Applications are invited for a Post-doctoral researcher to undertake research on the drivers of woody encroachment and the impacts on ecological functioning and ecosystem services, through combining broad-scale remotely sensed products, environmental GIS, field, and citizen science bird atlas datasets. The successful applicant will be registered at the University of the Witwatersrand and assume research within the School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Science (APES) in collaboration with researchers from the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and University of Stellenbosch (and others).

The successful applicant will work closely with Drs Nicola Stevens, Jolene Fisher and Chevonne Reynolds (APES & US) and with the CSIR Earth Observation team (Drs Renaud Mathieu, Laven Naidoo and Moses Cho) on two key project questions relating to i) how bird diversity, and ensuing ecological function is affected by woody plant encroachment across South Africa and ii) how anthropogenic, biotic and abiotic processes drive patterns of woody cover change within SA regions of different functional diversity. The successful applicant will also be expected to contribute to other research questions outlined in the SASSCAL proposal and be available to help supervise students that are funded through the award.

Key Competencies:

Applicants must have a PhD in a relevant subject. Applicants must have a strong knowledge in statistics (preferentially Bayesian analysis) and be competent with R statistical software. GIS experience and an interest in landscape and spatial ecology is required. Finally, a strong work ethic, ability to be self-motivated and an enthusiasm for working in a collaborative team are ideal qualities in our preferred candidate.

Terms of employment:

The position will be full time for 2 years. The proposed starting date is as soon as possible to from the 1st of April 2019, or as soon as possible thereafter. The Post-doc salary is R220 000 per annum (non-taxable) and the applicant is not limited in the application of additional funding from non-NRF grants.


Applications must include; a motivating letter detailing why you are interested in the project and why you see yourself as a good fit, a C.V., contact details of two academic referees, and a copy of academic transcripts. Please apply to Dr Chevonne Reynolds with the subject line SASSCAL postdoc application to no later than 15th of April 2019.