Horizon Europe Research Project Support Officer and PhD opportunity recruiting now!

Full time Research Project Support Officer (RPSO): Forest restoration metabarcoding biodiversity analyses, with the Horizon Europe SUPERB project.  

We are looking for a dynamic researcher to fulfil a key role in a new, collaborative and multidisciplinary team working at the interface between forest biodiversity, restoration and molecular ecology, environmental and remote sensing.

Job advert Research Project Support Officer

Forests harbour substantial fractions of biodiversity, provide a multitude of societal ecosystem services and, via large scale tree planting, represent a powerful nature-based solution for climate change mitigation. Yet, forest biodiversity is under threat via climate change and intensifying disturbances (e.g. droughts, bark beetles, fires, and storms), but also face risks from non-adapted forest management practices and unsustainable exploitation. In the €20M Horizon Europe Green Deal SUPERB project the overall goal is creating an enabling environment for, and demonstration of, largescale restoration of forests and forest landscapes across Europe.

Along with the project team, the post holder will be responsible for planning, organising and conducting large-scale metabarcoding biodiversity analyses, focused on forest restoration. Although not a formal requirement for the role, there will be an opportunity to register for a postgraduate, PhD program, that will be integrated into the highly successful ENVISION NERC Doctoral Training Program (http://www.envision-dtp.org/), enabling further opportunities for bioinformatic, statistical training and analyses and publishing a series of collaborative manuscripts and subsequent award of a PhD thesis. In essence, the role offers the ability to pursue a paid PhD program. Irrespective of either route, project management and liaising with external partners and the project team will be integral to the role.

The SUPERB consortium comprises 36 institutions highly experienced in rewilding, nature-based solutions and ecological, economic and governance issues of forest and forest landscape restoration. Bangor University will work closely with the Universities of Lancaster, UK and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Umeå to assess restoration success at up to 6 demonstration sites across Europe, incorporating, and exploring synergies between cutting edge remote sensing approaches, DNA metabarcoding, environmental variables and species distribution models, citizen science and bioacoustics.

The Bangor component of the SUPERB project will utilise metabarcoding of soil and aerial arthropod samples, to assess biodiversity, bioinformatics and ecological modelling, with the RPSO working closely with a diverse team of collaborators from the fields of acoustic and remote sensing, species distribution modelling and forest restoration throughout 6 sites across Europe.Candidates should possess a degree, or equivalent qualification in related areas such as natural sciences, biotechnology, molecular biology and should ideally have previous experience of fieldwork, molecular ecology (e.g. metabarcoding analyses). The successful candidate will be expected to commence as soon as convenient in 2022, with the contract expiring on 30/11/2025.

Informal enquiries should be sent to Profs. S. Creer and Ruben Valbuena, email s.creer@bangor.ac.uk, r.valbuena@bangor.ac.uk, http://meeb.bangor.ac.uk/staff/si.php, https://www.bangor.ac.uk/natural-sciences/staff/ruben-valbuena/en; @spideycreer; @rubenvalpue.Candidates can submit their applications via the on-line recruitment website, jobs.bangor.ac.uk (REF: BU02720).

Closing date for applications: 7th January 2022, with interviews predicted to take place in the 2nd half of January, early February 2022.

Publication date: 14 December 2021