Postdoc opening: Grassland Ecologist

We are recruiting a postdoctoral fellow to study the community ecology of South Texas grasslands that have been disrupted by woody plant removal and introduction of exotic grasses (e.g. buffel grass and guinea grass). The Postdoc will work closely with both UT researchers and ranch biologists to assess responses to different ongoing management treatments of grazing and fire aimed at restoring native diversity. The Postdoc will: 1) develop and test hypotheses to elucidate mechanisms of plant community dynamics under ongoing and historic land management, and 2) document baseline conditions in advance of future microbial treatments or biological control introductions aimed at reducing negative impacts of invasive exotic grasses. The Postdoc will develop a research program according to his/her expertise, and will also support ongoing studies into grass decomposition and biological control.

While the position is based at the Brackenridge Field Laboratory, and appointed in the Department of Integrative Biology, UT Austin, the job will involve substantial field work most weeks at several remote study sites in South Texas in a ranching and wildlife management environment and culture.

Candidates should hold a Ph.D. in ecology of plant communities and should have a strong publication record. The position requires a demonstrated capacity for conducting field studies in plant communities (especially savannah grasslands) and designing field experiments to elucidate community processes, plant demography and productivity, with experience of GIS and multivariate analyses of plant community dynamics on landscapes.

The position is supported by grant funding, and is renewable on an annual basis for up to three years, depending on progress and performance. All standard UT Austin conditions of hiring and employment apply to this position.

Application packages should include a detailed resume, a cover letter describing your interests, and names and contact details of 3 references. Application reviews will begin late January, 2016 and the successful candidate is expected to begin by March 2016. If interested, please send your application materials or queries to Dr Larry Gilbert lgilbert@austin.utexas.edu and/or Dr Rob Plowes rob.plowes@austin.utexas.edu.