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Research Associate in Plant and Soil Ecology
Oxford Road, Manchester

Job reference: SAE-017876

Location: Oxford Road, Manchester

Closing date (DD/MM/YYYY): 11/01/2022

Salary: £33,309 - £40,927 per annum depending on experience

Employment type: Fixed Term

Faculty/Organisation: Science and Engineering

Division: Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences

Hours per week: Full Time

Contract Duration: Until 30 November 2025

School / Directorate: School of Natural Sciences

We seek to appoint an enthusiastic postdoctoral research associate to work on a new NERC-funded project “Maximising ecosystem services in urban environments (MEaSURE)”. This exciting project seeks to enhance ecosystem services and minimise disservices in urban environments. The basis of the project is to take evidence derived from the natural environment showing that biodiversity enhances multiple ecosystem functions (i.e. ecosystem multifunctionality) to significantly improve green infrastructure in urban systems. It will seek to understand how attributes particular to green infrastructure affect biodiversity-ecosystem multifunctionality relationships at different scales. The post-holder will play a key role in examining relationships between plant functional diversity in urban green spaces with measures of ecosystem multifunctionality appropriate for these scales, namely:  greenhouse gas (CO2, CH4 and N2O) fluxes, soil properties, and soil pathogen prevalence (in collaboration with other partners). Greenhouse gases will be quantified using a bespoke mobile isotope greenhouse gas laboratory (GasLab) equipped with automated flux chambers and laser absorption spectrometers.  The post-holder will also undertake novel mesocosm experiments in which key elements of soil food web and plant functional type diversity are manipulated, with assistance from a dedicated research technician. She or he will take a lead in integrating findings from across this multidisciplinary project and work closely with the project team to publish findings in scientific peer reviewed international journals. This post will contribute to a dynamic team of scientists working on MEaSURE at the Universities of Manchester, Glasgow and Salford with expertise in ecosystem ecology, urban and environmental geography and ecology of infectious diseases.​​​​​​​

Application forms and further particulars are available from our website

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is strongly committed to promoting equality and diversity, including the Athena SWAN Charter for gender equality in higher education.  The Department holds a Bronze Award which recognises their good practice in relation to gender; including flexible working arrangements, family-friendly policies, and support to allow staff to achieve a good work-life balance.

As an equal opportunities employer we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of age, sex, gender (or gender identity), ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status.  All appointments will be made on merit.  For further information, please visit

Our University is positive about flexible working – you can find out more here

Blended working arrangements may be considered

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies.

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:

Name: Prof David Johnson


General enquiries:


Technical support:

This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date.

Please see the link below for the Further Particulars document which contains the person specification criteria.


The closing date for this job has now passed.