Position reserved to non French nationality applicants or to French applicant with foreign PhD diploma
Application: deadline 15/09/2011
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Biodiversity is not just under threat globally, it is declining at an alarming rate. In addition to human impacts such as habitat degradation and fragmentation, the recent threat of global warming is adding yet another level of burden for biodiversity conservation. Identifying and delineating areas where congruence between different levels of diversity exists and will exist across multiple levels of organization is also necessary for guiding biodiversity management and protection.
The Mediterranean basin is one of the 34 hotspots of species diversity and endemism and one of the most threatened regions worldwide. Knowledge on how and why biodiversity is structured in the Mediterranean basin is rather scattered and relies on still crude non geo-localized empirical approaches. In the Mediterranean more than anywhere else, the efficiency of protected areas for biodiversity conservation remains to be proven as they are unevenly distributed within habitats, are often established as a result of local political situations and often face recurring budget crises.
In this project, it is proposed to compile in geo-referenced databases all the information available on occurrence of selected Mediterranean woody plants, current protected areas and major threats, and then use spatial statistics and modelling tools to identify gaps in knowledge on biodiversity spatial patterns. The ecological factors which drive biodiversity pattern will be explored, together with the congruence of specific biodiversity and rare and endemic species.
As part of the team "Persistence and biodiversity dynamics" in the Mediterranean Institute of Palaecology and Ecology (IMEP, CNRS, Université Aix-Marseille 3), and in close collaboration with the team "Evolutionary Community Ecology" in the Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution (ISEM, CNRS, Université Montpellier 2), the successful applicant will have to:
- Compile existing occurrences data for woody plants (list of taxons already defined) at the scale of the European Mediterranean basin (with the help of botanists and database manager of the team);
- Analyse bias and sampling effect within the dataset;
- Use interpolation techniques and/or spatial statistics to generate maps of specific and endemic richness, analyse congruence between richness patterns and conservation areas;
- Use statistical methods to identify factors driving diversity patterns at the scale of European Mediterranean;
- Use statistical methods to identify clusters of similarity in richness composition;
- Write papers for international audience.
PROFILE : Post-doctoral researcher
Master degree or PhD in ecology, environmental sciences or statistics applied to ecology
Sound skills in spatial statistics and GIS (spatial analysis)
Knowledge in ecology especially in plants ecology and taxonomy would be much appreciated
Modelling and geodatabase management abilities
Place of work: IMEP (UMR CNRS 6116), Aix-Marseille University, Aix-en-Provence, France, with frequent meetings in Montpellier, France
Duration: One year from January 2012
Salary: 2333 euros/month before taxes (around 1800 euros/months after), including health insurance