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Research Assistant/Associate in Remote Sensing of Forests

British Council- funded research project seeks motivated team member with experience in remote sensing of vegetation.

In this post, you will join the project Multiplatform remote sensing of the impact of climate change on northern forests of Russia. You will be responsible for developing and running algorithms for mapping the distribution and spatial characteristics of forests in northern Russia using satellite imagery, and provide general support to the UK side of a joint UK-Russian collaborative project. Some fieldwork assistance in Russia is also likely to be required, as well as participation in international conferences. Absences from the UK are very unlikely to exceed three weeks at one time.

The project is funded by an Institutional Links grant awarded to Dr Gareth Rees by the British Council. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is also a UK participant in the project, and you will also assist the project-related work of Dr Gareth Marshall at BAS, to collect and analyse meteorological data from northern Russia and to run a regional climate model and analyse its output. The project is a collaboration with Russian scientists whose contribution is funded by a matching grant from the Ministry of Science and Education of the Russian Federation, led and coordinated by Dr Olga Tutubalina, Faculty of Geography, Moscow State University (MSU).

The project is focussed on forest areas in northern Russia, attempting to understand how they have changed in response to climate change in the present century. It has four key objectives: 1. to identify and describe the key climate indices important in influencing northern Russian forests, and relate them to biophysical forest characteristics derived from coarse-resolution satellite imagery. 2. to develop new mapping methods for northern forests at a range of scales, using coarse and fine resolution satellite imagery, and unmanned aerial vehicle imagery, to delineate the position and describe the configuration of the forest edge. 3. to develop new methods for monitoring intra-seasonal and long-term variations in forest biomass based on satellite images. 4. to create a set of projections of future development of northern Russian forests based on a range of IPCC emissions scenarios, together with in situ biological and meteorological measurements. These objectives will be addressed by the five project partners: SPRI and BAS in the UK; MSU, and the Institutes of Space Science and of Geography, in Russia. Field work will be undertaken at a number of sites, to be identified, in northern Russia.

You will work with under the direction of Dr Rees and be primarily responsible for the development and application of fine-scale forest mapping from the test sites, using satellite imagery. You will also engage directly with Dr Marshall at BAS, and will be responsible for maintaining communications across the UK and international teams. All communication will be in the English language. You will work independently and also efficiently in a team tackling inter-disciplinary goals through analyses of wide-ranging scientific data. You will be motivated and willing to push the state-of-the-science in your field.

Informal inquiries should be directed to Dr Gareth Rees by email,

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 24 months in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.


Please quote reference LC15396 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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Further information

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