ROLE: Senior Postdoc Position with For-ES, Accounting for Forest Ecosystem Services in Ireland

Our exciting new multi-disciplinary project is seeking to recruit a Postdoctoral Researcher.

For-es logo in gold & white with green backgroound

The For-ES postdoc researcher will play a leading role in a team to develop Natural Capital Accounts and decision-making tools for forestry in Ireland. These accounts will capture information on forest natural capital STOCKS (the amount, location and condition of forest habitats), and the FLOWS of ecosystem services (in terms of commercial timber production, carbon sequestration, water retention, biodiversity and recreation) and benefits. The researcher will lead the creation of these accounts, and work with stakeholders to develop structured decision-making tools.

This project is led by Professor Jane Stout in the School of Natural Sciences in Trinity

College Dublin, with Professor Yvonne Buckley, also in the School of Natural Sciences at

Trinity. The researcher will also work with collaborators at University College Dublin and Coillte, and play a role in co-supervising a PhD student.

This position is available for up to 3.25 years, with an anticipated start date of April 2022. Annual gross salary up to €47,764, depending on experience.

Essential skills:

Applicants must have -

• PhD in ecology, environmental sciences, forestry, environmental/ecosystem

management, ecosystem services, natural capital, ecological economics,

environmental decision-making or similar

• 2 years post-PhD experience in research, and a track record of publishing

international peer-review journal publications

• Excellent written and oral communication skills in English

• Excellent numerical/data analytical skills, including GIS

• Ability to work in academic team and with industry partners

• Full clean driving licence, valid for Republic of Ireland.

Desirable skills:

Applicants may also have experience in -

 Project management

 Supervision of more junior researchers (research assistants/PhD students)

 Stakeholder engagement

Application Process

Informal enquiries should be made to Jane Stout via email stoutj@tcd.ie.

Applications can be made by emailing Jane Stout at stoutj@tcd.ie by March 12th, 2022. Late

applications will not be accepted.

Applications should include:

1. A curriculum vitae (including the names of two referees, one of which must be an

academic referee).

2. A cover letter (maximum 1,000 words) outlining the applicant’s research interests

and why they are suitable for this project.

Interviews will be held remotely by video-link in March 2022.

About the project:

Assessing and valuing ecosystem services can inform decision-making to ensure climate-smart and sustainable management, across agricultural and forest sectors. Sustainable forestry provides timber as well as supporting biodiversity, ecosystem services, circular economy and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Coillte is custodian of 7% of Ireland’s land. The estate extends to over 440,000 hectares containing natural assets, such as forests and other habitats, that provide a range of ecosystem services, including renewable timber products, carbon capture and other public

benefits. Timber production is the only ecosystem service that has been quantified and

systematically assessed. To improve current management decision-making processes, For-ES will co-design the tools required to make rigorous, robust and transparent management decisions for multiple ecosystem service provision. A structured decision-making approach will be employed to provide evidence-based decision support for the sustainable supply of multiple ecosystem services from the portfolio of natural capital assets.

To develop the decision support tools required, a Natural Capital Accounting approach will be used to perform ecosystem services assessment and valuation for selected focal sites. This will deliver output estimates of ecosystem services, such as wood products, carbon sequestration, water retention, biodiversity and recreation, by assessing the effects of quality, quantity and location of natural capital assets on ecosystem service provision. Models of ecosystem service provision from natural capital assets will be developed under

alternative land management scenarios to provide managers with the information they need to fulfill multiple ecosystem services objectives at both site and estate level. The For-ES project is the first to combine Natural Capital Accounting with Bayesian Belief Network modelling of ecosystem service supply to support a structured decision-making approach in an Irish context. The tools developed in For-ES will be transferable to other forest managers, other sectors such as agriculture, and other businesses with large land holdings.

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