Researcher in Biological Sciences
University of Adelaide School of Biological Sciences

Grant-Funded Researcher (A) in School of Biological Sciences

Job no: 504202

Work type: Fixed term - Full-time

Campus: Adelaide

Categories: Faculty of Sciences, Level A

Level A ($88,286 to $94,588) and salary scale per annum plus an employer contribution of 9.5% superannuation will apply

Fixed term position for up to 2 years

Provide statistical modelling, software design, and data analysis to support the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions Project “Biosecurity surveillance of e-commerce and other online platforms for illegal trade in plants”

Adapt newly developed surveillance methods for mining open source information to identify social, temporal and geographic predictors of the distribution of the illegal trade in plants.

This exciting, interdisciplinary role is funded through the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions, working across the School of Biological Sciences, the School of Mathematical Sciences and the School of Social Sciences. The project will model the trade information networks constructed from these datasets to best inform the surveillance, compliance and disruption of illegal weed sales and commerce networks.

Within Australia, 1783 alien plants have established alien populations, 350 of which became naturalised between 1980 and 2010. Future invasions are anticipated through emerging illegal trade (facilitated by e-commerce marketplaces) in previously low-demand species. Australia invests heavily in preventative biosecurity for invasive plants, yet to date comparatively little is known about the quantity and diversity of illegal weed species traded domestically on Australian e-commerce and online trade platforms. The capacity to predict future incursions of illegal weed species via this trade pathway is limited by the paucity of research.

This role will see you acquire baseline data on the quantity and diversity of illegal weeds sold online within Australia, generate a minimum set of standards to assist in the continued use of stable web scraping code, and develop a user-friendly interface for data handling and visualisation by States and Territories. As such, experience with web scraping, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), network science, natural language processing, and plant taxonomy are highly regarded.

To be successful you will need:

  • PhD or equivalent qualification (or PhD thesis submitted) in Quantitative Ecology, Mathematical Biology, Quantitative Social Science/Criminology or a related field involving computer science
  • Record of research achievements, evidenced by publications in leading scientific journals, and contributions to international scientific conferences
  • Proficiency in computer programming relevant to data science and web-scraping, including statistical or mathematical modelling (e.g., in R, Python, etc.)
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in English
  • Ability to work effectively as part of a team, both under the direction of supervisors and as a project leader

Enjoy an outstanding career environment

The University of Adelaide is a uniquely rewarding workplace. The size, breadth and quality of our education and research programs - including significant industry, government and community collaborations - offers you vast scope and opportunity for a long, fulfilling career.

It also enables us to attract high-calibre people in all facets of our operations, ensuring you will be surrounded by talented colleagues, many world-leading. Our work's cutting-edge nature - not just in your own area, but across virtually the full spectrum of human endeavour - provides a constant source of inspiration.

Our core values are honesty, respect, fairness, discovery and excellence. Our culture is one that welcomes all and embraces diversity. We are firm believers that our people are our most valuable asset, so we work to grow and diversify the skills of our staff.

In addition, we offer a wide range of attractive staff benefits. These include: salary packaging; flexible work arrangements; high-quality professional development programs and activities; and an on-campus health clinic, gym and other fitness facilities.

Learn more at:

Your faculty's broader role

The Faculty of Sciences is a multidisciplinary hub of cutting-edge teaching and research in: agriculture; food and wine; animal and veterinary sciences; biological sciences; and physical sciences. It develops future science leaders, and actively partners with innovative industries to solve scientific problems of global significance.

Learn more at:

If you want to change tomorrow, act today

Click on the 'Apply Now' button to be taken through to our online application form.

Please ensure you address and upload your responses to all of the selection criteria.

Applications close 11:55pm, 5 June 2020.

For further information

For a confidential discussion regarding this position, contact:

Associate Professor Phill Cassey
School of Biological Sciences
P: +61 (8) 831 34042

For a confidential discussion regarding the recruitment this position, contact:

Mr Bill Savas
HR Coordinator, Faculty of Sciences
P: +61 (8) 831 33170

You'll find a full selection criteria below: (If no links appear, try viewing on another device)

The University of Adelaide is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. Women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who meet the requirements of this position are strongly encouraged to apply.

Advertised: 07 May 2020 12:00 PM

Applications close:05 Jun 2020 11:55 PM

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Bioloxy


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