Bolsa de Investigação: ARDITI-MSIII-2019-003

Job: Post-doc fellowship;

Job/Fellowship Reference: ARDITI-MSIII-2019-003;

Main research field: Biological sciences;

Sub research field: Biology;

Job summary: 

Develop an ecosystem model for Madeira archipelago marine environment based on Ecopath, with Ecosim (EwE) and Ecospace valences to inform the Development process of a coordinated approach for assessing MSFD Descriptor 4 in the Macaronesian subregion in Project Mistic Seas III.

Job description:

“MISTIC SEAS III – Developing a coordinated approach for assessing Descriptor 4 via its linkage with D1 and other relevant descriptors in the Macaronesian subregion”, is a project financed by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), through DG Environment (MFSD 2018 call) (MISTICSEAS3_GA.110661/2018/794676/SUB/ENV.C2). The project aims to address the assessment of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) Descriptor 4 (Ecosystems, including food webs) at the Macaronesian sub-regional level following the criteria set up under the new Commission good environmental status (GES) Decision 2017/848/EC.

This scholarship is to contract a research with knowledge and solid experience in ecosystem models based on Ecopath and using Ecosim (EwE), namely, the compilation and organization of data, building and operationalizing (parameterization and balancing) of the model and explore scenarios in Ecosim relevant for the purpose of the project. It will be given relevance to experience also in incorporating the spatial dimension into the process through Ecospace. The applicant should have a solid theoretical knowledge of marine ecosystems and their interactions, especially in oceanic island associated environments. The work of the modeller will be supported by two post-docs researchers that will assist the modeller in data compilation, organization and processing to feed the model and the simulations, both with possible temporal and spatial components. The work may involve either the adaptation/improvement of an existing Ecopath for Madeira archipelago marine ecosystem and/or the development of a new model, in coordination with teams working in equivalent models in the Azores and the Canary Islands. 

The selected applicant will temporarily integrate the Madeira Whale Museum team (partner of OOM - Madeira Oceanic Observatory), with experience in the ecological study of top predators, specially cetaceans, and their relationship with the marine environment, including, trophic relationships.

For the applicant to be considered a candidate for this scholarship it is required to have at least a PhD and knowledge and experience in:
  • Modelling marine ecosystems using Ecopath and simulating scenarios based on Ecosim (EwE);
The applicant should have good English and/or Portuguese, both written and spoken;
The responsibilities of the researchers include, among others:
  • Participate in the relevant technical-scientific workshops to agree on common grounds for the models being developed or updated for the Azores, Madeira and the Canaries for the purpose of project;
  • Coordinate and guide the compilation, organization and processing of data, including literature reviews (e.g. diversity, abundance, size distribution, productivity), relevant to feed into the Ecopath model(s) and for the Ecosim exercises and, if applicable, the Ecospace approach; 
  • Liaison and discuss with modellers working in models of the Azores and Canaries, namely, model concepts, fundamental common approaches, and outputs of the models to address the aims of the project;
  • Liaison, discuss and coordinate with the modeller of the existing Ecopath model for Madeira archipelago in order to adapt/improve that model based on the previous experience (understanding of the model’s strengths and weaknesses) to address the aims of the project;
  • In light of the limitations of data and time, deliver a balanced model (and the support documentation) that depicts the Madeira marine ecosystem and addresses the needs of the project, including, if possible, a spatial component;
  • Collaborate in writing-up the project’s follow-up reports and technical reports related with tasks in which the researcher is involved;
  • Participate in the relevant project meetings to discuss methodologies, protocols, data analysis, modelling, risk-assessment and other related issues;
  • Collaborate with other tasks of Project MISTIC SEAS III related with area of the researchers’ expertise and knowledge; 
Scientific guidance and workplace
The work will be carried out at the Science Unit of the Madeira Whale Museum, Caniçal, Madeira Island, under the coordination of Luís Freitas.
12 months
ARDITI postdoctoral stipend and regulations are determined by ARDITI.
Evaluation criteria
The evaluation criteria will be the following:
    FS = QA + EP + ML
    FS – Final Scores
    QA – Qualifications
    EP – Experience
    ML – Motivation
The Jury may decide to conduct an interview, that happening, will contribute to 40% of the final scores (i.e., the joint score of the CV evaluation and motivation letter will be 60% of the final score).
  •     2 points – PhD in marine Biology or Ecology;
  •     2 points – Course on EwE;
  • 3 points - Experience in modelling marine ecosystems with Ecopath, including all the steps of building the model (e.g. choosing relevant guilds), its parameterization and balance, and model validation to represent as faithfully as possible the ecosystem depicted by the model;
  • 3 points – Experience in implementing the Ecosim and exploring different scenarios;
  • 3 points – Experience in carrying out comprehensive literature reviews, data compilation, organization and processing to feed EwE models;
  • 2 points – Experience in implementing the Ecospace approach;
  • 1 points – Knowledge and experience in the MSFD process, including the concept of GES, indicators, thresholds and the GES evaluation; 
  • 1 point - Experience in international collaborative projects and multidisciplinary workshops; 
  •   3 points – Motivation;
Selection panel
  •     Dr. Hany Alonzo (SPEA)
  •     Luís Freitas (Museu da Baleia da Madeira) 
  •     Eng. Clemente Aguiar (ARDITI)
  •     Documentos de candidatura
Application contents
  • Motivation letter (highlighting the candidate’s motivation and adequacy to work, but not repeating the CV)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Relevant qualification certificates (e.g. PhD certificate; and/or letter confirming the completion of the degree (PhD) + digital copy of the corresponding thesis)
  • Submission of reports, publications and/or letters of recommendation that provide evidence of the level applicant’s experience in Ecopath, Ecosim and, if it is the case, Ecospace;
  • Thesis (PhD), if relevant for the evaluation of the application (see evaluation criteria)
Anouncement of the results
Via e-mail.
Application submission and deadline
All applications must be sent by e-mail to: Este endereço de email está protegido contra piratas. Necessita ativar o JavaScript para o visualizar. until 17h of 24th January 2020.
The subject of the email should be: ARDITI-MSIII-2019-003.
Vacant posts: 1 
Type of contract: Information not available 
Job country: Portugal 
Job city: Funchal 
Job company/institute: ARDITI/OOM - Madeira Whale Museum 
Application deadline: 24 Janeiro 2020 
(The Application's deadline must be confirmed on the Job Description)



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