Research Assistant/Associate in Remote Sensing of Forests

University of Cambridge - Department of Geography

British Council- funded research project seeks motivated team member with experience in remote sensing of vegetation.

In this post, you will join the project Multiplatform remote sensing of the impact of climate change on northern forests of Russia. You will develop and run algorithms for mapping the distribution and form of forests in northern Russia using satellite imagery, and provide  support to the UK side of a joint UK-Russian collaboration. Some fieldwork assistance at a number of sites in northern Russia is also likely to be required, as well as participation in international conferences. Absences from the UK are very unlikely to exceed three weeks.

The project is funded by an Institutional Links grant awarded to Dr Gareth Rees by the British Council. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is also a UK participant in the project, and you will also assist the work of Dr Gareth Marshall at BAS, to collect and analyse meteorological data from northern Russia and to run a regional climate model and analyse its output. The contribution of Russian scientists to the project is funded by a matching grant from the Russian Ministry of Science and Education, led by Dr Olga Tutubalina, Faculty of Geography, Moscow State University (MSU).

The project focusses on forests in northern Russia, attempting to understand how they have changed in response to recent climate change. It has four key objectives: 1.  describe the climate indices influencing northern Russian forests, and relate them to forest characteristics derived from coarse-resolution satellite imagery. 2. develop new forest mapping methods using coarse and fine resolution satellite imagery, and unmanned aerial vehicle imagery, to delineate the position and describe the configuration of the forest edge. 3. develop new methods for monitoring variations in forest biomass based on satellite images. 4. create a set of projections of northern Russian forests based on a range of IPCC emissions scenarios, together with in situ biological and meteorological measurements.

You will work with under the direction of Dr Rees and be primarily responsible for the development and application of fine-scale forest mapping from the test sites, using satellite imagery. You will also engage directly with Dr Marshall at BAS, and be responsible for maintaining English-language communications across the UK and international teams. You will work independently and as part of an international team tackling interdisciplinary goals.

Informal inquiries should be directed to Dr Gareth Rees:

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 24 months in the first instance.

Expected start date: 15 June 2018 or earlier.

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 LC15396 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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