8 July 2022

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral fellowship in a research project on achieving sustainable and resilient river ecosystems in Aotearoa New Zealand under climate change.

Your role will focus on forecasting freshwater fish community responses to climate change and to generate near-term forecasts and long-term projections of freshwater fish community responses to changing flow regimes. By developing a combination of mechanistic, statistical and hybrid modelling approaches we will enable both near-term forecasts and longer-term projections of various climate change scenarios that are relevant to decision makers and robust to hydro-climatic nonstationarity.


To be successful in this position you will ideally have the following:

  • A PhD in ecology, mathematics, statistics, or a related discipline
  • A research background in ecology, with an emphasis on quantitative population and/or community ecology
  • Curiosity and a desire to learn
  • Demonstrated experience of excellent research capabilities (design and leadership) required to carry out innovative and insightful research
  • A collaborative and inclusive approach to research
  • Analytical/modelling and programming skills (e.g. R or Python)
  • A strong grounding in ecological theory
  • An interesting in communicating your work in a range of communities

Applicants from all backgrounds are actively encouraged to apply. Members of underrepresented groups are very welcome, as are students with families. Our research team aims to achieve work-life balance within a productive research environment.


You will be based at the Tonkin Lab in Te Kura Pūtaiao Koira School of Biological Sciences at the University of Canterbury in Ōtautahi Christchurch. The Tonkin Lab has a strong focus on understanding the impacts of environmental change on ecological communities. Our lab has members from many different backgrounds, and is interdisciplinary in thought and approach. Our lab group strives to cultivate an open, safe and supportive environment that values creativity, diversity, integrity and collaboration. We acknowledge the importance of freshwaters and their management to both Māori and tangata tiriti in Aotearoa New Zealand.

You will be part of Te Pūnaha Matatini, the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence for Complex Systems. Te Pūnaha Matatini brings together different disciplines, ways of thought, methods, and people to define and solve society’s thorny interconnected problems. Te Pūnaha Matatini has an active whānau group which supports early career researchers, committed to the Te Pūnaha Matatini values of manaakitanga and whakawhanaungatanga, offering supportive tuakana / teina learning environments.


For further information about the role, please contact jonathan.tonkin@canterbury.ac.nz.

Job details

  • Full-time at 37.5 hours per week (1.0 FTE)
  • Fixed-term position for two years
  • Position description [PDF 332KB]

Closing date for applications

The closing date for this position is Sunday 30 July 2022.

How to apply

You can apply for this position through the University of Canterbury.