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Research Scientist - Forest Biodiversity Monitoring and Assessment

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Terrestrial / Aquatic Ecology & Conservation
Location England (South East) - UK
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Deadline 11/08/2024
Company Name Forestry Commission
Contact Name HR
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The successful applicant will play a central role as a forest ecologist and scientist to ensure the successful delivery of NCEA biodiversity monitoring and assessment projects that cover multiple taxonomic groups (i.e. forest mammals, soil invertebrates and fungi, canopy, and sub-canopy arthropods). 

The applicant will additionally contribute to research that focusses on understanding forest diversification effects on levels of biodiversity and resilience to environmental change. Work areas have in common a focus on gathering evidence and trialling novel methods of biodiversity assessment (e.g. eDNA metabarcoding, bio-acoustics) to improve understanding of forest type, forest management and forest diversification effects on biodiversity/ woodland ecological condition.

The successful applicant will work collaboratively with Forest Research scientists across disciplines and apply their specialist forest ecology knowledge and understanding of biomonitoring tools to design, plan, and progress research through a combination of field and desk-based work, supervising the activities of supporting staff.

The applicant will need to ensure that the collection of biodiversity and wider environmental metadata are fully aligned and collected by support staff in a timely, safe, and cost-effective manner, considering seasonal constraints and monitoring spend against project budgets.

The successful applicant will be required to:

  • Develop and co-ordinate field-based survey assessments of multiple taxonomic groups against realistic work schedules. This also involves collecting data on multiple abiotic and biotic variables, training and managing support staff
  • Procure lab-based processing of field samples, including DNA metabarcoding applied to multiple taxonomic groups (i.e. forest mammals, soil invertebrates and fungi, canopy and sub-canopy arthropods)
  • Ensure effective and timely communication and reporting of research outputs to project partners and stakeholders; carefully plan and monitor time allocation and expenditure on multiple projects
  •  Work collaboratively with Forest Research and partner organisation scientists across disciplines (molecular ecologists, vertebrate and invertebrate experts, landscape ecologists) to ensure that the collection of eDNA samples, specimens, bio-acoustic monitoring, and wider environmental metadata are fully aligned
  • Undertake data analysis, publish scientific outputs, including papers and reports and seek out opportunities to highlight the research underway (create web page content, present research) in collaboration with colleagues and project partners
  • Manage, share, and archive code and data responsibly for quality assurance purposes and to facilitate collaboration
  • Lead and/or contribute to project funding proposal formulation
  • Develop soil biodiversity eDNA (fungi & invertebrates) and mammal eDNA sampling practice guide for long term monitoring in partnership with FR colleagues involved in similar eDNA work and external partners (Natural England, JNCC) where the long term aim is that this will contribute to 25 Year Environmental Plan indicators (E7, D1, D2, D4)
  • Participate in relevant national and international research collaborations (e.g. BIOSCAN project) and act as a sub where needed to represent FR in relevant workshops (DNA working group)


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