Postdoc position: Soil food web structure and ecosystem functioning in kauri dominated forests


New Zealand kauri (Agathis australis) produce large volumes of acidic, tannin-rich litter that creates unique soil conditions with relatively low decomposition rates. Thus, kauri represent ‘keystone structures’ in New Zealand forests, where they likely have an inordinate influence on the structure and functioning of belowground food webs. However, this taonga species is under multiple threats from pathogens and climate change. We are offering a fulltime 2-year postdoc position to study the spatial and energetic structure of soil invertebrate food webs in kauri forest and investigate how kauri dieback affects the stability of associated ecosystem functions in these unique forests.

The successful candidate will have a PhD in ecology, ideally with a strong background in soil and/or forest ecosystems, invertebrate communities, and ecological networks. Candidates should have a demonstrated ability to manage and conduct field and lab work independently, as well as expertise in data management and modelling in R. 

This postdoc opportunity is associated with Ngā Rākau Taketake – Risk Assessment and Ecosystem Impacts theme of the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge. The postdoc position will be based within the EcoDiv lab at the University of Waikato in Hamilton and will work in collaboration with researchers form multiple New Zealand Universities, Department of Conservation, and Crown Research Institutes.

To apply, please send a cover letter stating your interests and experience relevant to the project, an academic CV (including a list of publications), and the names and contact information for three references to: Dr Andrew Barnes (andrew.barnes@waikato.ac.nz) by November 30, 2020.

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