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Marine Programme: 1x Postdoctoral Fellowship

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Hydrology, Hydrogeology, Water Resources
Location South Africa - Africa
Town/City Claremont,
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Deadline 30/07/2021
Company Name South Africa National Biodiversity Insitute
Contact Name
Website Further Details / Applications
South Africa National Biodiversity Insitute logo
Directory Entry : Conservation and Ecology Jobs in South Africa with...The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) leads and coordinates research, and monitors and reports on the state of biodiversity in South Africa. The institute provides knowledge and information, gives planning and policy advice and pilots best-practice management models in partnership with stakeholders. SANBI engages in ecosystem restoration and rehabilitation, leads the human capital development strategy of the sector and manages the National Botanical Gardens as 'windows' to South Africa's biodiversity for enjoyment and education.
Also Listing:

Applications are invited for one postdoctoral fellow to join the SANBI Biodiversity Research, Assessment and Monitoring Division to support research under the Mission Atlantic Project. The fellowship will commence in August 2021 for the duration of one year. The fellowship will be hosted by the Nelson Mandela University under the supervision of Prof Kerry Sink from SANBI.


Candidates must be independent and productive and have a PhD (at least submitted if not awarded) in the field of marine biodiversity or fisheries. The candidate must be able to contribute to the assessment of marine biodiversity with an ability to synthesise large volumes of relevant literature, engage with experts and assign and justify scores to aspects of ecosystem assessment.

The postdoctoral fellowship is open to anyone who has completed their PhD in the last three years. Applicants must be able to support ecosystem mapping and assessment to support the integrated ecosystem assessment for the Mission Atlantic Project and research to support the marine component of the next National Biodiversity Assessment (marine realm).

The applicant must be familiar with integrated ecosystem assessment and the sectors and pressures affecting marine biodiversity in South Africa. Applicants must be able to demonstrate an ability to undertake research and synthesise literature and data sources through demonstrated publications and outputs and should have evidence that they can find scientific evidence to formulate defendable recommendations.

Applicants must have competency in reviewing large volumes of literature and demonstrated experience in conducting analysis of ecological data. Candidates should also possess strong organisational and communication skills. Knowledge of marine stakeholders and the ability to support stakeholder and societal engagement in marine ecosystem assessment are essential.

Research Areas:

The aim of this postdoctoral fellowship is to advance integrated marine ecosystem assessment in support of the Mission Atlantic Project and the South African National Biodiversity Assessment (NBA).

Mission Atlantic is an international interdisciplinary project funded though the European Commission, Horizon 2020: Research and Innovation Framework Programme. The objectives of the Mission Atlantic project are:

1)  to assess ecosystem status and resilience,

2) to map the present and establish the future three dimensional distributions of biomes and their pressures,

3) to develop new indicators, tools and technologies to identify risks and vulnerabilities in the marine environment,

4) to formulate and transfer assessment guidelines, data and modelling tools into ecosystem-based management procedures

5) to educate ocean resource managers and researchers in application of a systematic approach to ecosystem management.

Within the Mission Atlantic Project, SANBI’s marine programme is seeking to appoint a postdoctoral fellow with sufficient experience in marine biodiversity research to advance integrated ecosystem assessment and the knowledge to support the implementation of ecosystem based management. Relevant research covers species, ecosystems, pressures, ecosystem condition, resilience and assessment to support and improve the NBA which SANBI is mandated to conduct and further align the NBA with the Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) planned under the Mission Atlantic Project.

The one-year postdoctoral fellowship will include collaborative research directly or indirectly linked to deliverables, tasks and milestones of the Mission Atlantic Project. The postdoctoral fellow will support work being undertaken under work package 1 (Ocean Integrated Ecosystem Assessment), work package 4 (Benthic Mapping), work package 7 (Risk Assessment and uncertainties) and work package 9 (Societal engagement) of the Mission Atlantic Project.

The postdoctoral fellow will contribute to Task 1.2 through providing support for the scoping process being undertaken under WP1 of the Mission Atlantic Project. The candidate will consult with subject experts to identify key human activities impacting on marine biodiversity, associated pressures and the ecosystem components affected by these.

Much of the planned scoping work will be undertaken using the ODEMM (Options for Delivering Ecosystem-Based Marine Management) approach to ensure comparability between Mission Atlantic Case Studies. The candidate will support Task 4.2 through advancing research on marine benthic habitat mapping. The candidate will support the South African

Case Study activities under WP7 as part of the scoping performed under WP1. The candidate will assist with the qualitative assessment of regional vulnerabilities under Task 7.1, scoring and prioritization of regional vulnerabilities under Task 7.2, and literature collation and reviews in support of milestone 7.1. Further support will be provided to WP 9 through communication of project outcomes to public audiences.

The candidate will participate in and represent SANBI at relevant work package workshops and meetings as needed. The fellow will be expected to engage with other researchers and post docs on the project and the SANBI team that is contributing to the project. The post doc must also contribute to workshop reports and interim project reporting.

Bursary value: A fellowship of R300,000 is available over a one year period with scope for expansion. The funding will be transferred to Nelson Mandela University where the postdoctoral fellow will be registered and will be paid to the fellow from the university. Some running expenses will also be made available for the year.

Application procedure: Each application is to be accompanied by a standard bursary application cover sheet (attached to this advert). Applications are to include: a full CV that shows the applicant’s educational background, relevant research, work experience, publications and other scholarly activities, two letters of reference (one must be from an academic supervisor), certified copy of academic marks for courses studied,  certified copy of highest qualification, one or two published / submitted articles and a 2-page outline of the applicant’s vision for aligning the National Biodiversity Assessment with Integrated ecosystem Assessment for the Mission Atlantic Project.

Send all documents to students@sanbi.org.za with “SANBI Marine Programme postdoctoral fellowship” in the subject line.

Contact details

Ms Megan van der Bank (m.vanderbank@sanbi.org.za)

SANBI reserves the right not to fill this fellowship. If no response has been received within 21 days of the closing date, candidates may assume that their applications were unsuccessful.

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