Research Associate - Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS)

University College London - UCL Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment

A Research Associate post is now available for a suitably-qualified researcher to join the Wellcome Trust funded project Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS). This project is a collaboration between the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), University College London (UCL), the University of Aberdeen, and several other institutions in London, along with our collaborators in South Africa (UKZN, Durban) and India (PHFI, Delhi).

The role holder will develop coupled Species Distribution-Demographic Models for pollinators, agricultural pests, and priority species in the UK and South Africa, and where possible will apply network analyses (Bayesian networks) to model biotic interactions and explore responses of ecological communities to environmental change. The postdoc will work most closely with Dr Richard Pearson and Prof. Georgina Mace.

This appointment is available from October 2017 and is funded for 42 months in the first instance, with the possibility of a 6 month extension.

The Project:

The overarching objective of the Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems (SHEFS) programme is to provide policy makers with novel, interdisciplinary scientific evidence to define future food systems policies that deliver nutritious and healthy foods in an environmentally sustainable and socially equitable manner. The project comprises two linked research components: (1) Data gathering, analysis and scenario modelling, using a variety of statistical, analytical, and experimental methods to identify key interactions at the global, regional, and national level, including collecting new, integrated data in diverse sites in India and South Africa. Analysis of local evidence, informed by work with secondary data, will enable a granular understanding of the local realities of the food-environment-health nexus. (2) Policy design and evaluation. SHEFS will characterise the policy context in which food systems operate in low and middle-income country settings, and identify food system policy options with the potential to improve population health and reduce environmental impacts.

The successful candidate must hold a PhD degree in ecology, conservation biology, computer science, or related discipline, and will have experience with ecological modelling methods (e.g. spatial modelling, ecological networks) and/or biodiversity indicators.

Applicants should apply online. To access further details about the position and how to apply please click on the ‘Apply’ button below.

For any queries regarding the application process, please contact Biosciences Staffing on and quote the reference number 1669130. For informal enquiries about the post, please contact Dr Richard Pearson (

Closing Date: 9 October 2017.

Latest time for the submission of applications: 23.59.

Interview Date: TBC.

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