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Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Social-Ecological Modelling

Job Details

  • 3-year fixed term, full time Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Level A/B) position
  • Exciting opportunity to develop dynamic social-ecological system models that can inform sustainability project interventions, located on the Camperdown Campus
  • Base Salary starting from $105,350 + 17% superannuation

About the opportunity

The School of Project Management is currently seeking a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Social-Ecological Modelling (Level A/ B) with experience in database management and quantitative social and/or ecological modelling that will contribute to our focus on Projects for Resilience, Sustainability, and Social Justice.

The candidate will work with A/Prof Michele Barnes, Prof rjan Bodin from the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University, and project partners with the Wildlife Conservation Society in Kenya to conduct and publish interdisciplinary, longitudinal social-ecological network research investigating tradeoffs and co-benefits in sustainability processes and interventions in coastal fishing communities along the Kenyan coast. The candidate will play a lead role in coordinating and managing social and ecological data and an associated consortium of researchers and practitioners from across the globe, develop practice-oriented outputs, and contribute to teaching a course on complex systems thinking.

The candidate will be based with A/Prof Barnes at the Camperdown Campus of the University of Sydney in the School of Project Management but will have an opportunity to visit and work with Prof Bodin at the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University in Sweden. The candidate is expected to be physically present at the office on a regular basis for optimal collaboration and coordination within the project.

Click on the link below for more information on A/Prof Michele Barns and her research:

Your key responsibilities will be to:

  • Design and manage a large, longitudinal database of existing social and ecological data, including data on social and ecological networks, human wellbeing, and coral reef ecosystem conditions
  • undertake modelling and research using this data in support of the project 'Social-ecological network dynamics and sustainability outcomes over time' as directed by the primary supervisor Barnes and co-supervisor Bodin
  • design and deliver high-quality research results in a timely fashion to meet strict deadlines in a team environment, as directed by the primary supervisor and co-supervisor Bodin
  • publish research in high quality, peer-reviewed journals in collaboration with the primary supervisor, co-supervisor, and other members of the team
  • collaborate with a large team of colleagues working in an interdisciplinary research environment
  • schedule, oversee, and conduct collaborative meetings to support project aims
  • disseminate results of the project in academic venues (e.g., via guest lectures and/or presentations at national and/or international conferences) and to end-users and the general public
  • contribute to teaching an existing subject on complex systems thinking in the School of Project Management
  • where appropriate, supervise the research activities of postgraduate students.

About you

Essential Selection Criteria

  • A PhD in relevant discipline (e.g., environmental science, environmental studies, geography, sociology, economics, psychology, marine ecology, data science, statistics, engineering, or related discipline)
  • experience managing and analysing complex datasets
  • strong quantitative modelling skills, including proficiency in R, python, one or more network-specific programs, or similar software
  • experience conducting rigorous quantitative social and/or ecological research, preferably modeling/analyzing networks
  • desire to conduct problem-oriented, interdisciplinary research
  • evidence of outstanding research ability including a strong publication record for stage of career.

Desirable Selection Criteria

  • Experience linking social science and ecology using theoretically grounded, quantitative approaches
  • working knowledge of network theories and experience modeling/analyzing networks
  • experience working with longitudinal/time-series data
  • experience working on coral reef fisheries and/or coastal communities
  • experience working in interdisciplinary teams
  • familiarity with sustainability/resilience projects and interventions in coastal fishing communities.

To keep our community safe, please be aware of our COVID safety precautions which form our conditions of entry for all staff, students and visitors coming to campus.

Pre-employment checks

Your employment is conditional upon the completion of all role required pre-employment or background checks in terms satisfactory to the University. Similarly, your ongoing employment is conditional upon the satisfactory maintenance of all relevant clearances and background check requirements. If you do not meet these conditions, the University may take any necessary step, including the termination of your employment.

EEO statement

At the University of Sydney, our shared values include diversity and inclusion and we strive to be a place where everyone can thrive. We are committed to creating a University community which reflects the wider community that we serve. We deliver on this commitment through our people and culture programs, as well as key strategies to increase participation and support the careers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, women, people living with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and those who identify as LGBTIQ. We welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds.

How to apply

Applications can be submitted via the Apply button at the top of the page, and must include 1) a cover letter, 2) CV (please separate published papers from those in review/preparation), and 3) a concise response to each of the selection criteria.

For employees of the University or contingent workers, please login into your Workday account and navigate to the Career icon on your Dashboard. Click on USYD Find Jobs and apply.

For a confidential discussion about the role, or if you require reasonable adjustment or any documents in alternate formats, please contact Rachel Ann Yazigi, Recruitment Operations by email at rachel.yazigi

Copyright The University of Sydney

The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.

Click to view the Position Description for this role.

Applications Close

Saturday 13 April 2024 11:59 PM


The University of Sydney was established in 1850 and is consistently recognised, both locally and internationally, for its outstanding teaching and research excellence. Sydney alumni include Prime Ministers, Governor Generals, Nobel Prize winners and leaders in every field of endeavour.

The University offers a comprehensive range of courses, including a number of disciplines unique in Australia. Teaching is spread across nine different state-of-the art campuses, located across New South Wales.

The University of Sydney’s commitment to excellence in research has resulted in an outstanding record in national competitive funding and underpins an approach to teaching which has won nominations for excellence and resulted in high student satisfaction ratings. The University has 78 research centres and institutes and is home to three ARC Centres of Excellence.

The teaching, research and cultural life of the University is supported by extensive facilities, including the largest library collection in the Southern Hemisphere, the world-class Nicholson Museum of archaeological antiquities, the Macleay Museum of natural history and ethnographic collections and the University Art Gallery. Its outstanding sporting and recreation facilities provide a training centre for students and Olympic athletes.

The University of Sydney is a key member of the Group of Eight Australian major research-intensive universities, and the Worldwide Universities Network.


The University of Sydney has nine official campuses.

1.         Camperdown/Darlington Campus.

2.         Cumberland Campus. Home to the Faculty of Health Sciences (based in Lidcombe).

3.         Mallett Street Campus. Home of the Sydney Nursing School.

4.         Sydney Conservatorium of Music Campus. In Macquarie Street, central Sydney.

5.         Rozelle Campus. Home to Sydney College of the Arts.

6.         Surry Hills Campus. Home to the Faculty of Dentistry.

7.         Camden Campus. Contains facilities connected to the Faculty of Veterinary Science and the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment.

8.         Burren Street Campus. Facilties are currently under development.

9.         Sydney Medical School campuses. These include the School of Rural Health (in Dubbo and Orange), the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord Hospital, Westmead Hospital, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Nepean Hospital, Northern Clinical School, Sydney Adventist Hospital, Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health, and Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health.


The University of Sydney has 16 faculties.

1. Agriculture and Environment

2. Architecture, Design and Planning

3. Arts and Social Sciences

4. Business (Business School)

5. Dentistry

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7. Engineering and Information Technologies

8. Health Sciences

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Number of Employees

Full-time employees: 7616

For more information, please visit:

Company info
+(61) 2 9351 2222

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