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Scientist – Biodiversity Monitoring & Assessment

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Posted: Posted 2 weeks ago

A Scientist – Biodiversity Monitoring & Assessment, 3-year post is available at Forest Research (FR), with research focussed on developing new methods in forest biodiversity monitoring and assessment.

A 3-year forest ecology post is available with research focussed on developing new methods in forest biodiversity monitoring and assessment, including the investigation of novel technologies such as DNA metabarcoding. Working in the Centre for Forest Management within Forest Research (FR), research will be in close partnership with members of FR’s Land Use and Ecosystem Services (LUES) Science Group and have a strong focus on incorporating measures of woodland ecological condition into natural capital ecosystem accounting within the Natural Capital Ecosystem Assessment (NCEA) Project.

NCEA is a science innovation and transformation programme, which has been set up to collect data on the extent, condition and change over time of England’s ecosystems and natural capital, and the benefits to society. 

The successful applicant will play a central role as a forest ecologist in supporting the delivery of three NCEA projects. These are piloting the application of DNA metabarcoding for biodiversity monitoring of multiple taxonomic groups (i.e. forest mammals, soil invertebrates and fungi, canopy and sub-canopy arthropods). Alongside this work on the NCEA, the applicant will also assist with the development and advancement of an important area of research that focusses on understanding forest diversification effects on levels of biodiversity and resilience to environmental change. Work areas have in common a focus on gathering evidence and trialling novel methods of biodiversity assessment to improve understanding of forest management and forest diversification effects on biodiversity / woodland ecological condition.

The applicant does not need to be a molecular ecologist by training, but should be willing to explore and apply (in partnership with molecular ecologists) applications of DNA metabarcoding in forest biodiversity monitoring and assessment.

The successful applicant in this Scientist – Biodiversity Monitoring & Assessment role will need to work collaboratively with FR scientists across disciplines (molecular ecologists, vertebrate and invertebrate experts, landscape ecologists) to ensure that the collection of environmental DNA, specimens and wider environmental metadata are fully aligned.

They will also undertake data analysis, contribute to and publish scientific outputs, including papers and reports. In addition, they will contribute to outreach outputs including webpages, practitioner-targeted knowledge-transfer articles, posters, and presentations at meetings. They will be expected to work as part of a team and at other times independently.

The role will be based in Alice Holt Research Station, Farnham GU10 4LH. Blended working gives you the option to work some of the week from home, and some from the workplace. Please be aware that this role can only be worked in the UK and not overseas. See further details about our locations via this link.

Want to work at the cutting edge of environmental science?  Passionate about making a difference and playing your part in tackling the climate and nature crisis?  Forest Research is all about giving top quality evidence and advice to policymakers and practitioners to make a positive impact on the ground. Internationally recognised, we need people who have the skills and passion to work on excellent science and provide practical solutions for nature.

We’re small enough that your voice is heard, yet large enough, as part of the Forestry Commission, that we have everything on hand to get the job done, as well as a variety of career pathways.  Our staff are dedicated to their work and sharing it with others to bring positive change for our planet.  And you will find us a flexible and inclusive employer, so you can have a work life balance that is tailor-made to your circumstances. So whether it’s climate or carbon, pests or pathogens, behaviour or biodiversity that interests you, you can be assured of a warm welcome to the team. To find out more, visit

For further information about the role, and to apply, please click ‘Apply Now’ below.