Postdoctoral Research Scientist



    37 hours per week - Fixed Term until 30.09.26

    The role
    A new opportunity has arisen for a Postdoctoral Research Scientist to join a large, dynamic team to undertake high-quality research to meet scientific objectives of the OCEAN DEOXYFISH project (Ocean deoxygenation effects on threatened top predators: New understanding and predictions from novel bio-logging instruments and data), funded by a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant award to Prof David Sims, an MBA (Marine Biological Association) Senior Research Fellow.
    The Postdoctoral Researcher role will be to lead research objectives in the area of shark movement ecology in deoxygenating environments, principally the accessing, management and analysis of large bio-logging and oceanographic datasets to assess effects of changing environment and anthropogenic threats on shark behaviour and space use. The role will design and lead the preparation, data assembly, analysis and writing of scientific publications in leading journals. The role would suit an experienced marine ecological data scientist.
    The role offers the opportunity to work on a high-profile international project under the guidance of a leading research team from six countries and linking with the Global Shark Movement Project (www.globalsharkmovement.org). The role will be based at the iconic MBA Laboratory in Plymouth, UK, with the potential for participation in fieldwork in the UK and overseas.

    Essential experience/skills/qualifications:
    • Completed a PhD degree in a relevant discipline
    • Publication of scientific papers as first author in leading international journals
    • Experience with databases (MS Access, SQL) and their management
    • Experience with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to access and download datasets
    • Good command of at least one programming environment such as R, Python, C (C++/C#), or similar
    • Technical expertise in species distribution modelling (using methods such as Generalised Additive Models or Bayesian Additive Regression Trees) with a focus on animal datasets
    • Experience working with large environmental datasets including processing, management, mapping and spatial analyses
    • Experience working with Earth System Models and climate projection datasets (e.g. CMIP6) including sourcing, processing and mapping projections
    • Strong mathematical and statistical background with application to ecology
    • Knowledge of research design, analysis and reporting
    • Expert data management and organisational skills
    • Experience working with environmental data including processing, management and mapping
    • Excellent teamwork with willingness to provide technical support to lab members’ research alongside own designated projects
    • Willingness to take ownership of projects and communicate project updates
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
    • Experience working in a laboratory setting and carry out tasks in compliance with Health and Safety and other relevant Regulations
    • To ensure responsibilities identified within internal processes such as Health & Safety Guidelines are robustly met by all Research Team members
    Desirable experience/skills/qualifications:
    • A relevant Masters in computer science, Geographical Information Systems, environmental science and management, spatial planning, or a related field
    • Experience working with broad- and fine-scale animal movement data including analysis
    • Experience with building software programmes and/or analysis packages
    • Experience working with human activity datasets (e.g. fishing effort, shipping traffic)
    • Ability to communicate about technical topics to less technical audiences
    • Experience with Git and GitHub
    • Experience processing and developing interactive maps and/or visualisations
    • Experience working with climate projection datasets including sourcing and processing
    • Experience in the application of theory and statistics in an animal movement context
    • Ability to source and synthesise multiple data types (e.g. netcdfs, shapefiles etc.) to consolidate into comprehensive multi-factor analyses
    • Creative approach to new research questions with skills in complex pattern recognition, critical thinking, flexibility and reproducibility

    Key responsibilities and skills
    • Undertake high-quality research to deliver objectives of the OCEAN DEOXYFISH project working both individually and/or collectively with in-house and remote team members.
    • Lead to completion a specified set of research objectives in the areas of database management and programming, shark movement ecology and environmental modelling, and assessing impacts of anthropogenic threats on sharks
    • Conduct accessing, archiving and management of environmental and animal movement datasets including developing necessary interfaces
    • Design and lead the preparation, analysis and writing of scientific publications and contribute skills and expertise to additional publications led by other team members.
    • Write novel analyses and develop code to facilitate research within the project whilst providing coding support within the wider team
    • Contribute to bio-logging tag development, maintenance and programming in the lab and field
    • Present research at national and international conferences
    • Engage with both national and international collaborators to undertake and report results
    • Engage in regular group meetings to progress research objectives and support lab members.
    • Provide technical support and assistance in training postgraduate students with defined projects.
    • Undertake relevant in-house and external training to enhance professional development with relevant mandatory training
    • Working in a laboratory setting and carrying out tasks in compliance with Heath and Safety and other relevant Regulations
    • Undertake adhoc tasks identified as being within the job holder’s capabilities

    Equal Opportunities
    We welcome applications from all suitably qualified candidates and seeks talented people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives in order to enhance all that we do.

    How to apply
    To apply please send a covering letter and CV with details of 2 referees to , quoting reference 0524PDRSDS, one of which must be your current employer. References will not be sought in advance. Your covering letter should outline your previous and most relevant experience and explain why you are right for the role. You must state your eligibility to live and work in the UK.

    For further information, please contact Prof David Sims email

    Interviews will take please the week of 17 June 2024

    Applicants must be eligible to live and work in the UK

    Email Enquiry

    Recipient: Professor David Sims
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