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Senior Research Associate

Lancaster Environment Centre
Salary:   £34,189 to £39,609
Closing Date:   Sunday 30 June 2019
Interview Date:   Thursday 01 August 2019
Reference:  A2656

An exciting opportunity exists for a coral reef ecologist to contribute to a NERC funded project: Behaviourally-mediated shifts in reef fish communities following severe disturbance.

We are seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic ecologist to contribute to a project investigating how mass coral bleaching affects butterflyfish (Chaetodon spp.) behaviour and subsequently scales up to impact ecological communitiesThe project will develop ecological models and confront those models with primary field data. Data will be collected at established sites. Field work will involve two trips to each of three locations (i.e., six in total) over the course of the project to Iriomote, Japan; Anilao, the Philippines; Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Each trip will last approximately two weeks. 

All sites experienced coral bleaching in 2016, and in both Japan and Christmas Island this event was followed by mass coral mortality. Butterflyfish behavioural, abundance and composition data were collected at all of these sites both before and after this event, providing a unique dataset that will be further expanded with an additional two field trips to each site during this project (years 1 & 2). Results will inform wider understanding of how ecological communities respond to large-scale disturbance events.

Lancaster University is a research-intensive university, ranked in the top 10 of UK universities. In 2018, it was named University of the Year by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. The Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) is a large and multidisciplinary department, tackling environmental challenges across the natural and social sciences. The LEC REEFS research group is a vibrant, friendly and growing team of >16 people seeking to understand coral reefs from both natural and social science perspectives ( There will also be opportunity to be involved in the recently launched Centre of Excellence for Environmental Data Science. 

We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis. The department holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, which recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address gender equality in Higher Education and research.  We welcome applications from people in all diversity groups

You will have a background in behavioural and/or community ecology, strong quantitative and programming skills, and relevant experience in modelling, fieldwork, statistics, and writing publications. A proactive and enthusiastic approach and excellent communication and interpersonal skills are essential. Attention to detail and good English writing skills are essential to meet the exciting and challenging goals of the project.

This is a fixed term appointment for 3 years.

Informal enquiries to Dr Sally Keith, Lancaster Environment Centre,

Interview by Skype is possible for those unable to travel to Lancaster in person. It is anticipated the post will commence in October 2019.

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

Further details:

We promote equality of opportunity and diversity within the workplace and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

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