We are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the Department of Zoology at Oxford University. The successful applicant will be responsible for exploring and analysing extensive monitoring datasets of biodiversity and forest structure from the conservation set-asides in oil palm plantations belonging to a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
RSPO members are required to set-aside and “Maintain and/ or enhance” areas deemed to be of “high conservation value”, and since November 2019, of “high carbon stock” (www.rspo.org). Fragmentation and degradation of forests can have negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services, and so far, there is a poor understanding of the impact that forest stewardship within plantations is having on avoiding biodiversity losses. Using extensive monitoring datasets over many years and sites, this project will shed new light on the effectiveness of these set-asides, develop new recommendations for improving biodiversity levels in plantations, and generate guidance on biodiversity monitoring and management.
The project will focus on understanding the conservation value of forest-set asides in oil palm plantations, quantifying the impact of management techniques, and exploring patterns of biodiversity in relation to the level of fragmentation of forests and other relevant factors. Additionally, the successful applicant will investigate gaps and redundancy in current monitoring protocols. The project has a strong knowledge exchange element, and a key component of the work will be to use outputs of the analysis to co-develop a state of the art monitoring and management system for conservation set-asides with industry.
Candidates will hold a relevant PhD (or be near to completion) together with knowledge and experience in a relevant area, such as tropical ecology, agricultural sustainability or biodiversity conservation.
Only applications made online will be accepted. You will be required to upload a CV and supporting statement as part of your online application.
The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on Monday 29th March 2021 – All interested applicants are welcome to apply here.