Postdoctoral Research Associate (empirical ecology)

London (Greater)
£38,304 Per annum, Including London Weighting
Feb 18, 2021
End of advertisement period
Mar 07, 2021
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Geography
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

The Department of Geography at King's College London invites applications for a postdoctoral research associate (PDRA) in experimental plant ecology. The post will be based in the research team of Dr Jane Catford at KCL's Strand Campus in central London, and will be one of four new PDRA appointments.

The position will be funded by a 5-year European Research Council Consolidator Grant (ALIENIMPACTS). ALIENIMPACTS aims to develop an approach for predicting impacts of alien plant invasions on plant community diversity, using temperate grasslands as a model system.

This post will help to experimentally test hypotheses that describe how alien plants can reduce community diversity. Core research for the PDRA will include: co-designing and establishing a new field experiment at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, Minnesota, US to quantify impacts of sown plant invaders released from natural insect and fungal attack; and analysing existing data from experiments in central Europe to quantify impacts of invaders on grassland communities. The enemy release experiment will involve day-to-day coordination and administration of the experiment, collection of field and trait data (and associated lab work), and supervision of research assistants in the field. Key collaborators include Prof. Mark van Kleunen (U. Konstanz), Prof. David Tilman (U. Minnesota) and other members of the ALIENIMPACTS team. There will opportunities for additional related research.

The work requires extended research visits to CCESR (COVID-permitting, up to 3 months/year, costs covered by project), a large ecological research station owned and operated by the University of Minnesota and one of the oldest Long-Term Ecological Research sites in the USA. Contingency plans are in place if COVID continues to restrict travel and limit lab/fieldwork.

The Department of Geography is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, and has a vibrant, friendly and international research culture, which includes approximately 30 postdocs and 100 PhD students. The PDRA will be part of an active group of ecologists in the department, and will have many opportunities for professional development including funding to attend meetings and workshops, and opportunities to co-mentor students and collaborate with other scientists and groups.

The post will be responsible to Jane Catford. The project and position begin in April 2021, though a slightly later start date will be considered if required. For questions or further information, please email

Contract Type
This post will be offered on an fixed-term contract for 36 months (3 years).

This is advertised as a full-time post (100% full time equivalent), but flexible working arrangements will be considered.