Vacancy: a PhD candidate on big data and conservation

The joint research unit for Land, environment, remote sensing and spatial information, Montpellier, France is looking for a PhD candidate to work on Biotic homogenization and patterns of change across gradients of anthropogenic pressures: The use of BIG DATA in answer to conservation needs. The goal of this PhD will be to identify the fundamental changes that are occurring in ecosystems as a result of biotic and environmental homogenization and address the conservation implications of these changes particularly as they relate to the human dimensions within a spatial context.

Disciplines: Spatial information, Ecology, Landscape Ecology, Data mining Remote Sensing

Work plan

Will focus efforts around five different related key issues that will structure the thesis chapters and related outputs and publications:

  • Develop a conceptual framework for assessing the potential ecological consequences of biotic and environmental homogenization
  • Use existing data to explore patterns and trends of change in community similarity across different gradients of anthropogenic pressures at the global level
  • Quantify how temporal and spatial patterns of change are occurring to gain understanding of the context and scale in which the homogenization process operates
  • Analyse patterns and landscape configuration and morphology considering protected areas alongside anthropogenic gradients, as a proxy to measure the effectiveness of the protected area network globally to impede homogenization
  • Use findings to provide recommendations towards conservation targets and strategies needed for an integrated sustainable management


  • Master in eco-informatics or equivalent with strong background on Spatial Information Systems remote sensing
  • Solid interest for ecology, macro-ecology, landscape ecology.
  • Experience/training: Data Mining, Machine Learning, geomatics and statistics
  • High proficiency in at least one programming language among Python and R,
  • Excellent communication and writing skills. Production of scientific publications expected.


To apply, please follow this link, select topic N° 3168, enter the information as explained on the website and submit a CV and motivation letter.

Deadline: 15 May 2017


Download the full vacancy for more information.