies of growth, mortality and biomass change, emphasizing comparative studies among forests. Appointees may work within the CTFS-ForestGEO Forest Ecology group at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Washington, DC.

Applicants should hold a PhD in ecology, forest ecology or environmental science with experience directly relevant to the specific position described above, strong written and communication skills, and demonstrated ability to work in a team environment.

Each fellow will be awarded the standard Smithsonian postdoctoral stipend to defray living expenses during the tenure of the appointment. The appointments are for two years with possibility of extension. The starting date is flexible; earlier start dates are preferred.

Appointments may be based at one of the following locations: Panama City, Panama; Washington, DC, USA; Front Royal, Virginia, USA, depending on the specific research interests and needs of the candidates and Principal Investigators.

To apply, send a single PDF file containing a cover letter including a statement of research interest, CV, contact information for three references, and three relevant publications or manuscripts to Lauren Krizel, CTFS-ForestGEO Program Assistant, ForestGEO@si.edu.

Closing date for applications is 15 August 2017. For further information, contact CTFS-ForestGEO Director, Stuart Davies, daviess@si.edu.