There are always opportunities for enthusiastic and motivated postgraduate students and postdoctoral research fellows and many opportunities exist to obtain stipends and fellowships. Contact Sophie von der Heyden at svdh(at)sun.ac.za for more details.
Note that the major funding opportunities usually have deadlines towards the end of August each year (students) and April/May (postdocs), so be sure to make contact well before these dates. ------------
Postdoctoral Fellowship: conservation genomics, climate resilience and restoration of southern African seagrasses
The von der Heyden lab at Stellenbosch University, in collaboration with Prof Janine Adams at Nelson Mandela University is recruiting a postdoctoral fellow, for a fully funded, one year postdoctoral fellowship. The successful applicant will take a leading role in the NRF funded “Project SeaStore: integrated research to support seagrass restoration and to build estuarine resilience in South Africa”, specifically to investigate carbon sequestration and storage and microbiome communities of the South African seagrass, Zostera capensis. The project is a collaboration involving Stellenbosch University (Profs Sophie von der Heyden, Guy Midgley), Nelson Mandela University (Prof Janine Adams) and Rhodes University (Dr Gwynneth Matcher). This is a truly collaborative and integrated project, utilising ecological and genomic tools to understand the blue carbon potential of seagrass in South Africa.
Applicants for the position will be hard-working, enthusiastic, independently motivated and willing to lead on this particular project. A background in seagrass or coastal ecology is ideal, as is a passion for marine ecology and conservation. Ideally, the successful applicant would have some experience of molecular tools, in particular next-generation sequencing (metagenomics). The project includes a significant fieldwork component, so a valid drivers license is required, as well as an ability to work in aquatic environments. Applicants must be within four years of receiving their PhD.
Please direct all enquiries to Prof Sophie von der Heyden, firstname.lastname@example.org. For applications to be considered include a detailed CV noting experience, as well as publications and conference attendance and provide three contactable referees. The fellowship carries a value of R220,000 per annum and is available for one year, but with the potential of extension subject to funding. The fellowship is available immediately and can commence in line with COVID-19 regulations. This position is available until filled.
------- AN MSc Opportunity to work on eDNA in Mozambique Aug 2020 - July 2022 Investigating the use of eDNA to compare fish diversity between community-protected and unprotected zones in the Inhambane Bay, Mozambique The Inhambane Bay mangroves cover an area of approximately 5800 ha. Because local communities are dependent on this habitat, they have sought to establish, manage and enforce no-take zones in an attempt to protect the estuarine and reef fish that often form part of their daily catch. Each community governs their own area and community councils decide on conservation measures, enforcing rules in co-operation with government departments and policing authorities. Ecologically, very little is known about biodiversity, including the fish communities residing in Inhambane Bay. Although conservation measures are in place and monitoring is rigorous, the effectiveness of community protection has not been investigated. This MSc would focus on assessing fish diversity associated with community-protected zones and understanding the effects of community protection on diversity within the Bay using an environmental DNA approach. About the project The Inhambane Bay Mangrove Study Group consists of local community members, a local NGO and South African and Mozambican researchers. The group has been studying mangrove diversity and community conservation in the Inhambane Bay since 2018 using a variety of socio-ecological methods. What we are looking for We are looking for a motivated, independent South African student committed to academic excellence and open to learning new techniques. The applicant must have an Hons degree in a related field (with a minimum mark of 60%), be a good English communicator both written and orally, and be willing to work as part of a multi-cultural, multi-national team. Ideally, they would be familiar with basic molecular and statistical analyses and have a good understanding of marine and estuarine systems. The successful candidate will be based at the University of Stellenbosch (www.sun.ac.za), but there is also a significant fieldwork component in Mozambique. How to apply To apply or to find out more about the projects, please contact Dr Nasreen Peer at email@example.com or Prof. Sophie von der Heyden at firstname.lastname@example.org or consult their websites: www.argonautscience.com/research and www.vonderheydenlab.com for more information. After initial contact, you will be asked to provide a CV with two referees, your academic transcripts and a short statement on why you wish to pursue this MSc. A bursary of R70,000 per annum is available (dependent on NRF rules and regulations). Deadline for application is 30th June 2020.