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PostDoctoral Fellowship opportunity at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town

Project: Western Indian Ocean seabirds and climate change

Project focal area: Climate change scenario modelling and seabird foraging ecology

We invite applications for the above full-time research opportunity at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, a world-renowned, national Centre of Excellence (CoE) in ornithological research with a strong emphasis on postgraduate studies. The tenure of the Fellowship is for up to two years, providing there is satisfactory academic progress in the first year.

The successful applicant will lead a multi-disciplinary and innovative effort linking seabird distributions to environmental variables. They will then use climate and oceanographic data to assess ocean productivity patterns and trends in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), and relate future scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to make predictions about seabird populations and distributions. The project will be co-supervised by Francis Marsac (ICEMASA/IRD and research associate in the Oceanography Department at UCT), in collaboration with Ross Wanless and Peter Ryan. In addition there is a strong team of collaborators supporting this work.

Applicants must have strong geospatial/oceanographic modelling and analytical skills, and should be familiar with remote sensing data and climate change models. Strong scientific writing skills and a proven publication record are required. A variety of data are available to build conceptual models of oceanographic productivity, and to relate these to seabird abundance and distribution patterns. With a base model, the successful candidate will investigate which trends/patterns are arising under various scenarios of climate warming/altered productivity in the tropical WIO region, and then assess how potential spatio-temporal changes/reductions in ocean productivity could affect the tuna-seabird assemblages.

Closing date: 30th May 2017 (possible interviews to be held in June 2017)

Download the full advert here