Scientist - Biodiversity Monitoring & Assessment
Salary: £27,235 - £29,577
Who we are
Forest Research (FR) is a trusted and recognised provider of applied forest science, routinely leading ambitious and innovative applied science projects. Utilising this expertise to support the tree, wood, forest, and natural resource sectors, plus the UK government, we have a fantastic reputation for delivering world-class research that is regularly published in leading scientific journals. Delivering data, products and services that enable our clients to better manage forests, we adopt the boldest approaches in order to push the boundaries of scientific knowledge. We are now at an exciting point of research expansion. In one key area of rapid development, we have secured funding for the development of novel forest biodiversity monitoring methods using recent technological advances as part of the Natural Capital and Ecosystem Assessment (NCEA) Programme. These promise to revolutionise biomonitoring and support action to address the Biodiversity Crisis. It is here that you could find a stimulating challenge and make a significant positive contribution.
The work you will be doing
As a member of the multidisciplinary NCEA team, you will have a chance to make a significant impact on England's forest biodiversity by shaping the future of routine forest monitoring. You do not need to be a molecular ecologist by training but should be willing in partnership with molecular ecologists to explore and apply novel applications of DNA metabarcoding in forest biodiversity monitoring and assessment. Gathering evidence and devising sampling protocols using DNA metabarcoding techniques, you will help us identify forest species and assess the shape of communities that are resident in forest soils, vegetation layers and the forest canopy. You will also contribute to projects that are exploring the benefits of forest diversification in commercial forests. Designing field studies, selecting study sites, planning studies and conducting fieldwork - plus publishing your scientific outputs - you will be keen to collaborate with external partners such as Natural England and Kew Gardens. Thanks to a combination of your own analysis of quantitative and qualitative ecological datasets and the full support of commercial labs who are equipped to process DNA samples at scale, this will enable us to assess forest biodiversity on a scale that has never before been attempted.
Your skills and expertise
This is a unique chance to join a forward-thinking team that comprises many areas of expertise including Social Scientists, Economists, Entomologists, Geneticists, Pathologists, and Forest Production experts. You will have excellent communication and organisation skills, and you will be capable of both working alone and as part of a team. With experience of conducting ecology field work (including sampling techniques and measuring physical variables), we will expect you to have an honours degree in a relevant field such as ecology, environmental science, forest science, physical science or biological sciences. Crucially, you will also have well-developed skills in interpreting quantitative and qualitative data.
What we can offer
Join us in this stimulating role, and you will have the chance to make a tangible impact on the future of the UK's forests and resident species - plus benefit from plenty of learning opportunities so that you can continue developing your expertise in this fascinating field. And while job satisfaction is an important part of what we can offer, you will also find a friendly and inclusive workplace in which you can find a great work-life balance thanks to hybrid working options. You will benefit from 35.5 days of annual leave inclusive of public holidays, and access to a desirable civil service pension scheme.
Closing date: 11.59pm on the 21 December 2022.
Sift date: 22 December 2022.
*May be subject to change.