‘Towards a general theory of ecological impacts of multiple, simultaneous stressors.’
The project involves modelling population and community responses to multiple, simultaneous forms of stress using state of the art bio-energetic food web and foraging models. We will capitalise on a newly established modelling framework to perform computer experiments that explore the distribution of additive and interactive effects caused by multiple stressors. We will build models that allow biological mechanisms at multiple scales to determine if stress adds up or not, and then compare this to patterns in real data. This will reveal how features of stressors and features of communities combine to generate theory about predictability and the generality of multiple stressor effects.
The post-doctoral researcher will hold Ph.D. in Ecology with experience in food webs and or species interactions ideally with a background in computer modelling. They should have have experience with one or more programming languages (R, Matlab, Julia, C++ etc) and have the ability to work independently, or in a team.
The technican will hold degree in Ecology, have a passion for food webs and or species interactions possess some experience in computing (programming languages or databases) and have the ability to work independently, or in a team.
The Beckerman Lab (https://andbeck.github.io/beckslab/index.html) has a long history of working on species interactions and food web biology. Over several decades we have made important contributions to understanding how foraging biology underpins the structure and complexity of food webs (PNAS 2006, 2008) and how predation risk structures ecological communities (PNAS 1997) and drives local adaptation (Nature Ecology and Evolution 2018).
The project will be overseen by Dr. Andrew Beckerman along with an international team of researchers supporting modelling (Tim Poisot, Montreal ; Julia Blanchard, Tasmania), multi-stressor and prediction research (Dr. Owen Petchey, Zurich) and challenging models with data (Ute Jacob, Hamburg; Tom Webb, Sheffield). They will join an exciting ecology and evolutionary biology research group in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield focused on advancing knowledge and understanding of how ecosystems function and respond to environmental change over long and short time periods.