global change | Scholarship for Nigerians and Africans

PhD Studentship in Implications for Seabird Conservation at University of Exeter, UK

We are inviting applications for this PhD studentship to commence October 2011. The studentship will provide an annual stipend of £17,290 for three years. Worldwide, seabirds are one of most threatened groups of birds. Global changes have had profoundly negative impacts on seabirds and their food, which in turn have been linked with wide scale population declines. More than 96% of seabirds nest colonially and theory suggests that group living can improve foraging success, particularly when food is ephemeral. Therefore current declines in colony sizes, coupled with changes in food availability, could have synergistic effects on the ability of seabirds to meet their energetic needs, with subsequent issues for sustainability. Despite this, we still understand little about the role that colonial living plays in seabird foraging ecology.
Theoretically, a key benefit of living as part of a group is improved foraging efficiency, which is believed to have been an important selection pressure shaping the evolution of coloniality. Foraging benefits may arise because; (1) conspecifics transfer information on the whereabouts of food when they return to the colony (the Information Centre Hypothesis), (2) group foraging is beneficial, and colonies provide a source of recruits to the foraging flock (the Recruitment Centre Hypothesis), or (3) individuals are attracted to the presence of food by aggregating conspecifics (local enhancement). Although there is strong empirical and theoretical evidence for information sharing, particularly at some avian communal roosts, our insights into the relevance of information transfer across colonial animals is limited. Understanding the impact of conspecific behaviour on foraging success has clear fundamental implications, but may also have significant conservation relevance. For colonial species reliant upon conspecifics to find particularly patchy, ephemeral or cryptic food, population declines may greatly compromise long term stability. These Allee-type effects may be further exacerbated if prey availability declines to such a degree that some populations are unable to obtain sufficient food to meet their energetic requirements. Assessing the relevance of information transfer for foraging efficiency in a colonial nesting seabird of conservation concern that is experiencing population declines and changes in fish availability is the central theme of this studentship.

Scholarship Application Deadline: 22 May 2011.

Further Scholarship Information and Application

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Global Change, USA: Earth and Planetary Sciences

The Johns Hopkins University invites applications for the Glenadore and Howard L. Pim Postdoctoral Fellowship in Global Change. This fellowship is part of a Global Change Science initiative within the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.
We seek an outstanding individual with a recent Ph.D. who is pursuing interdisciplinary research in Global Change. Candidates whose research spans the physical sciences, social sciences, health sciences and/or public policy aspects of global change are preferred. Areas of interest include but are not limited to (1) fundamental processes driving global change; (2) the impact of global change on air quality, water resources, ecosystems, and/or human health; (3) remediation of the effects of global change; (4) energy resources; and (5) analysis of economic, sociological, public health, and policy implications of global change. Special consideration will be given to candidates who will collaborate with faculty from other Hopkins departments. Information on our department can be found at Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty whom they are interest in working with.

Scholarship Application Deadline: Consideration of applications will begin January 10, 2011

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Two-Year Postdoctoral Scientist Position on the Link between Climate Prediction and Renewable Energy in the Mediterranean Region at the Climate Forecasting Unit (CFU)-IC3

IC3 is a climate research institute created in 2008 by the Government of Catalunya. IC3′s main scientific goal is to assess and understand climate variability and change at both global and regional scales to improve both predictions and projections. Linked to this goal, IC3 works on understanding and simulating how global change modulates variability and change in society and ecosystems. IC3′s mandate is to become a leading international centre for climate research in Europe, with a regional focus on the Mediterranean area. IC3 will mainly develop top-quality research on basic and applied climate sciences, while informing society and stakeholders on future climate risks. Working languages of IC3 are English, Catalan and Spanish.

There is growing interest in the implications of climate variability and change from a season to a few decades ahead. Reliable climate information is critical to ensure that adaptation measures to climate variability and change are well justified and efficient. The Climate Forecasting Unit (CFU), which is led by the ICREA Research Professor F. J.
Doblas-Reyes, undertakes research on the development and assessment of dynamical and statistical methods for the prediction of global climate on time scales ranging from months to decades. More information about the activities of the unit is available from the following links:
Fellowship Application Deadline: Until Filled
Further Fellowship Information and Application