There are two paid positions available for overwintering field researchers on Marion Island for the 2019/2020 field season, as well as two adverts advertising MSc and PhD opportunities in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Pretoria, to start in 2019.
Overwintering Field Researchers
The successful candidates will spend 13 months on Marion Island collecting various datasets. Individuals who would be interested in pursuing a postgraduate degree after the completion of the overwintering cycle are especially encouraged to apply, though other candidates will also be considered. There are four positions available. Dr Michelle Greve is offering two positions (1 x Plant Ecophysiologist; 1 x Ecologist), whereas Dr Peter le Roux is also offering two positions (1 x Ecologist; 1 x Engineer).
MSc and PhD Opportunities
Project 1 will use vegetation and remote sensing data to better understand how a changing climate and invasive species are impacting the vegetation of the Prince Edward Islands. The successful candidate for this post will require a solid background in GIS; experience in remote sensing is recommended. This position is suitable for an MSc or a PhD student.
Project 2 will assess the patterns and ecological drivers of plant distributions at different spatial scales on Marion Island. This work will provide insight into the role of different abiotic and biotic variables, as well as spatial factors, on the distribution of both native and invasive species, and will feed into predictions of how climate change may affect the island into the future. Experience of GIS will be an advantage, but not a necessity. This position is suitable for an MSc or a PhD student.
Dr Peter le Roux has one MSc project available. The successful applicant of this project will examine changing wind patterns as a component of climate change, focusing on the impacts of wind on the island’s dominant keystone plant species, Azorella selago. Previous projects have given us a good understanding of several aspects of the biology and ecology of this species (including how important A. selago is for structuring plant and invertebrate communities on Marion Island), and several large datasets have already been collected that will be the foundation for the MSc project. However, the student will also travel to Marion Island to conduct fieldwork and collect data for their project.