Research Associate

University of Cambridge - Department of Geography

Postdoctoral Research Associate: Biodiversity and Natural Capital University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute and Department of Geography

Natural capital and ecosystem services assessments are increasingly influential in decision making across government, business and civil society. This project aims to develop new approaches that better reflect the multiple values of biodiversity, and its conservation, in those assessments. This post will develop the conceptual basis for a stock-based approach and test the extent to which this can be incorporated into frameworks for public and private sector decision making.

This postdoctoral research associate position will focus on the development of a robust and intellectually credible methodology for the adoption of an asset-based approach to the assessment of natural capital. A key challenge is to consider how current accounting and economic assessment methods can be adapted to reflect the treatment of biodiversity as a critical, depletable stock.

The PDRA will be based at the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute in the David Attenborough Building. The PDRA will be required to have a strong grounding in economics or a related-discipline, while needing to work across the full range of relevant disciplines for this project, including the biological sciences, human geography, critical social sciences and the arts and humanities.

Key activities associated with this role include:

  • Conducting a review of existing approaches and developing new methods for adopting a stock-based approach to include biodiversity conservation in the natural capital approach;
  • Developing approaches for stock-based measures for biodiversity in national accounts and reporting, especially in relation to the work of the UK Natural Capital Committee;
  • Developing business-focused approaches to a stock-based measure for biodiversity in natural capital assessments, especially in relation to the Natural Capital Protocol;
  • Production of high impact publications and other outputs; and
  • Project coordination, communication with partners and organisation of meetings and workshops

The postholder will work with Dr Bhaskar Vira (Director, UCCRI; Reader in Political Economy of Environment and Development at the Department of Geography), who convenes the Biodiversity and Natural Capital group across the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI). CCI's work on biodiversity and natural capital is described in greater detail at this link:

The University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute (UCCRI) is an interdisciplinary, cross-Departmental institution at the University of Cambridge, focused on biodiversity conservation, and the social context within which humans engage with nature. The Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI) is a unique collaboration between the University of Cambridge and leading internationally-focused biodiversity conservation organisations clustered in and around Cambridge, UK.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 15 months in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit: This will take you to the role on the University’s Job Opportunities pages. There you will need to click on the 'Apply online' button and register an account with the University's Web Recruitment System (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please quote reference LC12894 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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