Funding Opportunity / 

Opportunity: PhD or Postdoctoral Research Fellowships - Chinstrap penguin biologging

The Centre for Statistics in Ecology, Environment and Conservation, a research group within the Department of Statistical Sciences at the University of Cape Town, is now hiring for a funded postdoc or PhD postion with South African marine predator ecologist Chris Oosthuizen. View the full job description, eligibility information and how to apply.

PhD or Postdoctoral Research Fellowship 

3 year (PhD) or 2 year (postdoc) fellowship in Cape Town, South Africa 

Penguin-krill functional relationships in a region of high fishing pressure

Funded position working on a large biologging dataset from chinstrap penguins breeding in the Antarctic Peninsula. The project aims to better understand penguin-krill functional relationships in a region of high fishing pressure.

Research activities

  • The successful incumbent will work with Dr Chris Oosthuizen at the Centre for Statistics in Ecology, Environment and Conservation, University of Cape Town
  • Manually label animal-borne video data to serve as training sets in machine learning pipelines
  • Analyze video data (e.g., using an open-source underwater imagery analysis system such as Video and Image Analytics for a Marine Environment (VIAME) or other neural network frameworks
  • Determine the densities of krill encountered by foraging penguins, and detect the presence or absence of conspecifics while foraging from animal-borne video data
  • Lead first author at least one journal article in an accredited journal of high standing for each year of the fellowship tenure
  • Contribute to research articles led by other members of the group

Academic criteria

  • A PhD (or Master’s degree if applying for a PhD) in a relevant field (e.g. Data Science, Ecology, Marine Science, Statistics, etc.)
  • Strong quantitative skills. Familiarity with Machine Learning or analysis of animal telemetry data will be an advantage
  • Demonstrable programming skills in R, Python and/or other programming languages
  • An ability to work with large data sets and desire to apply statistical modelling and machine learning (deep learning models) to ecological problems (video and signal analysis)
  • Proven ability to publish in peer-reviewed journals
  • Be independent and driven for academic outcomes
  • The ability to work in a multinational collaborative team
  • Excellent communication skills, especially written communication
  • The postdoctoral research fellowship is onlyavailable to individuals within five (5) years of having achieved a doctoral degree
  • Applicants may not previously have held full-time permanent professional or academic posts

Proposed starting date: February 2022

Deadline for applications: 18 November 2021

View the full job description, eligibility information and how to apply.