Research Associate
The University of British Columbia
31d ago

Available Openings : DESCRIPTION


Research Associate - Utilizing big data to understand and respond to systemic threats in the food system

A full time Research Associate (RA) position is available with the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability at The University of British Columbia.

The RA will be responsible for leading the group's work on evaluating the impact of extreme events on crop production, and will contribute to a broader effort to understand and respond to the social and environmental risks and opportunities related to sustainable agriculture in the future.

The successful candidate will have an interdisciplinary PhD covering agriculture, climate science, and ecology, and at least 2 years of Post-

Doctoral experience covering quantitative analysis of impacts of climate and extreme events on agriculture, global dynamics of crop production, and trade-

offs between agriculture and other land uses. The candidate must have compiled and worked with a range of data types (incl.

micro-data, census data, climate data, experimental data) to assess production responses to extreme weather, and the impacts of farm management on climate adaptation and other socio-

ecological outcomes. The candidate will ideally have experience in managing web-based software development projects to help assess long-

term observational trends in climate resilience, and have lead the development of baselines to validate technological or management interventions to help farm decision making.

The candidate must have experience managing and working with extremely diverse teams including statisticians, engineers, computer programmers, interface designers, product developers, analysts, and both social and natural scientists.

Ideally the candidate should also have previous experience working on the ground, across a range of farming geographies (incl.

EU, N. America, Africa), across a range of farm scales, and cropping system types (i.e. in grain, horticultural, and agroforestry systems).

  • Collaborative experience to facilitate research to action at the policy and producer level, including with producer groups and farmers in Canada;
  • and / or with leading international initiatives for the mobilization and use of big data in agriculture will be a plus.

    The applicant should be self-motivated and able to work independently. The applicant must have a strong research publication record in peer reviewed scientific journals, proven record of successful collaborative research, and excellent verbal and written communication skills.


  • Compiling and managing micro census data and household surveys from different nations of the world
  • Compiling and managing global biogeographical data (climate, soils, elevation, etc).
  • Compiling experimental data for meta-analysis
  • Helping to building and lead a coordinated network for agricultural observatories
  • Engaging with and managing teams of undergraduate and graduate students
  • Collaborating with colleagues on open data and technological tools for farmer and policy decision making
  • Communicating results at departmental seminars, and at regional, national and international meetings.
  • Preparing and publishing papers in scientific journals on the above.
  • Miscellaneous other duties
  • 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.

    All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

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