Skip to main content

Postdoctoral Researcher - Global change ecology & sustainable agricultural landscapes, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

Position overview

Position title: Postdoctoral Researcher - Global change ecology & sustainable agricultural landscapes
Salary range: The posted UC system-wide salary scales set the minimum pay based on prior months of postdoc service (both domestic and international) before the start of appointment. See Table 23 and 23N (Hourly) for experience level minimums. A reasonable estimated full-time rate for this position at 100% time is $64,480- $77,327. Salaries that are higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated experience level minimum, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: The position start date is negotiable and ideally is anticipated to start in July 2024 or later.
Position duration: 2 years from start date

Application Window

Open date: April 22, 2024

Most recent review date: Friday, May 17, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Thursday, Oct 31, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The Larsen agricultural and landscape ecology lab in the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB is seeking a Postdoctoral Researcher in global change ecology, conservation & sustainable agriculture as
part of a new UCSB-Conservation International initiative. In 2021, the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Conservation International (CI) launched the Arnhold UC Santa Barbara-Conservation International “Climate Solutions Collaborative'' to advance research towards tangible, science-based environmental solutions. The “Spatial Planning for Climate Change: Land Use for Conservation, Agriculture, and Energy (SPARCLE)” subproject, led by Ashley Larsen (UCSB) and Patrick Roehrdanz (CI), is recruiting a postdoctoral researcher.

Mounting evidence has emphasized the urgency of using land more efficiently as the global land squeeze will increasingly place the land area needed for people’s food, feed and fiber security, and the land required to support a stable climate and healthy ecosystems, in direct conflict with one another. As such, there is an urgent need to develop the science underlying forward-looking land use planning that can simultaneously support thriving human and natural communities.

We are seeking a highly motivated and independent Postdoctoral Researcher to lead analyses advancing understanding of how people and biodiversity are responding to changing climate and land use, and develop strategic land use planning to balance the growing demands placed on land for agricultural and renewable energy production with the urgent needs of biodiversity conservation. More specifically, the Postdoctoral Researcher will explore questions such as:
● What are the tradeoffs in multifunctional landscapes, as they pertain to e.g. agricultural yields or energy production as well as ecosystem service provision and biodiversity?
● How will climate and land use change impact movement of conflict prone species such as elephants and the likelihood of conflict events?

The Postdoctoral Researcher will also have the opportunity to develop independent research topics under the SPARCLE umbrella, and collaborate with other academic and NGO partners to integrate the science of climate-smart planning into conservation action and broader land management decision-making.

The Postdoctoral Researcher will lead methodological development and analyses, author publications and presentations targeting scientific and policy audiences, and serve as a technical resource on a diversity of exciting projects on which the UCSB-CI team are collaborating. The Postdoctoral Researcher will also be expected to travel to remote field sites and staff offices, cultivate collaborative relationships with domestic and international researchers, and mentor undergraduate and graduate students.

Salary and Benefits: Postdoctoral Researcher position, with salary commensurate with qualifications.

Position open until filled.

The Department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and service.



Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

Applicants must have completed all requirements for a Ph.D. (or equivalent) except the dissertation in ecology, geography, environmental science, conservation science and planning or a related field at the time of application.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

PhD in ecology, geography, environmental science, conservation science and planning, or a closely related field at the time of appointment.

Preferred qualifications

● Fluency in spatial analysis tools (e.g. R, Google Earth Engine, python, ArcGIS, QGIS);
● Coding fluency in R, Stata and/or Python for statistical and spatial analyses;
● Excellent statistical and/or causal inference skills;
● Experience working with climate and LULCC data and future projections;
● Expertise with spatial prioritization and connectivity modeling tools (e.g., ‘prioritizr’, Zonation, Circuitscape);
● Experience leading peer-reviewed publications and/or reports;
● Excellent communication skills including communicating technical concepts to expert and non-expert audiences;
● Excellent interpersonal skills including collaborating on international teams, working with students, and on-the-ground partners;
● Willingness and interest in traveling, with potential regional focus on Africa.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)

The search committee will contact references of the top candidate(s) after the interviews. After references are checked, a top candidate will be chosen.

Apply link:

Help contact:

About UC Santa Barbara

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the University of California’s Affirmative Action Policy please visit: For the University of California’s Anti-Discrimination Policy, please visit:

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs, as may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location

Santa Barbara, CA UCSB