TUNDRAsalad will explore the role of herbivore diversity in tundra ecosystems, and how different assemblages of herbivores influence ecosystem functions in high latitude ecosystems. The PhD project will focus on Iceland, to understand the impacts of herbivore diversity and guide sustainable grazing management at a regional scale. Iceland represents a unique situation with no native large mammalian herbivores but extensive grazing by domestic and introduced mammals (sheep and reindeer), ptarmigan and increasing populations of migratory avian herbivores (geese and swans). Current knowledge of species abundance and distribution will be used to estimate herbivore pressure and diversity across Iceland and target field sites in the grazing commons above the alpine treeline. The PhD project will involve mapping the distribution of herbivores in Iceland and conducting fieldwork to measure ecosystem function across Iceland, as well as modelling the potential impacts of changes in herbivore assemblages in Iceland over time.

The PhD student will be based at the Reykjavík campus of the Agricultural University of Iceland, and will be co-supervised by Isabel C Barrio (Agricultural University of Iceland), James Speed (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) and Noémie Boulanger-Lapointe (University of Iceland).

The deadline for applications is March 5, 2021 and the position will start as soon as possible after April 1, 2021. The project has a duration of three years. 

Applications are welcome from candidates with a MSc degree in ecology, environmental sciences or related fields. Applicants should ideally have experience in conducting fieldwork in remote areas and be able to work as part of a team and independently. Knowledge on the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the statistical software R and a driving license are desirable skills.

In your application you should include:

  • Cover letter that explains how your research interests and experience align with the position
  • CV or resume, including your overall grade and relevant experience
  • List of two professional references and their contact information

Please send your application and any questions to Isabel C Barrio (isabel@lbhi.is).