Postdoctoral Associate in Benthic Ecology – Espírito Santo, Brazil

Two-Year Postdoctoral Position at the Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo in studies of biodiversity and ecology of marine coastal benthic ecosystems in the MPA Costa das Algas (Aracruz, Espírito Santo, Brazil)

Project Overview

The postdoctoral scholar will work under the supervision of Dr. Angelo Bernardino within a project titled:

Long term Ecological Research site (Programa Ecológico de Longa Duração – PELD CNPq) to help assess and manage the benthic biodiversity associated with estuarine ecosystems and rodolith beds within the Marine Protected Area Costa das Algas, funded by CNPq. This is a multidisciplinary and international 4-year effort designed to survey and synthesize biological diversity and community ecology across the coastal MPA site, and to initiate a standardized long-term data assessment that could support climatic impact assessments, MPA management, environmental education and societal engagement.

The project involves field studies of benthic biodiversity on the coast, especially within rhodolith beds and nearby estuaries. The field program will require seasonal sampling (first 2-yr) to assess biodiversity and community structure of macrofauna (especially the estuarine and rhodolith infauna), sediment food-web structure, and include potential environmental drivers of those communities in the area. Study sites will (a) include areas within and outside the MPA, (b) span a range of representative rhodolith beds within the MPA, and (c) include unsampled areas to be representative of industrial claims near the MPA. The project aims to generate a broad synthesis of biodiversity, species ranges, ecological connectivity and ecosystem function across the MPA, with special emphasis in long-term studies to support climate change effects on marine coastal ecosystems and MPA management.

Postdoctoral Opportunities and Responsibilities

The successful candidate will:

Lead data collection, analyses, and authorship of publications for studies of community structure and biodiversity within the MPA

Lead in interactions and sample exchange with national and international taxonomic experts to assist in macrofaunal identifications and barcoding.

Assemble and publish an image atlas of macrofaunal morphotypes identified during the project.

Contribute to data synthesis and analyses across the project, conducting community and diversity analyses with statistical software, including univariate and multivariate statistical approaches (e.g., using Primer, Biodiversity Pro, R).

Help in project coordination, planning, and logistics

Author/co-author project reports and scientific papers, and present scientific results at project meetings and international scientific conferences/workshops.

Assist in public outreach concerning the project.

Minimum Qualifications

PhD degree in Biological Oceanography, Marine Biology, or a closely related scientific discipline.

Field experience on coastal oceanography/benthic sampling, scuba diving, including prior involvement research expeditions.

Demonstrated ability to understand oral and written documentation, write reports, lead authorship of peer-reviewed scientific papers, and communicate effectively in a range of professional and public situations. A track record of publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals is essential.

Stipend and Duration of Position

The stipend is available for immediate contract, of R$ 4.100,00 reais per month (approx 1100 U$ per month, tax free, value fixed by CNPq). The position will be funded on an annual basis for at least two years, based on acceptable performance, with possible extension of 1-yr. The successful candidate will be expected to make a minimum 2-yr commitment.


Applications are open until fulfillment by submitting curriculum vitae and a statement of research interests, experience, and career goals by email to Angelo Bernardino, PELD HCES Principle Investigator ( Please provide the name, email address and phone number for at least one professional reference. Appointment will begin immediately upon arrival at the Universidade Federal of Espirito Santo. The project cannot cover moving costs (flights or ground transport) from overseas or within the country, and the candidate is expected to establish residency in Vitória, state of Espírito Santo. Please put in the subject line of the application email: “PELD Postdoctoral Application”

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