Wildlife Ecology (2-yr postdoc)

Nanyang Technological University

Singapore, Asia

Job Type Student / postdoc
Salary Details SGD 65,000+ (USD 50,000+)
Deadline Dec 04, 2019

Matthew Luskin and The Ecological Cascades Lab (moving to the University of Queensland) invite applicants for a two-year postdoc. The position will be based in Singapore in collaboration with Prof David Wardle at Nanyang Technological University.

Southeast Asian wildlife is threatened by habitat loss and hunting. The loss of predators may also trigger trophic cascades. However, some generalist species (like wild pigs and macaques) may thrive in these disturbed conditions, especially if they are able to capitalize on anthropogenic food sources. The secondary impacts of altered wildlife include cascading effects on the plant communities (e.g. tree recruitment). We seek wildlife ecologist to study these issues with a focus on Singapore.

A key issue in Singapore is the recolonization of native wild boars (Sus scrofa) that had been previously extirpated from the island. The wild boars have spread into core NParks conservation and recreation areas. This could produce positive or negative environmental and social impacts. For example, do wild boars positively or negatively affect other vertebrate diversity and how do they alter rainforest food-webs? What is the population of wild boars in various forests and have they reached their carrying capacity? How do wild boars affect natural plant communities and especially tree recruitment?

To assess these questions, the successful applicant will analyze a large dataset from camera trapping from across Southeast Asia and establish new field work in Singapore. Fieldwork tasks focused on wild boar include demography and movement (camera traps and GPS collars), diet (DNA metagenomics of fecal samples), and ecological impacts (fenced exclusion experiment). This work will be carried out in multiple NParks protected areas in Singapore.

The Research Fellow will be responsible for leading (i) comparative analyses of Singaporean rainforest food-webs to other sites in Southeast Asia, (ii) comparative analyses of fenced exclusion studies from the region and in Singapore, (iii) collection and analysis of field data described above, (iv) seeing this work through to publication in major research journals. There will be assistance from one full-time Research Assistant and from NParks staff.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Design and implement fieldwork on wildlife ecology
  • Data management and statistical analyses
  • Work effectively with NParks and project PIs
  • Mentor junior colleagues, as needed
  • Writing and publication of results in peer-reviewed journals

Knowledge and Experience Requirements:

  • PhD degree in ecology or closely related field, preferably with a focus on wildlife
  • Fieldwork experience in forest ecosystems, and preferably in the tropics
  • Extensive experience with statistical analysis using R
  • Prior experience in publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English

Funding for this position is for two years and at competitive rates. The start date is January - March 2019, although there is some flexibility around this.


Interested applicants are invited to submit a cover letter, full CV and names and contact details of three referees, to ase_humanresources@ntu.edu.sg indicating Research Fellow – Wildlife ecology in the title (please CC luskin@ntu.edu.sg). Review of applications will begin on 4 December 2019. Kindly note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Further enquiries can be directed to Dr. Matthew Luskin (mattluskin@gmail.com) or Prof. David Wardle (david.wardle@ntu.edu.sg).

About NTU and details of the position

The work will be overseen by Dr. Matthew Scott Luskin at University of Queensland (Australia) and is funded by Singapore’s National Parks Board (NParks). The position will be based at NTU’s The Asian School of the Environment (ASE) in Prof. David Wardle’s research group. Young and research-intensive, NTU is ranked 11th globally and 1st among the young universities.

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Category Ecology, Wildlife