Postdoc de dos años en modelos ecológicos en Viena ~

10 de octubre de 2022

Postdoc de dos años en modelos ecológicos en Viena

Oferta compartida por Cristina

Researcher in ecological modeling


The Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation (BEC) Research Group, within the BNR Program is looking to recruit a highly motivated and enthusiastic researcher who is interested in applying statistical and data analysis skills in conservation contexts.


The BEC research group develops and applies state-of-the art ecological knowledge, methods, and tools to understand ecosystem functioning, ecological responses, and feedbacks in coupled social-economic-ecological systems. The group aims to apply this knowledge and tools to investigate appropriate management options to achieve sustainability goals that have ecological implications and conservation relevance.

One key activity of the BEC group is investigating the impact of agriculture, forestry and other land-uses on biodiversity through advanced statistical modeling techniques. This entails analysing and linking large quantities of spatial data on biodiversity observations, land cover and land uses.

On this topic the BEC group is involved in the following projects, which the incumbent is expected to be involved with:

Forest Navigator is a Horizon Europe project which will develop a new integrated policy modeling framework for the EU forests and forest bioeconomy covering i) all relevant mitigation strategies from forest management to energy and material substitution, ii) climate change impacts, adaptation, and natural disturbances, iii) biophysical climate feedbacks, iv) systematically accounting for impacts on biodiversity, forest ecosystem services, and other forest functions, incl. jobs and green growth. Forest Navigator will make use of real-time data from remote sensing reconciled with National Forest Inventories (NFI) and other field data of unprecedented quality to develop models of species responses to climate and land-use data that, for the first time, will be able to predict the impact of different forest management scenarios for the EU and its member states across multiple scales, multiple interacting drivers and for a large number of taxa.

BrightSpace is a Horizon Europe project which intends to provide an analytical toolbox to experiment, analyse, and coordinate the effects of innovative technologies, governance structures, as well as short- and long-term land-use policies for Europe to operate within a Safe and Just Operating Space (SJOS). The Safe component reflects the bio-physical boundaries of ecosystems and the Just component the requirements for the well-being of the involved people. The BEC group will be collaborating with other world-leading research groups to identify biosphere integrity boundaries for European ecosystems through using theory, data and models related to extinction rates and community intactness.
The role

The incumbent will work within the BNR Program and the BEC Research Group, and in close collaboration with Dr. Martin Jung and Dr. Piero Visconti on developing and applying integrated Species Distribution Models using Bayesian (e.g., Integrated Nested Laplace Approximation and the probabilistic statistical language Stan) and other machine learning approaches (e.g. Gradient Descent Boosting, Bayesian Additive Regression Trees, Neural Networks). The successful candidate should be comfortable working in a multidisciplinary environment, and be excited about interacting with researchers from other domains such as economics, forestry and agronomy to explore how linkages between biodiversity and these sectors can be developed.

tasks and responsibilities
Developing workflows and programming code for modeling of species distributions under global change scenarios, in particular changes in agricultural and forest management
Large geo-spatial data preparation for spatial planning and assessment of protected area effectiveness
Ecological modeling for land use and climate impact assessments
Leading the dissemination of project results via high-quality journal publications and conference presentations
Contribute to the organization of project-related workshops and/or webinars
Support all project partners and group members in the drafting of reports, grant proposals and other scientific outputs as need arises
In line with the team spirit that prevails at IIASA, the incumbent may occasionally work on other tasks assigned by their superiors, that might not be directly related to this appointment but where the post holder has relevant experience and skills, and/or a shortage of immediate personnel capabilities requires such.

qualifications and experience
PhD or equivalent experience in statistics, computer science, engineering, environmental science, or ecology with experience in using statistical or machine learning methods with large datasets
Fluent in at least one scientific coding language (R, Python, C++). Previous experience in developing scientific software for ecological research (e.g., Python libraries, R-packages) highly desirable
Experience in parallel computing, collaborative coding and version control (e.g., Git) advantageous
Advanced geo-spatial analyses in R. Knowledge of Google Earth engine advantageous
Good understanding of current applied ecology and conservation research are desirable but not essential
Excellent organizational skills, pro-active and results-oriented, and the capacity to deliver on allocated tasks and respond in a timely manner to deadlines
Ability to work independently as well as with an international and multidisciplinary team distributed across different institutions and time-zones
A track record of publishing high-quality scientific research (commensurate to career stage)
Excellent communication skills (both written and oral) in English
IIASA offers an interdisciplinary and international workplace, and the possibility to interact with researchers of different nationalities, with strong ties to a world-wide network of research institutions engaged in environmental systems research. The successful candidate must be able to work in, and have respect for, an intercultural environment, and IIASA core values.

appointment terms

We offer an initial fixed-term, two-year, full-time (40 hours per week) employment contract, with the possibility of extension thereafter. Eligible applicants wishing to work part-time hours will also be considered. The start date is negotiable.

Duties will be carried out at the IIASA premises in Laxenburg, near Vienna in Austria (up to 100 days per year home office working within Austria possible).

The successful candidate will be hired as a researcher (R1) or research scholar (R2) according to their corresponding profile in the IIASA researcher profiles for research careers.

A minimum gross annual, full-time salary of:

EUR 33,924.00 for R1 researchers

EUR 44,204.00 for R2 research scholars

IIASA salaries are: Exempt from income tax in Austria
Negotiable, based on the qualifications, skills and experience of the selected individual.
Subject to deductions for health insurance and/or social security.
Not directly comparable with other employers in Austria, due to the unique legal status and privileges granted to IIASA.
Subject to the principle of income aggregation (Progressionsvorbehalt in German).
In addition: Educational subsidies for children of school age enrolled in private schools in Austria.
A generous annual leave allowance.
Moving and settlement allowances and paid home leave for employees in scientific and professional categories hired from international locations.
Assistance for newcomers to Austria with visa, work and residency permit applications.
Support finding accommodation in Austria.

Further details here.

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