At the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University, we are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious postdoc that will work in the EU Biodiversa2021 funded project ‘Protecting plant diversity via stoichiometric nutrient networks across Europe‘.
You will work with three other postdocs in a consortium with Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB), the Italian National Research Council (NRC, Turin) and University of Alicante (UA, Spain) and other universities and stakeholders.
We aim to identify which European herbaceous plant communities are most vulnerable to species loss and species turnover in response to changes in nutrient supply, nutrient stoichiometry, species invasions and climate change. The project builds on an existing large scale European dataset of nutrient concentrations and plant community composition, which will be expanded to fill in geographical and ecosystem gaps. We will combine three cross-feeding research approaches: synthetic analyses of large field observation datasets and trait data, manipulative field experiments, and modelling of novel species assemblies under scenarios of environmental change.
The UU postdoc will extend the database by additional field work across Europe; provide European distribution patterns of nutrient stoichiometry, nutrient loads, species and communities based on the extended database and available open sources; use the extended database to identify nutrient- and other environmental niches for plant species; use the species niches to assess the vulnerability of endemic and threatened species to changes in nutrient availability.
The postdocs at VUB and UA will experimentally investigate novel species interactions in relation to nutrient stoichiometry and drought and the postdoc at NRC will model large scale diversity patterns as influenced by climate change and species invasions. UA will take the lead in engaging nature managers and delivering management and planning recommendations to conservation practitioners and environmental policy makers.
The ideal candidate has: