Research Fellow position in Nature Based Solutions at York University (UK)

Research Fellow in Modelling of Nature-based Solutions

Deadline: 20 July 2022
Location: York, UK
Salary: £33,309 per year

Trees and woodlands have a key role to play in helping the UK  government’s targets for carbon reduction and nature recovery, and in enhancing health and wellbeing and providing a source for cultural inspiration. We are seeking to appoint an enthusiastic Postdoctoral Research Fellow to participate in the UKRI Future of UK Treescapes project “Connected treescapes: a portfolio approach for delivering multiple benefits from UK treescapes in the rural-urban continuum”.
This project focuses on evaluating how multiple benefits from treescapes can be maximised, while enhancing their resilience to socio-economic and environmental risks using a Modern Portfolio Theory approach. Managing a portfolio is about deciding how investments should be diversified across multiple natural capital assets so that future benefits can be assured, with minimal risk. The role will include developing and calibrating a model using game theory approach needed to understand how the heterogeneous portfolio objectives of landowners in a landscape interact.  This model-based work will be also used to quantitatively evaluate the effectiveness of policies, in the form of incentives, in achieving the levels of cooperation between landowners that are needed to achieve socially-desired treescape outcomes.

The UK Connected treescapes project is led by Prof Piran White and Dr Julia Touza at the Environment and Geography Department at the University of York, where the post-holder will be based. You will work closely with Julia Touza (Environment and Geography) and Jacco Thijssen (Department of Mathematics).


We are seeking a post-holder with experience and skills in analysing and modelling of landowners’ optimising behaviour under risk and uncertainty. The post-holder will apply game theory models to study how policy interventions affect the strategic interactions in the delivery of the expected public good benefits from treescapes.


Key responsibilities include:
  •    To plan, develop and undertake modelling research in landowners’
    decisions over the portfolio of investments in natural assets, write up
    research findings and contribute to the production of research outputs.
  •    To develop understanding of the effectiveness of policies
    interventions in incentivising cooperation between landowners across UK
    treescapes using game theory.
  •    To collaborate with other researchers from the natural, social
    sciences and the humanities, to increase the effectiveness of
    interdisciplinary research in the UK Connected Treescapes project and
    develop proposals for future research.
Skills, Experience & Qualification needed
  •    PhD in economics, finance, mathematics or related appropriate
    subject area.
  •    Proven strong mathematical modelling and quantitative skills.
  •    Good understanding of game theory (applied to environmental
    management and policy).
  •    Relevant research experience in natural resource economics or
    ecological-economic modelling.
  •    Ability to develop research objectives, projects and proposals for
    own and joint research, with the support assistance of a mentor if
  •    Highly developed communication skills to engage effectively with a wide-ranging audience, both orally and in writing, using a range of media
  •    Ability to write up research for publication in high profile
    journals and competency in presenting work at conferences/other
    appropriate events.
  •    Capacity for inter-disciplinary work and willingness to work
    proactively with colleagues in other work areas.
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