ARC Discovery grant on Indicators: new postdoc and PhD positions available

We’re delighted to have been successful in our application for an ARC Discovery grant to continue our work on biodiversity indicators. The grant is lead by Emily Nicholson in collaboration with Ben Collen at University College London (UCL), and Beth Fulton and Simon Ferrier at CSIRO.

We are now looking for a postdoc and a PhD student to undertake the research. Please get in touch with Emily Nicholson as soon as possible, with the possibility of a January 2017 start. Applications will close as soon as suitable candidates have been found. update: applications have now closed.

The project: Reliable and sensitive biodiversity indicators are critical to track progress towards conservation targets. Yet most biodiversity indicators remain untested in their ability to reveal the trends needed by decision-makers. This project aims to develop much-needed methods to test, design and select biodiversity indicators to support conservation decisions. It will provide the first comprehensive test of indicators used to monitor biodiversity change at local to global scales, by sampling ecosystem models to evaluate how indicator design, data bias and environmental variability affect performance. Case studies will include marine, terrestrial and freshwater systems, drawing largely on existing datasets and models from around the world, but with the potential to develop new models.  The research will evaluate and improve the way change in biodiversity is measured, globally and in Australia, and provide new methods for policy evaluation with biodiversity indicators. Project outcomes will have significant implications for predicting and measuring impacts of policy such as the Convention on Biological Diversity. This is a three year project.

The postdoc and PhD student will develop and/or adapt a range of modeling approaches, including ecosystem models, for use in indicator testing, together with large databases. They will be based at Deakin University in Burwood, in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, and will be a member of the Centre for Integrative Ecology, a supportive research environment with a strong ecological focus. The project will involve close collaboration with Ben Collen, Beth Fulton and Simon Ferrier, including visits to their labs throughout the project, and group meetings in Melbourne.

PhD Student: We are looking for a student with quantitative skills and experience in R or similar, and a 1st class honours or masters degree in a related discipline. Please send a CV and cover letter to Emily Nicholson.

Postdoc: We are looking for a level A or B postdoc with:

  • A PhD in quantitative ecology, conservation science or a related discipline
  • Strong quantitative skills, experience in ecological modelling and data analysis, in R or similar
  • An excellent publication record relative to opportunity
  • Strong research skills and experience, including the capacity to work independently and in teams
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Preferably some supervision experience.

Please send a CV and cover letter to Emily Nicholson (

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