Research Fellow (Wildlife Ecology)

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Young and research-intensive, Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) is ranked 11th globally. It is also placed 1st among the world’s best young universities. The Asian School of the Environment (ASE) invites applications for the position of Research Fellow (Post-doc) who will work with Prof. David Wardle’s research group. The work will be overseen in collaboration with Dr. Matthew Scott Luskin and funded by Singapore’s National Parks Board (NParks)

Southeast Asian wildlife is threatened by habitat loss and hunting and the loss of predators may also trigger trophic cascades. However, some generalist species may thrive in disturbed conditions, especially if they are able to capitalize on anthropogenic food sources. The secondary impacts of altered wildlife include cascading effects on the plant communities such as tree recruitment. We seek wildlife ecologist to study these issues with a focus on Singapore.

A key issue in Singapore is recolonization of native wild boars (Sus scrofa) that had been previously extirpated from the island. The wild boars have spread into core NParks conservation and recreation areas. This could produce positive or negative environmental and social impacts. For example, do wild boars positively or negatively affect other vertebrate diversity and how alter rainforest food-webs? What is the population of wild boars in various forests and have they reached their carrying capacity? Should lethal management be used for culling, and if so what should be a target population size? How do wild boars affect natural plant communities and especially tree recruitment?

Some key tasks for the successful application will be to assess the demography, movement, diet, and ecological impacts of wild boar in multiple protected areas in Singapore that are managed by NParks. To assess demography and movement and, we will use camera traps and GPS collars. To assess diet, we will analyze fecal samples using DNA metagenomics. To assess ecological impacts, we will construct a series of fenced exclusion experiment which will enable us to assess wild boar impacts on plant recruitment, other animals (e.g. nest predation), and ecosystem properties (leaf litter and soil properties).

The Research Fellow will be responsible for (i) leading the collection and analysis of field data described above, (ii) food-web analyses of wildlife communities in Singapore’s various nature parks (iii) comparative analyses of Singaporean rainforest food-webs to other sites in Southeast Asia, (iii) comparative analyses of fenced exclusion studies, and (iv) seeing this work through to publication in major research journals. There will be assistance from one full-time Research Assistant and from NParks staff.

Duties and Responsibilities:

·         Design and implement fieldwork on wildlife ecology

·         Data management and statistical analyses

·         Work effectively with NParks and project PIs

·         Mentor junior colleagues, as needed

·         Writing and publication of results in peer-reviewed journals

 

Knowledge and Experience Requirements:

·         PhD degree in ecology or closely related field, preferably with a focus on wildlife

·         Fieldwork experience in forested ecosystems, and preferably in the tropics

·         Experience with statistical analysis with R

·         Prior experience in publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals

 

Key Competency Requirements:

·         Logical thinking and creative problem solving is essential

·         Ability to work independently to develop research projects and execute fieldwork in tropical rainforest

·         Self-driven, highly motivated, collaborative, with interest to work with other researchers and scientists (team player) to produce high-quality and impactful research

·         Interest in the field of wildlife ecology

·         Excellent oral and written communication skills in English

 

Further enquiries can be directed to Dr. Matthew Luskin (luskin@ntu.edu.sg) or Prof. David Wardle (david.wardle@ntu.edu.sg). 

Interested applicants are invited to submit a cover letter, full CV and names and contact details of three referees in one document to: https://ntu.wd3.myworkdayjobs.com/Careers/job/NTU-Main-Campus-Singapore/Research-Fellow_R00000563-1 

Review of applications will begin on 5 December 2019.

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