Postdoc Position At Ben-Gurion University: Community Assembly And Spatial Pattern Formation (1.0 Fte)

Utrecht University
March 31, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Postdoc position at Ben-Gurion University: Community assembly and spatial

pattern formation (1.0 FTE)

Job description Understanding ecosystem response to climate extremes, such as severe droughts in savannas, is of utmost importance in light of the vital ecosystem services these ecosystems provide to humans. The response is likely to involve both spatial self-organization and community reassembly, but the interplay between these mechanisms and the impact on ecosystem function has hardly been studied. For our ERC-Synergy project Pathways of resilience and evasion of tipping in ecosystems (RESILIENCE), we offer a Postdoc position at Ben-Gurion University to study plant-community dynamics in savanna and tundra ecosystems and their mutual relations to vegetation pattern formation. It is possible to apply for more than one position at the same time. RESILIENCE aims 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.We are looking for a self-motivated candidate with a solid mathematical background, interests in pattern formation and ecology, and excellent English language skills. The successful candidate is expected to:

  • be involved in the development of spatial plant-community models that capture pattern-forming feedbacks and use a trait-based approach to describe community attributes, such as functional diversity;
  • study the models using mathematical analysis, numerical simulations, and numerical continuation in one and two spatial dimensions;
  • confront model predictions with available empirical data.
  • The candidate will benefit from the expertise of the four Principal Investigators (PIs) in the RESILIENCE project: Ehud Meron, a physicist at Ben-Gurion University, Isla Meyers-Smith, an ecologist at the University of Edinburgh/University of British Columbia, Arjen Doelman, a mathematician at Leiden University, and Max Rietkerk, an ecologist at Utrecht University.

    Qualifications The candidate should have a PhD in physics, mathematics, or engineering sciences. Acquaintance with nonlinear dynamics, pattern formation, and ecology, and experience in modeling and numerical computations are advantageous. The project is interdisciplinary, and affinity with or interest in working in an interdisciplinary environment is important.

    Offer The successful candidate will be offered a postdoctoral fellowship (1.0 FTE) to work with prof. Ehud Meron in the Swiss Institute for Dryland Environmental and Energy Research (SIDEER) of the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR), located in the Sede Boqer campus of Ben-Gurion University. The offer is for one year, extendable to a second and a third year upon successful assessments in the previous year. The monthly fellowship will be approximately 11,000 NIS (3000€). The offer includes a low-rate residence, most likely in the university dorms. About the organization

    The SIDEER is an interdisciplinary research institute consisting of physicists, applied mathematicians, ecologists, and environmental scientists, whose research covers major aspects of dryland environments. It is one of three institutes that comprise the BIDR (Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research), with the other two offering complementary expertise in water research, agriculture, and dryland biotechnologies. The BIDR is located in the Sede-Boqer Campus, about 60km south of the main campus of BGU in the city of Beer-Sheva. The Sede Boqer campus is an intimate place with a spectacular and inspiring desert landscape and an international atmosphere, thanks to the Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies it hosts.

    Additional information For more information about this position, please contact prof. Ehud Meron (Full Professor) via [email protected] Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives.

    The application deadline is 31/03/2023

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