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Research Associate – Environmental Social Science / Political Ecology

Lancaster Environment Centre
Salary:   £27,285 to £31,604
Closing Date:   Sunday 13 May 2018
Interview Date:   Thursday 12 July 2018
Reference:  A2250

An exciting opportunity exists for an environmental social scientist/ human geographer/ political ecologist to contribute to a collaborative project in French Polynesia:  Cultural values, food systems, and nutritional security under climatic change.

We are seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic environmental social scientist to contribute to a project investigating cultural values, food systems, and nutritional benefits associated with coral reefs experiencing climate induced environmental change in French Polynesia.  Working closely with researchers from Lancaster University, CRIOBE, and James Cook University, the project will develop a mixed methods approach to collect qualitative and quantitative data on cultural values and nutritional benefits in French Polynesia. These data will be explored alongside, and ultimately integrated with, data collected by a team of ecologists and environmental chemists on the ecology, nutritional quality, and food web structure of these systems. Therefore a commitment and ability to work with researchers from diverse disciplines is essential.  

Specific aims will be to: 

1) Establish how reef fish assemblages and environmental change shape local knowledge and cultural values.
2) Determine whether cultural keystone species can be identified that play a significant role in shaping and characterizing the social organisation and cultural identities of local communities.
3) Evaluate the nutritional contributions associated with local knowledge, cultural values, and reef fish assemblage.
4) Examine whether local communities can adapt to maintain cultural and nutritional benefits in changing environments.

Lancaster University is a research intensive university, in the top 10 for UK universities. The Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) is a large and multidisciplinary department, tackling environmental challenges across the natural and social sciences. Within LEC, there is particular strength in high diversity tropical systems, particularly coral reefs and tropical rain forests, and in Political Ecology.

CRIOBE is one of the most productive centers on coral reef research in France. It hosts researchers from CNRS, EPHE and University of Perpignan. It based both in Perpignan, metropolitan France, and in Moorea, French Polynesia, where its marine station offers numerous facilities. 

Preferred candidates will have a demonstrated interest in addressing environmental challenges and a background in environmental social science, human geography, anthropology, or related fields. A proactive and enthusiastic approach and excellent communication and interpersonal skills are essential for the collaborative nature of the research. Attention to detail, good English writing skills and fluent French speaking are essential to meet the exciting and challenging goals of the project within demanding deadlines.

This is a fixed term appointment for two years.

Informal enquiries to Dr Christina Hicks, Lancaster Environment Centre, +44 (0)1524 595054, . Or Dr Joachim Claudet, CRIOBE, +33 4 6866 2194,

We welcome applications from people in all diversity groups.

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

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