Research Leader - Character Evolution

Kew Gardens, Richmond
£37,177 - £44,296 per annum depending on skills and experience
September 05 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Kew is the world’s leading botanic gardens, at the forefront of plant and fungal science, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major visitor attraction. We want a world where plants and fungi are understood, valued and conserved – because our lives depend on them. We use the power of our science and the rich diversity of our gardens and collections to provide knowledge, inspiration and understanding of why plants and fungi matter to everyone.

We are seeking an outstanding scientist to join Kew Science as a Research Leader in our Comparative Plant & Fungal Biology department.

The Comparative Plant and Fungal Biology Department’s (CPFB) vision is to understand the principles that determine plant and fungal diversity, applying this fundamental knowledge to the global challenges of today. CPFB’s Character Evolution team investigates the evolution of plant and fungal traits and their responses to global change.

We are looking for a highly motivated comparative plant biologist who will develop and lead their own research programme in Character Evolution, building on Kew’s unique collections and aligned with the strategic priorities of Kew Science and CPFB.

The Character Evolution team conducts research on specific traits that cut across plant and fungal lineages. We focus on a wide range of genomic, structural, chemical and ecological traits within a comparative evolutionary framework to understand the drivers and processes underpinning global plant and fungal diversity. Our research is underpinned by Kew’s diverse and extensive scientific and living collections. These provide us with exciting opportunities to undertake globally important research that can be uniquely delivered at Kew.

We aim is to analyse our comparative data with increasingly sophisticated phylogenetic and ecological modelling approaches. This will lead to a greater understanding of how different traits interact and evolve to generate plant and fungal diversity, how key traits can influence or be influenced by evolutionary and ecosystem processes, and how these insights can predict plant and fungal responses to global environmental change.

As a member of the Character Evolution Team you will have the skills and experience to take advantage of the unique opportunities offered by Kew to develop your own distinctive trait-based, comparative research programme.

For this you will need to have a relevant PhD and post-doctoral experience in plant trait evolution with a growing reputation in the international science community. This will be demonstrated by your strong publication record, excellent communication skills and experience of raising grants. In addition, you will have skills in managing budgets and in managing and/or mentoring staff and students. Experience of teaching and outreach is also highly desirable. 

We offer a fantastic range of benefits including a broad range of Learning and Development opportunities, with access to the Civil Service training curriculum, generous annual leave entitlement for new starters, family friendly policies, a choice of competitive pensions and flexible benefits scheme.

We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from all sections of the community. We guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the essential role criteria.

If you are interested in this position, please visit our website via the Apply button.

Closing date: 30 September 2019.

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