Each year I provide an annual auditor’s report of our accounts in accordance with US legislation for not for profit societies. In addition I keep the Board appraised of income and expenditure several times each year, with particular attention to conference funding. As well as income from membership fees and transactions associated with conferences, I also manage payments for various services such as the hosting of this website.

Postdoc – Modelling of freshwater food webs under climate change and food web manipulation

http://www.hbu.cas.cz/en/homepage/

Institute of Hydrobiology (http://www.hbu.cas.cz/en/homepage/), Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic, is seeking to appoint an outstanding postdoctoral researcher in the field of aquatic food webs.
Institute of Hydrobiology owns multiple decades of detailed quantitative limnological data from nutrients to fish for a number of lakes and reservoirs. The successful candidate is expected to use these extensive data and construct and apply food-web models to investigate ecosystem dynamics of lakes and reservoirs, link modelling activities to ongoing research projects including models of water quality management and reservoir operation, initiate new research projects and supervise young researchers in these projects.
The successful candidate will work in an experienced and dynamic team of aquatic ecologists at the Institute. She/he will develop and parametrize food web models with the aim of predicting community dynamics under scenarios of extensive experimental biomanipulations or climate change. The ultimate goal of the community dynamic models will be to cover seasonal changes of all main functional groups (protists, phytoplankton, zooplankton, fish) and to take into account the size structure of the communities and longitudinal gradients of the reservoirs.
This work will improve our understanding of ecosystem functioning and mitigation of climate change impacts. The models should inform on future water quality and fisheries management of freshwater lakes and reservoirs and generate hypotheses for further empirical research at the Institute. The successful candidate is encouraged to establish new research directions and attract third-party funded projects to foster her/his own research career. Creating a research group aimed on modelling of freshwater ecosystems and cooperation with the universities and other research institutions will be strongly supported.
The project will be linked to internationally funded, multi-group research projects (ClimeFish, MacFish) and utilize extensive, multi-level data currently available at the Institute of Hydrobiology. Additional modelling expertise will be provided by Assoc. Prof. Pavel Kratina, Queen Mary University of London (http://www.sbcs.qmul.ac.uk/staff/pavelkratina.html) and Assoc. Prof. David Boukal, University of South Bohemia, Ceske Budejovice (http://kbe.prf.jcu.cz/en/david-boukal).

DESIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
– PhD in ecology, limnology, environmental modelling, physical oceanography, computer science, applied mathematics or related fields
– Post-doctoral experience with models of population or food web dynamics
– Proven ability to pursue scientifically demanding questions, high motivation and a vision for creative research
– Good knowledge of programming languages such as R, Matlab, C/C++, or Mathematica
– Interest in modelling individual life histories, population dynamics and food webs
– Prior knowledge in data treatment and analysis of large and complex datasets, multispecies size-spectra, or size-/stage-structured modelling tools is highly desired
– Excellent written and spoken English
– Promising publication record commensurate with the career stage
– Good knowledge of aquatic ecosystem processes and past work in multidisciplinary environment will be preferred
POSITION DETAILS
Target start date is January 2021 (negotiable). Initial appointment will be for 24 months, with an extension for up to 5 more years based on initial performance. We offer a highly competitive salary in local standards (up to ca. 2500 EUR monthly with additional performance bonuses for every published paper and supervised project) commensurate with the applicant’s experience and skills. Successful applicant will be encouraged to develop his/her own research agenda compatible with the mission of the Institute.
HOW TO APPLY
Applicants should email the following documents to Prof. Jan Kube?ka (kubecka@hbu.cas.cz) by 15 October 2020.
1) Cover letter outlining main research interests
2) CV including full publication list
3) Copy of PhD (postdoc position) diploma
4) Copies of 2–3 relevant publications
5) Contact details for 3 (postdoc position) references.
Preliminary enquiries are welcome.
BACKGROUND
Ceske Budejovice is a medium-sized town ca. 150 km south of Prague with 100,000 inhabitants, a relaxed atmosphere, and a growing expat community at the Biology Centre and the University. Both the town and the surrounding countryside provide numerous opportunities for research and leisure activities.
Living costs are low by international standards. Foreign applicants will receive support in transferring to the Czech Republic. The Institute can also help secure non-commercial accommodation at the campus shared by the Biology Centre and the University. Czech courses are available for foreign staff and students to reach a basic level of proficiency in everyday situations. Position includes standard health and social security benefits, support for barding, leisure and holiday activities, coverage of required travel and SW/HW, and help with moving family members. Biology Centre AS CR has been awarded a ‘Human Resources Excellence in Research’ Award of EU.

Spring 2020

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ecoecofrance Fw: Post-doc “Performance of water supply services and multi-objective asset management: contribution of the cost-benefit analysis”

JOB POSITION

Post-doctoral position in economics

“Performance of water supply services and multi-objective asset management: contribution of the cost-benefit analysis”

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (INRAE) is a public institution with more than 11,000 agents across the French territory. Inra is the first European agricultural research institute and produces scientific knowledge and works for economic and social innovation in the areas of food, agriculture and environment. It focuses on issues related to agriculture, food and environment, with a particular emphasis on sustainable development and agroecology.

WORKING ENVIRONMENT AND ACTIVITIES

Under the project “Gestion patrimoniale des réseaux d’eau potable pour préserver la qualité de l’eau et réduire les pertes – Renouvellement Orienté des Canalisations (ROC)” funded by the Région Nouvelle Aquitaine, the Agence de l’eau Loire-Bretagne and the Agence de l’eau Adour-Garonne, INRAE offers a 15-month postdoctoral position in economics from September 1, 2020.

Drinking water networks are a high value asset with a long service life; their management must thus adopt a long-term approach and adapting to changes in their environment, mainly connected to global change and new technologies. The key challenge of this “asset management” is the annual renewal of a small portion of pipelines, in order to mitigate the effects of ageing on their performances, and to prevent the deterioration of the quality of service. It thus concerns technical, organisational (service), economic and financial (costs and benefits), environmental (resources) and societal (territorial governance, users) issues, which call for interdisciplinary answers enlisting engineering, mathematics and social sciences.

In this context, the ROC project aims to develop tools and methods allowing potable water distribution system authorities to build asset management strategies oriented towards limiting water loss and safeguarding water quality. The study sites are located in the Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

Today, health risks (in particular linked to the presence of Vinyl Chloride Monomer (VCM) in PVC pipes) and the limitation of water loss are usually driving the decision regarding water pipes renewal. However, the methodological reflection remains focused on risks of service interruptions and impacts of malfunctions on the urban environment. And it is mainly based on multi-criteria decision-making. A major challenge for research thus lies in taking into account the other dimensions of the performance of water supply service, namely integrity of the network (resource protection) and water quality (among which the issue of CVM). This is especially true since, in most cases, actions undertaken to satisfy one axis of performance are sub-optimal for the others. It appears that technical sciences are able to generate new knowledge on each axis taken separately. However, their integration, which is an operational necessity, requires a more complete picture on the issue and the resort of economics. To achieve this goal, we propose to use a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA), which seems to allow taking into account the multi-objectives character of asset management.

The postdoctoral student will lead the CBA in order to compare three asset management strategies leading to the same amount of work but each focussing on one specific dimension of service performance (water quality; service continuity and protection of the urban environment, that is to say prevention against breakages; limitation of water loss), while considering the water price. More precisely, the postdoctoral student will have to:

  • Convey the state of the art and best practices in the economic analysis of the performance of drinking water supply services;
  • Contribute to building the research question, in link with the scientific objectives of the project;
  • Define the data collection protocol, taking into account the existing literature and recent methodological developments in the area;
  • Conduct the CBA and analyse the results;
  • Contribute to the dissemination of those results.

TRAINING AND SKILLS REQUIRED

  • Ph.D. in economics
  • Mastery of the quantitative techniques (statistics and econometrics) and of dedicated software
  • Experience in fields surveys
  • Familiarity with monetary valuation methods
  • Interest in the issues of water management
  • Autonomy
  • Oral and drafting skills in French and English
  • Aptitude for team work and interdisciplinarity

Employment conditions

  • Research unit and location:
    UR ETBX in Cestas, France
  • Travels are expected in France and abroad (associated expenses will be covered)
  • Type of contract: fixed-term post-doctoral contract
  • Duration: 15 months
  • Starting date: expected September 1, 2020
  • Salary: minimum wage rate of an INRAE “Ingénieur de recherches”. The final salary is linked to the previous experience according to the EPST salary scheme
How to apply

Your pre-selection application should include a CV and an up-to-two-page cover letter describing your interest in the subject and a post-doctoral research project on the basis of the information provided above.

An initial selection from the applications received will be made; a hearing will then be organised.

Applications should be submitted by email to: benedicte.rulleau@inrae.fr

Deadline for applications: 28 June 2020

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