Research Associate, Environmental Ecologist

Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh
£31,200 pa
24 Feb 2021
28 Mar 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

To develop a leading role in the air pollution effects based research for the Atmospheric Composition and Effects science area. The role will include continuing long-term field experiments to monitor and assess pollution effects on lichens, mosses, higher plant and habitat health. The role will support national and international research projects and will actively develop new proposals.

Main Duties/Responsibilities

Your role will include:

  • Assess and quantify impacts of N pollution on the environment
  • Conduct species surveys - including lichens, mosses, higher plants. For effects work, and long-term ecosystem monitoring.
  • Apply expertise in understanding pollution effects - for example foliar and soil chemistry changes, secondary impacts, eutrophication, acidification, abiotic stress responses etc.
  • Ecophysiology measurement techniques of plant health and gas exchange - for example stomatal conductance, reflectance indices, gas exchange, fluorescence.
  • Project and Task management to conduct national and international research
  • Data processing and analysis of ecological data
  • Working with the Environmental Information Data Centre to make data available to the wider community
  • Writing journal papers and reports
  • Develop research ideas and prepare proposals within the effects sciences

Over the 3 years you will gain skills in:

The research associate will have gained in depth skills in the field of impacts of air quality, including enhancing and expanding their understanding in ecophysiology measurements and monitoring. Furthermore it is the expectation that the post will learn research project proposal development, project administration and management. The post will learn cross-disciplinary science application of the effects research; learning how the effects monitoring will be included into UKCEH models and interpretation (Plan dependent on candidate capabilities), Project and task management and delivery skills.

Skills and Knowledge Required

Knowledge and Qualifications

  • A good degree in an appropriate subject. E.g. Environmental Sciences, Botanical sciences
  • PhD or equivalent experience in botany, ecology, environmental/natural science.

Experience/Proven abilities related to the position

  • Strong track record for field based research, with a good understanding of ecophysiology and/or ecosystem dynamics.
  • Good understanding of plant functional processes.
  • Plant and soil chemistry techniques, laboratory experience and instrumentation
  • Data analysis using R, excel and statistical software
  • Published research papers or equivalent


  • Ability to operate and maintain field and/or laboratory instrumentation for effects research.
  • Understanding of the importance and the production of accurate protocols and procedures.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent organisation skills with a high attention to detail

Core Behaviours & Values

  • You will demonstrate a commitment to promote and adhere to UKCEH values of Excellence, Integrity and Teamwork.

Other Requirements

  • Full UK driving licence
  • Overseas Travel
  • Year round UK field work

What we offer

To find out the benefits of working with UKCEH, please follow the link below for a summary.

How to Apply

To apply for this position and to find out more about the role, click here. As well as a CV, please provide a covering letter detailing why you may be suitable for the role.