18 August 2021

Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua: I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past.

We’re offering an exciting opportunity for a Postdoctoral Fellow to work with Bioprotection Aotearoa leading researchers Co-Director and Principal Research Officer Amanda Black and Dr Steve Wakelin, as we dive deep into the history of Aotearoa New Zealand’s soils and landscape management that has been imprinted into the soil microbiome. The position is based at Lincoln University.

This study will be carried out in partnership with indigenous land owners (mana whenua), using analytical tools, including carbon dating, carbon quantity and quality (e.g. NMR or FT-IR), and ecology (eDNA). Alongside indigenous knowledge of forests and soils, these will be used to reconstruct ecosystem state back in chronological sequences. This data will be woven together with indigenous knowledge of settlement, land-use management, and climate shifts, bringing together a holistic understanding of changes in soil, communities and climate of the past. The fellowship will connect the biological as well as the cultural history of soils and changes over time. From this base, we will move forward to make joint and informed decisions to guide sustainable future management.

Ngā tino Pūkenga/Whēako – Essential skills/experiences for the role

Applicants will be required to have:

  • a PhD in a relevant biological and/or bioanalytical field
  • experience in soil carbon ecology, including carbon extraction and characterisation using a range of analytical techniques
  • knowledge of ecological genomics approaches for characterisation of both the phylogenetic and functional status of soil microbiomes
  • clear evidence of statistical competence, in the appropriate fields, at a high level
  • demonstrated cultural competence and ability to establish and maintain partnerships with Māori stakeholders, and the research community
  • a developing record of scholarly research and publication
  • good interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work with students and staff from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Programming skills in R and plant taxonomy would be an advantage.

As travel between field sites may be a feature of this position, a current driver’s licence is required.

This is a full-time, two-year, fixed-term position.

Ko wai mātou – Who we are

As the longest-running land-based university in the Southern Hemisphere, Lincoln University’s story begins with farming, but it certainly doesn’t end there. As New Zealand’s economy diversified, so have we. Lincoln University is here to enhance and enrich lives. To grow the knowledge of our students so they can shape a world that benefits from a greater understanding of the relationship between our land, the food produced from it and the ecosystems within it. With three academic faculties, one teaching division, several research centres and a range of corporate service units, the Lincoln University draws its students from throughout New Zealand and from over 60 countries. Lincoln University has a student roll of around 3,000 and approximately 600 staff.

Te Tono – How to apply

Please apply online with your CV and cover letter describing how you would apply your skills to this project and the direction you would like to see the research take.

For more information, please refer to the position description on the Lincoln University careers page or contact Amanda Black, [email protected], phone +64 3 4230906

Applications close on Monday 6 September 2021 at 9am. 

Important Notice

In response to COVID-19 the New Zealand Government has imposed travel restrictions and is currently only allowing New Zealand residents, citizens and visa holders meeting a strict exception policy to enter the country, all of whom must currently enter Government-approved isolation/quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. It is uncertain when these border restrictions will change, and this may impact the degree to which an offshore candidate will be able to participate in the recruitment process, particularly an on-site interview. To see how this might affect your application and for more information and updates on the border restrictions visit the Immigration New Zealand website or the New Zealand Government’s official Covid-19 website.