Postdoctoral position: Climate change, fire behavior, plant physiology

The Physiological Ecology Lab at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, Canada (PI Sean Michaletz; is recruiting a postdoctoral researcher to study fire behavior and its effects on plant physiology and forest dynamics.

The postdoc will help develop, test, and refine a next-generation modeling framework for predicting climate change effects on plant responses to multiple interacting disturbances.  This includes extending current trait-based models for fire and drought effects on whole-plant function, and implementing these into the physics-based FIRETEC coupled fire-atmosphere model and a coupled surface-subsurface hydrology model.  The modeling framework will be tested and refined using experimental data collected at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, USA.  The postdoc will be based at the University of British Columbia, but will work closely with collaborators Adam Atchley, Rod Linn, and the Applied Terrestrial, Energy and Atmospheric Modeling Team ( at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA.  The position is funded through SERDP (DOD, EPA, DOE).  We encourage applicants who can work across disciplines and combine mathematical models with data to study links between climate change, disturbances, whole-plant physiology, and forest ecosystem processes.

Funding is available for at least 3 years at a competitive salary that is commensurate with qualifications and experience.  Additional support is available for conference and fieldwork travel.  Start date is February 2020 but may be flexible.  Information on benefits is available at  The lab strongly supports positive work-life balance for people in all stages of their careers.

Required skills include experience combining process-based models with field data in an Earth system, geoscience, or ecophysiology context.  Desired skills include experience with field work, knowledge of fire ecology, hydrology, and plant physiology, domain modeling and code development using programming languages such as Fortran or C++, high performance and parallel computing, and numerical simulation models (computational fluid dynamics, heat transfer, ecohydrology, forest dynamics).  Candidates must exhibit effective written and oral communication skills, have demonstrated ability to publish peer-reviewed papers, and have a Ph.D. pending or obtained within the last five years.  The multidisciplinary and collaborative nature of the project also requires willingness to work on a team.

To apply, please send a CV, a one page statement explaining why the position best matches your career goals, a recent publication, and names and contact information for three references to Sean Michaletz at  The application deadline is January 1st 2020, but review will begin when applications are received and continue until the position is filled.  Please feel free to contact Sean Michaletz at any time with questions or to discuss projects.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence.  An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged.  We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.