PhD position in plant ecology announced
Do you have a Master’s degree in Plant Ecology or similar, and are you interested in alpine ecology, climate change, alien species, and functional ecology? The Between the Fjords research group is hiring a PhD student for 3 year to work with us in the RangeX project.
Native as well as exotic species are shifting their distributions in response to global warming and through biological invasions, many expanding their ranges across elevation gradients. But species are doing so at widely different rates, leading to a reassembly of ecological communities that could have even more profound impacts on the future of biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and nature’s benefits to people. In particular, changes to species interactions in novel communities could mediate effects of climate warming on biodiversity, and on key ecosystem functions like carbon cycling and pollination, which could in turn feedback to climate warming. RangeX seeks to better understand the processes and impacts of plants that are expanding their ranges following climate warming, and to use this knowledge to inform the development of policy regarding range-expanding plant species. The project asks the following overarching questions:
1. What processes explain variation in species’ range expansion with climate warming?
2. How do range-expanding species impact alpine biodiversity and key ecosystem functions, and how will these impacts feed back to changing climate?
3. Can we predict which species are most/least able to expand their ranges with climate warming, and their impact on ecosystem processes?
4. Can better ecological understanding of range expansions be synthesised with stakeholder knowledge to improve policy and management of range expansions and biodiversity?
The PhD research fellow will work especially on tasks 1 through 3. Specifically, the fellow will:
- Have responsibility for maintaining the Norwegian site of a replicated climate and range expansion experiment and collect plant and ecosystem-level data from this site.
- Lead the writing of 2-3 research papers leading to a PhD thesis focussed on this experiment.
- Collaborate with the international team to collect additional data from the Norwegian site, and to analyse and writing publications and synthesis across the network of sites.
- Have the opportunity to interact with partners across the international consortium and to engage with relevant stakeholders to codevelop synthesis and policy-relevant information about plant range expansions.
Visit the job advertisement here for more details and to apply.