Project Researcher within project NordSalt

Åbo Akademi University is an internationally acknowledged research university with an extensive responsibility for providing education in Swedish in Finland. With its international research community and its strong Nordic ties, Åbo Akademi University has an acclaimed and recognized position within research and education both nationally and internationally. The Faculty of Science and Engineering develops solutions and processes to slow down climate change, promotes a cleaner environment and a healthier sea and finds methods to discover, treat and prevent diseases. Our goal is a healthy human in a sustainable society. Our research is done in cooperation with the industry, research institutes and other universities both in Finland and abroad.

Åbo Akademi University (ÅAU) invites applications for a fixed-term project researcher position. The position starting on 1.3.2021, or as agreed, is full time and for a period of 22 months. The position is located at the Faculty of Science and Engineering in Turku. The work will be carried out at the subject Environmental and Marine Biology in close collaboration with the project partners in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Germany.

DESCRIPTION OF THE POSITION

The project researcher will be employed within the BiodivERsA project NordSaltClimate Change Impacts and Biodiversity Interactions in Nordic Salt Marshes funded by the Academy of Finland. BiodivERsA is a network of national and regional funding organisations promoting pan-European research on biodiversity and ecosystem services, and offering innovative opportunities for the conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity. BiodivERsA is funded under the Horizon 2020 ERA-NET Cofund scheme.

Coastal marshes in the Nordic region (Baltic coastal meadows) are largely understudied and differ substantially from classic macrotidal salt marshes due to the wide climate and salinity gradients and microtidal nature of the Baltic Sea. In NordSalt we will investigate salt marsh ecosystem services (e.g. biodiversity provisioning, carbon sequestration) in relation to plant community structure, climate change, anthropogenic pressures and management strategies.

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES

The NordSalt project is transdisciplinary and divided into five work packages that each will employ a researcher. The ÅAU project researcher will work primarily in WP2; Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Nordic Salt Marshes co-ordinated by Åbo Akademi University. As national salt marsh data is presently scattered and there is no overall synthesis of the distribution, structure, function (carbon and nutrient sink), threats (coastal construction, eutrophication) and management (grazing, dredging, coastal reinforcement) of Nordic coastal meadows, the main aim of this WP is to compile and assess the present available information and create maps to support decision making and to provide context for site-based field measurements. Specific tasks include:

  • Assembling current maps and aerial photos regarding the relevant nature types to identify suitable field sampling sites and provide a basis for carbon storage calculations in WP 3 and plant diversity compilations in WP 4.
  • Identifying long-term changes and loss drivers in national salt marsh distribution based on aerial photos, satellite images or digitized historical habitat maps.
  • Assessing whether the current European classification systems (e.g. EUNIS, Natura 2000, Ramsar) are sufficiently operational for describing and managing Nordic coastal marsh habitat extent and diversity.
  • Contributing to compiling the spatial extent of local and common habitat loss drivers for a Nordic GIS database as Decision Support System – DSS of these habitats.
  • Participate in a long-term mesocosm experiment in Hamburg (Germany)
  • Assist in joint NordSalt field campaigns in Finland, Denmark, Norway and Germany

The project researcher is required to work a total of 1,612 hours per year. The work tasks will be defined in detail in an annual work plan. A trial period applies to new employees.

QUALIFICATIONS

The applicant will hold a PhD degree in plant ecology, marine biology or in a related discipline. The following qualifications also apply:

  • Knowledge of GIS work and data compilation and analysis (aerial photographs, long-term changes)
  • Cross-disciplinarity in particular experience in collaboration with different stakeholder groups.
  • Experience with ecological field work and experiments, preferably in coastal or wetland ecology
  • Knowledge of linkages between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in coastal vegetated ecosystems
  • Fluency in English is required for this position.

We are looking for an applicant who has high motivation for doing research, enjoys being part of a multicultural and cross-disciplinary team and is capable of working independently as well as part of a team. The successful applicant will be appointed following a general assessment of their competence and potential for development according to the tasks and prerequisites of the position.

SALARY

The salary for a project researcher will be based on level 5 of the job demand level for teaching and research personnel in the Finnish University salary system, https://www.sivista.fi/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Salary-Scales-010820-and-010621.pdf. In addition, there is a salary component based on personal work performance, according to the general collective agreement for universities.

APPLICATION

The application should be submitted electronically in the University recruitment system (below Leave an application, www.abo.fi/rekrytering) no later than Monday 22 February, 2021 at 12:00 (Finnish time), with the following enclosures (in English):

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Please, feel free to contact Associate Professor Christoffer Boström (telephone: +358-50-4318226, christoffer.bostrom@abo.fi) for any questions in relation to the position.

Please contact HR Specialist Sabina Ringvall (sabina.ringvall@abo.fi) for questions regarding the application process.

Åbo Akademi University is actively working for equal gender distribution and diversity across all personnel groups.

Application period starts: 2021-01-22 14:00Application period ends: 2021-02-22 12:00

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