[ES_JOBS_NET] Multiple post-doc opportunity at Wisconsin Abrupt Change in Ecological Systems

Erika Marín-Spiotta marinspiotta at wisc.edu
Fri May 27 22:23:19 MDT 2016

Abrupt Change in Ecological Systems

(Ecosystem modeling; Spatial modeling; Linking models + big data; Applied
ecological statistics)

Postdoctoral Positions: We seek a cluster of 3-4 postdoctoral research
associates (each for

two years) for newly funded research on understanding abrupt change in
ecological systems

(ACES). Science currently lacks a framework for predicting when, where,
why, and how

surprisingly abrupt and fundamental changes are likely to occur in
ecosystems and landscapes.

Rates of environmental change are accelerating, and understanding the
consequences of these

-C changes for natural resources and human wellbeing is among the biggest
challenges in

contemporary ecology. We aim to answer fundamental research questions, such
as: How much

disturbance can living resources absorb before they change qualitatively?
Where are the

tipping points in ecosystems, and what forces can push ecosystems past
those tipping points?

When and where do we expect significant changes in our landscapes and
waters? What natural

resources are likely to change radically in the coming decades?

The ACES project is a new

collaboration among UW-Madison PIs (Monica Turner, Steve Carpenter, Tony
Ives, Chris

Kucharik, Jack Williams) who are leaders and have complementary expertise
in theoretical and

applied ecology; a range of terrestrial, aquatic, and agricultural systems;
and scales that extend

deep in time and from local to regional extent. Our research will focus on
a diverse set of real

world ‘model ecosystems,’ each characterized by complex spatial dynamics
and time lags that

can mask impending abrupt changes. Case studies include harmful algal
blooms that occur in

over-fertilized lakes, tree population collapses related to variation in
climate in deciduous

forests of eastern North America, loss of conifer forests as climate and
fire regimes change in

western North America, and risk to crop yields with climate warming and
declining water

availability. For questions about ACES, contact Monica Turner (
turnermg at wisc.edu) or any of

the faculty listed above. For more information about ecology at UW-Madison,

Qualifications. Applications are encouraged from outstanding candidates who
are experienced

collaborators who enjoy and work well in a team setting. Applicants should
have flexible

ecological modeling skills in at least one of the following: (1) ecosystem
simulation modeling,

(2) spatial simulation modeling, (3) linking models with big data, and (4)

ecological statistics. Applicants must have completed a PhD in ecology or
related field prior to

appointment. Successful candidates will have an excellent publication
record, proven

communication and quantitative skills, and proficiency working with models
across a wide range

of spatial and temporal scales. Candidates ideally should be available to
begin between 1

September 2016 and 15 January 2017.

To Apply. Candidates should email (in a single PDF file) a cover letter,
CV, one-page

statement of research interests, and the names and contact information of
three references to

Carol Cooley (cacooley at wisc.edu). Please indicate “ACES Postdoc” in the
subject line. Review

of applications will begin 15 June 2016, and positions will remain open
until filled.
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