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Senior Research Associate in coral reef ecology

Lancaster Environment Centre
Salary:   £34,804 to £40,322
Closing Date:   Wednesday 30 June 2021
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  A3400

An exciting opportunity exists for a coral reef scientist or marine community ecologist to contribute to a Bertarelli Foundation funded project: Seabird nutrient effects on coral reef ecology.

We are seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic marine scientist to contribute to a project investigating the links between seabird nutrient inputs and coral reef ecology. This is a multi-institutional project (Lancaster University, University of Oxford and University of Exeter), and includes coral reef ecology (Lancaster focus), coral reef geomorphology, and terrestrial ecology. Fieldwork for the project will include the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory), Seychelles, and French Polynesia. Patterns of rat infestation and eradication on islands will be used as a study design to investigate the influence on seabird population densities, seabird derived nutrient inputs, and coral reef ecology. Applicants are encouraged to think through their own ideas about these linkages and how their area of expertise could be applied to this study design. The successful applicant will work closely with Prof Nick Graham and Dr Casey Benkwitt on this project, and collaborate with partners at Universities of Oxford and Exeter, and in study countries.

Preferred candidates will have a PhD in marine science, and relevant experience in fieldwork, lab work, statistical modelling, and writing publications. A proactive and enthusiastic approach and good interpersonal skills are essential. 

Lancaster University is a research intensive university, ranked in the top 1% of universities globally, and in the top 10 in the UK. 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, including coral reefs and tropical rainforests. LEC offers a highly collegial and stimulating environment for career development based on departmental values and embedded Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) considerations and actions. Applicants from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. 

You will join us on an indefinite contract however the role remains contingent on external funding, which is currently for 12 months and we will seek opportunities to extend this timeframe.

We anticipate interviews will be held in July 2021. 

What to include in each document of your application:

Cover Letter Please discuss why you are interested specifically in this position, and how it fits with your career goals. Please also describe any skills you have developed that are relevant to this post, and how you may seek to develop this area of research. 

CV Please include a 2-page CV.

Supporting Statements: Please provide a supporting statement for each Personal Specification point that is listed as being scored via “Supporting Statements”. This should include examples that provide evidence of your experience and expertise. Aim for one paragraph per criteria (~50-200 words).

Referees: Contact information for at least two referees.

For more information, see the Further Information link below.

Informal enquiries to Prof Nick Graham or Dr Casey Benkwitt

We welcome applications from people in all diversity groups.

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Further details:

The University provides an environment that strongly supports the individual needs of each employee, whilst promoting the importance of wellbeing for all our colleagues. We have a range of support networks available for our employees, and more information on these can be found on the ‘Working at Lancaster’ information page.


We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis. The University recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address all inequality in higher education.


We warmly welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of their age, religion, gender identity or expression, race, disability or sexual orientation, and are committed to promoting diversity, and equality of opportunity.



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