PhD candidate for application to Joan Oró grant: Freshwater biodiversity ecology and conservation in the Canary Islands – Deadline 28 November 2022

We are looking for a PhD candidate to apply for the Joan Oró grant to hire research staff in training (FI 2023). This is a grant for public and private universities of the Catalan university system, research centers, hospital foundations and Unique Scientific and Technical Infrastructures (ICTS) to hire research staff in training. The deadline to apply is the 28 November 2022 at 14:00h (Barcelona time). More information on the call can be found here.

The PhD will focus on the aquatic biodiversity of the streams of the Canary Islands. Freshwater biodiversity is disappearing at an accelerated rate as a result of human activities. This situation is especially alarming in regions of the planet where water scarcity derived from human demand and climate change pose a risk to a large number of species. This can even lead to the loss of species that have not yet been described. Within this context, islands are especially relevant because the high endemicity of their species (what is known as the “island effect”) makes them more vulnerable to the effects of human activities such as climate change or hydrological alterations. This project focuses on the aquatic biodiversity of three islands of the Canary Islands archipelago (Tenerife, La Palma and La Gomera), which is especially interesting for three reasons: 1) it is poorly described due to the lack of inventories and studies scientists; 2) it includes a large number of endemism; and 3) it presents a great vulnerability to water scarcity.

The objectives of the project are to: 1) Hydrologically characterize the main surface water bodies; 2) Generate basic information on the taxonomic and genetic diversity of the communities of aquatic insects and diatoms; 3) Evaluate the current status of aquatic invasive
species; 4) Determine the vulnerability of the species to climate change; and 5) Identify priority areas for the conservation of biodiversity and for the management of invasive species in a context of water stress and climate change. Also, this PhD should help to design a sampling
network for aquatic biodiversity within islands studied, to train technical staff (e.g. Natural Parks personnel in its study and conservation), and to propose conservation measures for biodiversity and the management of invasive species.

What do we look for?

● Required qualifications and experience

  • M.Sc. studies in Environmental Sciences or Biodiversity.
  • Having an average mark of 6.5 (scale from 0 to 10) for the degree or equivalent title.
  • Highly motivated person willing to learn and working in a multidisciplinary environment.
  • High organizational talent and strong team skills.
  • Experience conducting field work in remote locations under harsh environmental conditions.
  • Ability to read and communicate fluently in English.
  • Personal characteristics such as interpersonal skills, analytical and problem-solving skills, good communication skills, and the ability to work independently and as part of a team are required. Also, initiative, and independence.

● Positively valued requirements

  • Knowledge of hydrology, ecology and DNA analyses.
  • Knowledge of statistical data analysis, preferably with R, geographical information systems (GIS) and systematic conservation planning tools (e.g. marxan).
  • Papers published in SCI-journals.
  • Previous scientific work.

The group

The student will work primarily under the supervision of Miguel Cañedo-Argüelles (IDAEACSIC), Núria Bonada (University of Barcelona), Núria Cid (IRTA) and. Finally, the candidate, will have the opportunity to work side by side with other members of the FEHM-Lab, which includes researchers at the University of Barcelona (Ecology section) and the Surface Hydrology and Erosion at IDAEA, and the Marine and Continental Waters Group at IRTA.

How to apply?

Those interested should email their CV to Dr. Miguel Cañedo-Argüelles at, Dr. Núria Bonada at and Dr. Núria Cid, adding “PhD position Canary Islands” to the email subject.

For more information on the application process please check this link.

via IRTA
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