As part of the Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Studies, the Global Change Research Group, more specifically the Terrestrial Ecology Lab which focuses its research on the effects of global change on island biodiversity, community structure, and ecosystem functioning, is seeking:

   Three Postdocs in Terrestrial (Island) Ecology. The applicants will work on the effect of disturbances on island multilayer network structure. One Postdoc (Postdoc #1) will work in the Seychelles archipelago, the other (Postdoc #2) in Galapagos, and the third one (Postdoc #3) in the Balearic and Canary Islands. (Duration of the Contract: 3 years, extendable).

These positions are part of the ERC Advanced Grant IslandLife Determinants of island ecological complexity in the context of global change” led by Anna Traveset. The project will combine direct observations during intense fieldwork, automated video monitoring and deep-learning, cutting-edge molecular techniques, and newly developed coextinction models to predict persistence and resilience of island biota to disturbances.

We seek highly motivated and creative individuals with a strong command of the English language and with expertise in the study of biodiversity. Candidates will join an interdisciplinary research center, recently accredited as a Center of Excellence María de Maeztu by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, where terrestrial and marine ecologists, physical oceanographers, chemists, and evolutionary biologists work in collaborative projects.

       About the project: ERC AdG IslandLifeDeterminants of island ecological complexity in the context of global change

       PI: Anna Traveset. Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Studies (IMEDEA, CSIC-UIB)

Biodiversity is declining globally at an unprecedented rate. Representing ~30% of the biodiversity hotspots, islands are particularly vulnerable to anthropogenic activities, indeed 80% of reported extinctions are island species. Yet, unique island biodiversity – which includes not only the species but also the myriad of interactions among them – is still greatly unknown.

It is thus urgent to describe it and forecast the consequences of its annihilation so we can mitigate the effect of further losses. Detecting ecological interactions and understanding their complexity is, however, one of the big challenges in the natural sciences. The advent of new theories and analytical tools, such as critical transition theory and complex network analysis, provides hope to reach that goal. As relatively simple systems with well-defined borders, islands have a great potential to advance our comprehension of nature complexity.

The IslandLife project will provide the most comprehensive and quantitatively sophisticated study of multilayer networks to date in any terrestrial ecosystem. We will focus on five archipelagos encompassing four oceans and a wide latitudinal gradient, comparing for the first time the food web structure of ‘pristine’ (little-disturbed) islands (of a few km2) with areas of similar size in nearby disturbed (human-inhabited) islands. The objective is to unveil the unique biodiversity of these ecosystems, understand their complexity, and evaluate their fragility to global change drivers, such as biological invasions.

We will combine direct observations during intense fieldwork, automated-video monitoring and deep-learning, cutting-edge molecular techniques, and newly developed coextinction models to predict persistence and resilience of island biota to disturbances. The project will represent a major breakthrough towards understanding the effects of global change on these valuable ecosystems, of great relevance to both theoretical ecologists and applied conservationists.


  • Candidates holding a PhD in Biology or Environmental Sciences, with experience in network analysis and complex coding and modeling in R will be given priority.
  • Experience with management of research team (with diverse cultural background) including the co-supervision of PhD students is preferred.
  • Evidence of the ability to publish high-quality peer-reviewed publication is essential.
  • Proven track-record of extensive field work is highly desirable.
  • The applicant must have good interpersonal and communication skills, as well as excellent written and oral command of English is required. Good command of Spanish is not indispensable but desirable because the applicant will be part of the time living in Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain.

IMPORTANT: Applications including links to previous works/projects/ initiatives that show how the applicant meets these requirements will be given priority.


  • Interdisciplinary and inspiring work environment. Researchers will join a vibrant interdisciplinary research center of terrestrial and marine ecologists, physicists and chemists working on different aspects of global change. IMEDEA has recently been accredited as Center of Excellence Maria de Maeztu by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.
  • Quiet and spacious workspaces
  • Possibility of participating in internal training, learning, or corporate social responsibility activities at IMEDEA. Possibility of participating in field work in other archipelagos studied within the ERC project.
  • 35-hour week work calendar
  • 30 days of vacation per year

Term of contract: Starting in 2023, the position will be initially for 3 years, with a 3-months’ probation period based on performance. Guaranteed opportunities for longer-term employment upon successful performance after the 3 years will be offered (up to one more year).

Salary:The position will carry competitive salary, matching the academic and professional profile of the applicant, and excellent work conditions. The annual salary of a person contracted by CSIC is 39,709 €.

Eligibility criteria

The criteria used to be eligible will be those indicated in the skills/qualifications section.

Application process:

Applicants should send one PDF document with the following information: Letter of application / motivation, a CV, and the names and email addresses of two referees to the following email address:, noting in the subject of the message “JOB OFFER POSTDOC

The deadline for applications is January 30th 2023; candidate interviews will start as applications are received.

All candidates will be informed before February 15th 2023 if they have been selected for the offered jobs. 

Additional comments

Location: Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Studies, Mallorca, Spain

Additional information:  IMEDEA is committed to conciliating research-academic requirements and family duties. Being a center of CSIC, it is particularly concerned with creating equal opportunities for people independently of gender, culture, and race. Anyone with relevant qualifications is therefore strongly encouraged to apply for the position.

Contact Prof. Anna Traveset:

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