Job Opportunity

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Tropical Forest Mortality

ForestGEO & NGEE-Tropics

The Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO) is a global network of forest research plots and scientists dedicated to the study of forest function and diversity. ForestGEO conducts long-term, large-scale research on forests around the world to increase scientific understanding of forest ecosystems, guide sustainable forest management and natural-resource policies, monitor the impacts of environmental change, and build capacity in forest science.

ForestGEO is one of several institutions involved in the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments-Tropics (NGEE-Tropics), a ten-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER). NGEE-Tropics aims to fill critical gaps in knowledge of tropical forest-climate system interactions. The overarching goal of NGEE-Tropics is to develop a predictive understanding of the role of tropical forests in the Earth’s coupled biogeochemical cycles and forest disturbance/recovery processes and how they will respond to changing environmental drivers over the 21st century.

ForestGEO and NGEE-Tropics invite applications for a postdoctoral fellowship in tropical forest mortality. The causes and dynamics of tropical tree mortality remain poorly understood, resulting in significant uncertainty in how tropical forests will respond to future environmental changes. Long-term ForestGEO data, coupled with annual mortality surveys, will be used to explore the drivers and dynamics of tree mortality. Additional field data may be needed to advance understanding of mortality (e.g., measurements of plant stress, traits associated with disturbances, fire resistance, drought tolerance, carbon starvation, etc.). The overall goal is to significantly improve model representation of tree mortality in tropical forests.

More information about ForestGEO’s mortality protocol here.

Candidates should hold a PhD in forest ecology or environmental science with experience directly relevant to the topics described above, strong written and communication skills, and demonstrated ability to work in a team environment. Candidates should have a strong analytical background, an established record of research, and scholarly publication in forest science. Research topics should include subjects related to the dynamics of tropical forests including comparative studies of demography, growth, mortality, biomass change, emphasizing comparative studies among forests. Candidates with empirical, theoretical or modeling backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

The position will be based at the ForestGEO headquarters at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. The fellowship will require travel for field work in a range of tropical forest countries involved in the ForestGEO program.

The appointment is for two years initially, with an opportunity for extension based on successful performance. The starting date is flexible; earlier start dates are preferred.

To apply, send a single PDF file containing a cover letter including a statement of research interest, CV, contact information for three references, and three relevant publications or manuscripts to Lauren Krizel, ForestGEO Program Manager,

Review of applications will begin on 15 March 2024. The search will continue until a qualified candidate is appointed. For further information, contact ForestGEO Director, Stuart Davies,

Job Locations: 
Washington, DC, USA