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Two-year funded Postdoc Position: Space weather influences on marine mammal movement

We are seeking a postdoctoral candidate to investigate whether space weather influences marine mammal movements at sea. Specifically, this study will aim to collate telemetry data from a range of Southern Ocean marine mammal species and use these to investigate correlation between the recorded movement patterns with space weather events such as, for example, sun cycles and geomagnetic storms. Species or taxon specific differences will be assessed, and mechanisms through which space weather could influence the movement of marine mammals will be explored.


The position is funded for 24 months through a NRF South African National Antarctic Program Postdoctoral Grant at the University of Pretoria (Pretoria, South Africa) and will work closely with the South African National Space Agency (Hermanus, South Africa). Project start date is negotiable, but aiming to start as soon as possible.


We are looking for a self-starting, independent and highly motivated colleague who is interested in marine mammal movement ecology, space weather, habitat modelling and science communication. PhD required, with background in either ecology/zoology/physics. Skills in statistics, and GIS; competency with GIS and R/Python/Matlab is essential; strong writing skills, ability to adapt/learn quickly are a major plus. Ability to work in Hermanus for at least part of the project is a plus as well.


Potential candidates who identify with groups traditionally under-represented in the sciences are especially encouraged to apply. If you have questions or are interested in the position, please email me at mwege@zoology.up.ac.za and attach your CV.


Position will be open until filled.


The project involves collaboration between the Mammal Research Institute (MRI) at the University of Pretoria and the South African National Space Agency (SANSA). The project will be led by Dr Mia Wege, working closely with a team of experts in their respective fields (Dr Els Vermeulen (MRI), Dr Pierre Cilliers (SANSA), Dr Stefan Lotz (SANSA), and Prof Nico de Bruyn (MRI)).


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