Research Associate in Biology

University of York Department of Biology

Research Associate

Based at:University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work:Full-time
Contract status:Fixed term
Salary:33,309 per year
Interview Date:09/12/2021
Posted Date:01/10/2021
Apply by:12/11/2021
Job Reference:9868

Role Description


The post-holder will join the UKRI Future of UK Treescapes project “Connected treescapes: a portfolio approach for delivering multiple benefits from UK treescapes in the rural-urban continuum”. This large interdisciplinary team is led by Prof Piran White and Dr Julia Touza at the University of York, UK. The post-holder will be based in the Department of Biology at the University of York under the direct supervision of Prof Jane Hill and Dr Colin Beale, and be a member of York’s Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity (LCAB).

Treescapes have a key role to play in helping the UK government’s targets for carbon reduction and nature recovery, and in enhancing health and wellbeing and providing a source for cultural inspiration. The post-holder will use innovative spatial modelling approaches to examine how treescape connectivity affects biodiversity and ecosystem functions, and societal benefits (pollution sinks; health and wellbeing). The post-holder will also explore biodiversity benefits of treescape restoration options and contribute to portfolio analyses exploring barriers and pathways for achieving socially-desired outcomes from treescapes.


To develop and conduct independent and collaborative research on the biodiversity of UK treescapes, focusing on often-neglected components of woodland biodiversity (vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens and invertebrates, including pests), and the environmental drivers of biodiversity change.

Key responsibilities include:

  • To plan, coordinate, develop and undertake world-leading individual and collaborative research in the area of treescape biodiversity, write up research findings and contribute to the production of research outputs
  • To collaborate with, and advise, other researchers from the natural and social sciences and the humanities, to increase the effectiveness of interdisciplinary research in the UK Treescapes project and develop proposals for future research
  • To develop understanding of ways of delivering multiple ecological and societal benefits from UK treescapes.

Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

  • PhD in an appropriate subject area
  • Knowledge of environmental drivers of biodiversity changes and ecosystem functioning, with appreciation of the role of connectivity
  • Familiarity with species distribution data and land-cover and climate data to determine past and future biodiversity trends
  • Experience in a range of relevant quantitative research techniques and methodologies
  • Ability to develop research objectives, projects and proposals for own and joint research, with the support and assistance of a mentor if required
  • Highly developed communication skills to engage effectively with a wide-ranging audience, both orally and in writing, using a range of media
  • Ability to write up research for publication in high profile journals and competency in presenting work at conferences/other appropriate events.
  • Capacity for inter-disciplinary work and willingness to work proactively with colleagues in other work areas

Interview date:  Thursday 9th December 2021

For informal enquiries: please contact Prof Jane Hill on ( or Dr Colin Beale on (

The University strives to be diverse and inclusive  – a place where we can ALL be ourselves.

We particularly encourage applications from people who identify as Black, Asian or from a Minority Ethnic background, who are underrepresented at the University. 

We offer family friendly, flexible working arrangements, with forums and inclusive facilities to support our staff. #EqualityatYork