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PDRA in Quaternary Vertebrate Palaeontology (NERC Nature of the Beast? project)

Department of Geography

Location:  Egham
Salary:  £39,608 to £44,289 per annum - including London Allowance
Post Type:  Full Time
Closing Date:  23.59 hours GMT on Wednesday 30 November 2022
Reference:  1122-518

Full-Time, Fixed Term (24 Months)

Applications are invited for a fixed term (24 month) post-doctoral research assistant post in the Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London. The postholder will be part of the NERC-funded project “Nature of the Beast? Resolving drivers of prey choice, competition and resilience in wolves”, led by Professor Danielle Schreve (PI, Royal Holloway University of London) and Dr Angela Lamb (Co-I, British Geological Survey, Keyworth).  

The project will explore and quantify variation in modern and past wolf diet, in order to assess the impact of forcing factors such as changes in climate, environment, prey community and carnivore competition on feeding behaviour and morphology, and the rates of change at which these occur. This will be the first, most comprehensive and state-of-the-art examination of diet in modern and recent (<250,000 year) European fossil wolf records.

Applicants should demonstrate appropriate knowledge of the European fossil mammalian record and preferably have experience of working with carnivore remains, including the taking of morphological and metrical data from specimens and the application of statistical analysis to the datasets. Experience of sampling bone for stable isotope analysis would be advantageous although full training will be given. The successful applicant will design a programme of research to meet agreed project objectives regarding dietary stable isotope sampling and the capture of morphological and metrical data from fossil and modern wolves in the UK and overseas, in collaboration with the PI, Co-I and other project staff, as well as external project partners, ensuring that results are recorded, analysed and written up in a timely fashion. Applicants should have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. They should have experience of publishing in international peer-reviewed journals, presenting findings at appropriate academic conferences and be prepared to contribute to outreach activities associated with the project, as well as any other duties as required by the line manager and Head of Department that are commensurate with the grade.

The successful applicant will join a department with an outstanding reputation for its research. The postholder will be a part of the Centre for Quaternary Research (CQR), one of the leading centres in Quaternary Science in western Europe and with a well-established reputation in the shaping our understanding of past climates and environments. The Department has a strong community ethos, and mentoring and further training will be available to the successful candidate. In 2018 the Department was awarded the Athena SWAN Silver Award from the Equality Challenge Unit, recognising exceptional commitment and excellence in the advancement of gender equality. 

In return we offer a highly competitive rewards and benefits package including generous annual leave and training and development opportunities. The post is based in Egham, Surrey where the College is situated in a beautiful, leafy campus near to Windsor Great Park and within commuting distance from London. The successful applicant will join one of the UK’s strongest Geography Departments, situated with the School of Life Science and the Environment, with research specialisms in not only Quaternary Science but also cultural and historical geography, geopolitics and security, development and environmental justice. High scores in the National Student Survey (93% overall satisfaction in 2021) are combined with research excellence, with the Department ranked 5th in the UK in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework. The Department has excellent laboratory facilities including dedicated facilities for luminescence dating, palaeoecology, thin section work, tephrochronology and microscopy, as well as digital facilities for GIS and other forms of analysis and visualisation. 

This is a fixed-term post available from 1st January 2023, or as soon as possible thereafter. 

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact the Principal Investigator and Head of Department, Professor Danielle Schreve at Danielle.Schreve@rhul.ac.uk

To view further details of this post and to apply please visit https://jobs.royalholloway.ac.ukFor queries on the application process the Human Resources Department can be contacted by email at: recruitment@rhul.ac.uk 

Please quote the reference: 1122-518

Closing Date: 23:59, 30 November 2023

Interview Date: 2 December 2023

Further details:    Job Description     Person Specification    
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This position is not eligible for hybrid working.

Royal Holloway is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), and encourages applications from all people regardless of age, disability, gender, marital status, parental status, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or trans status or history. More information on our structures and initiatives around EDI, including information on staff diversity networks, can be found on our Equality and Diversity Intranet page.


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