Call for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on Food-web interactions and modeling

IMAR – Institute of Marine Research is opening a call for one postdoctoral fellowship within the frame of projects SUMMER – Sustainable management of mesopelagic resources” (H2020-EU.3.2.3.1, GA 817806), MEESO – Ecologically and economically sustainable mesopelagic fisheries” (H2020-EU.3.2.3.1, GA 817669), and MISTIC SEAS III – Developing a coordinated approach for assessing Descriptor 4 via its linkages with D1 and other relevant descriptors in the Macaronesian sub-region (GA 110661/2018/794676/SUB/ENV.C2.

The research fellow will have a duration of 24 months, renewable up to 36 months, starting date on September 2020, or as soon as the selection process is completed.

1 – Position description: The successful candidate will work on the assessment of food-web interactions and on the development and application of an ecosystem model for the pelagic ecosystem of the Azores using the Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) model.

2- Scientific area. Marine Biology, Marine Ecology or related field.

3– Admission requirements: Candidates must meet the following requirements to apply for the position:

i) Hold a PhD in Marine Biology, Marine Ecology, or related field, obtained in the 3 years prior to the date of opening of the application period;
ii) Document experience in trophic ecology research, through a publication record in international peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations;
iii) Strong skills in ecosystem modelling, preferably with the EwE modelling system;
iv) Good communication skills in English (written and spoken);
v) Ability to travel internationally for project meetings and workshops.

In addition to the above mandatory requirements, the following skills and qualities will be highly valued:
vi) Participation in scientific cruises, experience with field-based sampling and laboratory work;
vii) Ability to work independently, in international and multidisciplinary teams and to meet deadlines.

In the event the doctorate degree was awarded by a foreign higher education institution,that degree must comply with the provisions of Decree-Law no. 66/2018 of 16th August until the signature of the contract.

4 – Tasks: The successful candidate will have the following specific tasks:
Participate in scientific cruises to collect data and samples for the projects;
Prepare samples for DNA, stable isotope, fatty acid and gut content analyses;
Estimate diet and trophic levels of mesopelagic organisms and their megafauna predators (eg, cetaceans, seabirds, sharks, tuna) and quantify trophic links in the mesopelagic ecosystem, based on results from DNA, stable isotopes, fatty acids and gut contents;
Collate and organize data relevant for EwE models;
Develop, modify and parameterize an existing EwE model for the pelagic ecosystem of the Azores, including megafauna predators;
Write and contribute to peer-reviewed publications;
Support students and research assistants in data analysis and fieldwork;
Participate in project meetings, workshops and events;
Assist in producing reports, project deliverables and background documents for meetings, throughout the duration of projects in a timely manner.

5- Applicable legislation: Law Decrete nº 40/2004 of August 18, that established the Statute of the Scientific Research Fellow , with all the changes introduced: (Law Decrete nº 202/2012 of August, 27, Law Decrete nº 89/2013 of 9 July, Law Decrete nº 233/2012 of 29 october , Law nº 12/2013 of 29 January, Law Decrete nº 123/2019 of August 28) Research Fellowship Regulations of the Foundation for Science and Technology I.P. in force; https://www.fct.pt/apoios/bolsas/regulamento.phtml.pt

6- Workplace: The work will be developed at IMAR – Institute of Marine Research, hosted by the Department of Fisheries and Oceanography of the University of the Azores (DOP-UAc) in Horta (Faial Island), under the coordination of Dra. Mónica Almeida e Silva, Dr. Telmo Morato and Dr. Pedro Afonso.

7- Duration of the scholarship: The fellowship will have a duration of 24 months, renewable up to 36 months, starting on September 2020, or as soon as the selection process is completed.

8- Compensation: The research fellow will receive a monthly allowance of 1,600.00 €, in accordance to the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) official table of fellowships (http://www.fct.pt/apoios/bolsas/valores). The fellow will be covered by a personal insurance and voluntarily contribution to the national social security system.

9-Selection criteria: The selection of candidates will be based on curriculum evaluation, taking into account the academic record and the demonstration of the skills listed in the admission requirements. Candidates who do not meet the minimum requirements (in points i to v) will be excluded. Interviews may be conducted to better assess the capability of candidates.

10- Application submission: The call will be open from 22nd july to 11th August 2020 (15 working days).Applications must be submitted by email with the subject “Call IMAR/Postdoc – Food-web interactions and modeling”) to Doutora Mónica Almeida e Silva (monica. silva.imar@gmail.com) CC: Dra Sandra Silva (sandra.eg.silva@uac.pt) with the following documents: letter of motivation with justification of skills for the position, detailed Curriculum Vitae, and copy of university degrees and other certificates. Failure to submit the requested documents will result in the exclusion of the applicant.

11- Evaluation committee: Dra. Mónica Almeida e Silva (President of the jury), Dr Pedro Afonso (vogal), Dr. Telmo Morato (vogal). The composition of the evaluation committee may be changed in case of eventual conflict of interests with competing candidates.

12- Notification of results: The final results will be presented in a list ranked by the candidates’ final scores, to be sent by e-mail to all applicants. The successful candidate will be notified via email. If the decision is unfavourable, the candidates have 10 working days to appeal. The jury reserves the right not to award the scholarship based on the adequateness of the applications.