Closing Date: 23 July 2017
Project description: The global biodiversity has changed dramatically during the past 550 million years of earth history with pronounced extinction events and times of spectacular diversifications. One hypothetical biotic driving mechanism of long-term change is ecological engineering (EE). In our project we will test predictions based on EE hypothesis by the example of the marine carbonate platforms of the early Paleozoic era (541–444 m.y.a.). During this time carbonate sediments globally expanded in neritic marine environments and at the same time marine organisms diversified rapidly. Because these carbonate platforms were built almost exclusively by benthic organisms we hypothesize that the development of carbonate platforms is an example of EE and that the biodiversification is partly causally linked with biologically driven habitat diversification. In a combined effort of an international team of geologists, ecologists, and paleontologists we will test with statistical, geochemical and stratigraphical methods if the early Paleozoic diversification is linked with coeval changes in marine benthic habitats.
The successful candidate will join an actively growing BioGeoScience Community at the University of Helsinki and will be part of the scientific community at both the Finnish Museum of Natural History and at the Department of Geosciences and Geography at the University of Helsinki. The successful candidate will also likely collaborate with Seth Finnegan (University of California, Berkeley), Lee Hsiang Liow (University of Oslo), and Melanie Hopkins (American Museum of Natural History).
We are seeking a highly motivated researcher with strong quantitative skills to work on one of the following themes:
• Analytical paleontology, macroecology, community ecology, and the statistical tools in paleobiological research
• Carbonate sedimentology, carbonate sequence stratigraphy, basin analysis
The ideal candidate will have extensive experience either in paleobiological research or in carbonate sedimentology. However, as our research is cross-disciplinary it is possible to contribute coming from several different fields. Thus, we welcome applications from exceptional candidates, with a quantitative background, from other fields. However, it is essential to have a genuine interest in the interplay of global change in climate, sea-level and biodiversity. It is also important for the candidate to have strong programming skills and experience in working with large data sets.
The postdoctoral researcher will be employed on a full-time, fixed term, three-year contract with a four-month probation. The salary will be based on level 5 of the demands level chart for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. In addition, the appointee will be paid a salary component based on personal performance with the overall salary amounting to approximately 3 000-3 500 €/month (gross). All standard pension benefits and occupational health care are provided for university employees.
More under: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/open-positions/postdoctoral-researcher-in-paleoecology-or-sedimentary-geology