Ecological intensification: Integrating knowledge of ecosystem services to promote sustainable agriculture in Chile (ACT19202).
CALL FOR A POSTDOC POSITION
The research team of the Anillo project “Ecological intensification: Integrating knowledge of ecosystem services to promote sustainable agriculture in Chile” (ACT192027) seeks for exceptional and highly-motivated candidates for a three-year postdoctoral position funded by the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. The Ecological intensification project brings together Chilean researchers from the School of Agriculture and the Institute of Biology of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso (PUCV), the Institute of Biology of Universidad de Talca, the Department of Ecology -Faculty of Biological Sciences-, and School of Agriculture and Forestry - from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC), and the Center for Genomics, Ecology & Environment at Universidad Mayor, in collaboration with an international core of leading researchers in the field. The overall goal of the project is to understand the contribution of biodiversity to the delivery of agriculturally relevant multiply ecosystem services (i.e., pollination, biological pest control, and soil carbon sequestration), quantify its contribution to crop yield in Mediterranean central Chile, and its relationship with different agricultural practices. We are looking for highly qualified candidates with substantial experience in landscape ecology, biodiversity, and pollination ecology. In particular, we are interested in the applicant having GIS experience, basic knowledge of R software, and background in the ecology of interactions. We are also interested in those candidates capable of working in diverse teams that include undergraduate and graduate students and people working in Chilean fruit farming systems.
Project description: Agriculture intensification reduces forest cover, causes declines in biodiversity, degrades soils, squanders water, and releases one-quarter of global greenhouse gas emission, therefore, becoming a mayor socio-environmental driver of global change (e.g., the case of current fires in Amazonia). As a consequence, new strategies for food production must be identified and explored to cope with the present scenarios of climate and global change. A key challenge of our time, in this context, is how to sustain biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, while 2 simultaneously meeting the increasing demand for food from an ever-growing human population. Ecological intensification (hereafter EI) has emerged as a new paradigm to enhance sustainability and harness ecosystem services for food security. It has also been proposed as an emerging solution for mitigating climate change. EI promotes conservation policies at the scale of both landscape and farms to contribute to sustaining and recovering local biodiversity; in return, this approach assures farmers the delivery of ecosystem services such as animal pollination, pest control, nutrient cycling and reduction of nutrient loss, and enhanced carbon sequestration, while at the same time promoting cultural values derived from local knowledge. By managing farms, native forests-shrublands, forestry plantations, and rangelands, in an integrated manner through the “working land conservation”, we could develop landscapes that work for both nature and people, in response to the new Anthropocene challenges created by biodiversity loss, accelerated climate change, and unsustainable land use. Results from this project will provide know-how for advisors, policymakers, and farmers, as well as methods that will promote landscape-wide management of ecosystem services, allowing biodiversity protection while supporting a productive and more sustainable economy that could help in other Mediterranean areas.
In particular, we seek candidates to consider that their work would be framed within the following objectives of the overall proposal:
A) Quantify the contribution of natural areas using a focal farm multi-scale approach to understand the delivery of agriculturally relevant biodiversity-based ecosystem services related to pollination and pest regulation (by arthropods and vertebrates).
B) Co-design, experimentally assess and evaluate the effects of an EI innovation (i.e., habitat creation to increase pollination and pest regulation) on crop yield.
Candidates must have:
i) A Ph.D. in agriculture/biology/ecology or related disciplines
ii) Have a strong record of high–quality scientific publications
iii) Excellent communication skills in English and desirable Spanish (if Spanish is not the native language)
iv) Available to start working at the latest in July-August 2020 (or depending on the COVID-19 situation)
v) Have a driving license and driving experience in the countryside is desirable.
vi) Chilean citizenship or foreigners with Chilean residence (overseas candidates will need to apply for a work permit if a job offer is made).
vii) Be willing to collaborate and move across all the associated laboratories in Chile and overseas.
The selected candidate will have a monthly salary of 1.200.000 Chilean pesos (ea., 1.500 USD, including taxes). Applications will be received until June 25, and the starting date can range between July – August 2020 (or depending on the COVID-19 situation). 3 The position is granted for three years (until December 2022) with an annual renewal process subject to prior approval from the project's Director and PIs, or subject to modification under the project PIs and the funding agency.
The postdoc location will primarily be based in Valparaíso at School of Agriculture located in La Palma locality, Quillota associated with Dr. Juan L. Celis and Dr. Francisco Fontúrbel labs. However, the applicant should be willing to spend short stays across the institutions related to this project, either Santiago, Quillota, Valparaíso, and Talca cities, or the international partners in the UK, and promote collaborations across laboratories. Given this main location, the applicant must be available to carry out extensive fieldwork in rural areas between the Valparaíso, O'Higgins, and Maule regions within central Chile.
Applicants will be evaluated and selected by the Project PI's following the criteria below:
1. Thematic affinity with the project goals and requirements: 25%
2. Number and quality of scientific publications in the last five years (since 2015): 35%
3. Letters of interest and recommendation: 20%
4. Personal interview: 20%
An evaluation rubric, including a Likert scale from 1 to 5, will be used for each criterion.
|The applicant fulfills all the requirement in an outstanding way
|The applicant complies very well although minimal improvements are required
|The applicant meets a good standard, but some improvements are required
|The applicant generally meets the requirements, but there are significant deficiencies
|The applicant does not adequately fulfill the requirements
i) Minimum of 30 hr/week dedicated to the project
ii) Coordination of undergraduate and graduate students
iii) Design, establish, and manage field/lab experiments and fieldwork within rural Chile.
iv) Data analysis and scientific manuscript publication.
v) Publish scientific publications with the project's PIs always acknowledging “ANID/PIA/ACT192027”
vi) Strict confidentiality regarding project results. 4
vii) Participate in national and international scientific meetings
viii) Participate in outreach activities ix) Present an annual report of activities x) Collaborate with the project administration
1. The application deadline is 25/06/2020, 18:00 h (Chilean time)
2. Notification of interview for suitable candidates: 5/06/2020
3. Personal interviews: 26 – 30/06/2020
4. Results will be notified after the approval and ratification from the PUCV.
To apply, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org including the following items in a single PDF file:
1) A letter of interest, one recommendation letters from the Ph.D. supervisor, and personal contact information from the other two recommenders
2) Curriculum Vitae and a short description of the most relevant paper they have published explaining how their previous experience is relevant to the development of this project
3) Copy of the Ph.D. diploma or certificate
4) Copy of passport or DNI.
Please use the subject ¨anillo-2020-application¨ in your email to avoid being directed to the spam. Applications must be in English. For more information and any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org