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Research Fellow (Data Science & Geomagnetic Bird Navigation) - AR2135SB
School of Geography & Sustainable Development
Vacancy Description
School of Geography and Sustainable Development, Salary: £32,548 per annum, Start: 3 January 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter, Fixed term for 14 months
Applications are invited for a 14-month postdoctoral research fellow post to work on the project Uncovering the Mechanisms of Migratory Bird Navigation with Big Data Analytics, funded by a Leverhulme Trust research project grant. 

Migratory birds make journeys that cross oceans, deserts and mountain ranges, navigating with exceptional skill to their specific breeding and wintering areas. Our understanding of how they do this remains fairly rudimentary, in spite of decades of scientific research. This project will address the question of bird migration as a data science challenge and will focus on the effect of geomagnetism, one of the major geophysical cues influencing navigation. We will develop new methods for spatio-temporal data fusion of open geomagnetic data from varied sources with tracking data from many bird tracking studies provided by the project partner, the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology (MPIO). In the second step of the project we will employ data mining methods to identify patterns in the fused data and generate new insights into the strategies of bird navigation. 

This post presents an opportunity for a spatial data scientist to work on an inherently interdisciplinary project. The research fellow will be primarily responsible for development of new data fusion methods for open geomagnetic and tracking data. The fellow will further be responsible for publishing the findings in appropriate venues (peer-reviewed journals, conferences) and for dissemination to GIScience and movement ecology communities.

This is primarily a data science project located at the University of St Andrews, however the work will be fully informed with biological domain knowledge through the collaboration with MPIO. The fellow is therefore expected to regularly visit the MPIO (located in Radolfzell, Germany) for shorter periods.

Applicants should hold a PhD in geographic information science, remote sensing or a related spatial data science discipline and have an interest in movement ecology. The post also requires knowledge of coding and spatial data processing. Prior knowledge of working with geomagnetic data would be an advantage.

The research fellow will be a part of the interdisciplinary project on Uncovering the Mechanisms of Migratory Bird Navigation with Big Data Analytics, supported by the Leverhulme Trust. At the School of Geography & Sustainable Development, the post holder will join the network of geographic data researchers, the Bell-Edwards Geographic Data Institute (BEGIN) and further become a member of the Environmental Change research group.

The School of Geography and Sustainable Development provides a welcoming and supportive community. A wide range of career development opportunities and courses are provided by the University, which is Scotland’s oldest. The town of St Andrews is situated on the beautiful coastline of eastern Scotland.

The post will commence on 1 January 2019 or shortly thereafter, for 14 months.

For further information, please contact Dr Urska Demsar (urska.demsar@st-andrews.ac.uk). 

The University is committed to equality for all, demonstrated through our working on diversity awards (ECU Athena SWAN/Race Charters; Carer Positive; LGBT Charter; and Stonewall).  More details can be found at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/hr/edi/diversityawards/.

Please quote ref: AR2135SB

Closing Date:  1 October 2018  

Interview Date:  22 – 23 October 2018

Further Particulars:  AR2135SB FPs.doc

School of Geography and Sustainable Development
Salary:  £32,548 per annum
Start:  3 January 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter
Fixed term for 14 months