Postdoctoral Research Assistant (Full-Time – 18 Months Fixed-Term Contract)

We’re ZSL, an international conservation charity. Our vision is a world where wildlife thrives and we’re working every day to achieve this. From investigating the health threats facing animals, to helping people and wildlife live alongside each other, we are committed to bringing wildlife back from the brink of extinction. Through the work of our pioneering scientists, our dedicated conservationists and our unrivalled animal experts in our two zoos, we guide and enable others in the UK and all across the world. Inspiring, informing, empowering – working for wildlife.

Role Profile

The Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, is recruiting for a highly motivated post-doctoral research assistant to assess current and future climate change vulnerability of European marine bird species and identify populations at risk. This one and a half year, full time, research position will involve active collaboration with Prof William Sutherland and Dr Silviu Petrovan at Cambridge University.

The successful candidate will join an exciting inter-disciplinary project funded by the Stichting Ave Fenix Europa Foundation entitled “Evidence-based Climate Change Adaptation Practices to safeguard vulnerable species: supporting conservation practitioners, donors and policy makers”, based in the research group of Dr Nathalie Pettorelli. This project builds on the evidence gathering work done by Conservation Evidence (; specifically, its overall aim is to use the information collected by Conservation Evidence to (1) identify populations of European marine birds most at risk of extinction, (2) develop and share an open-access, global-scale evidence base for climate adaptations, and (3) disseminate best practice guidelines for European marine birds with the wider conservation, donor and policy communities around the world.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assess current and future climate change vulnerability of European species of marine birds based on species-specific drivers, and to identify populations particularly at risk.
  • Develop and share an open-access, global-scale evidence base for climate adaptations, focusing on climate adaptation options for marine birds in Western Europe as a case study
  • Develop an evidence base of the effectiveness of adaptation practice for marine birds in Western Europe as well as a well-informed guidance document for planning adaptation initiatives based on best practices.
  • Contribute to the preparation of research proposals and applications to external bodies.
  • Develop and initiate collaborative working internally and externally.

Person Specification

  • A PhD in ecology/conservation.
  • Proven experience in Geographic Information Systems and analyses of large datasets.
  • Knowledge of biodiversity monitoring, climate change ecology, population ecology and science-to-policy translation.
  • Proven track record in publishing high quality research in ecology/conservation science.
  • A good understanding of the national and international policy frameworks supporting the protection of species.
  • A good understanding of the conservation landscape in Europe.
  • Ability to work as part of a team and also to work independently using own initiative.
  • Experience with climate change vulnerability frameworks and risk assessments.

How to Apply

Applicants will need to upload their CV plus a covering letter (detailing relevant experience and skills, stating why they want the position and including details of availability) and can do this by clicking the “Apply for this job online” button on the ZSL website. If you have any queries regarding these positions or when applying through the system please contact Human Resources at

To apply, click here

Closing date for applications: Midnight (23:59) Wednesday 30th September 2020

The Zoological Society of London is a charity registered in England and Wales: no. 208728.

Please mention when applying for this job!

Key Information


£35,965 per annum (Inclusive of London Weighting)




Fixed Term


Full Time




Biology, Conservation, Nature & Wildlife


London, United Kingdom

Application Deadline:

30th September 2020 at 11:45pm

Job Location Map

Job Location Map View a larger map