Job Opportunity

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Tropical Forest Canopy Structure and Dynamics – ForestGEO and NGEE-Tropics

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute


The Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO) is a global network of forest research plots and scientists dedicated to the study of tropical and temperate forest function and diversity. ForestGEO conducts long-term, large-scale research on forests around the world to increase scientific understanding of forest ecosystems, guide sustainable forest management and natural-resource policies, monitor the impacts of environmental change, and build capacity in forest science.

ForestGEO is one of several institutions involved in the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments-Tropics (NGEE-Tropics), a ten-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER). NGEE-Tropics aims to fill the critical gaps in knowledge of tropical forest-climate system interactions. The overarching goal of NGEE-Tropics is to develop a predictive understanding of the role of tropical forests in the Earth’s coupled biogeochemical cycles and forest disturbance/recovery processes and how they will respond to changing environmental drivers over the 21st century.

ForestGEO and NGEE-Tropics invites applications for a postdoctoral fellowship in tropical forest canopy structure and dynamics. The canopies of tropical forests are highly dynamic both spatially and temporally, with important links to forest biomass dynamics and the atmospheric exchange of water, carbon and energy. New methods employing remotely piloted aerial systems (RPAS) are offering new insights into canopy dynamics processes, with important links to both plot-based and satellite-based methods for investigating a range of forest ecosystem process questions.  

Candidates should have a strong analytical background, an established record of research, and scholarly publication in forest science. Research topics should include subjects related to the dynamics of tropical forests including comparative studies of growth, mortality, and biomass change, emphasizing comparative studies among forests.

The fellow will be based at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City, Panama, with some time spent working with scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in Berkeley, California, USA.

Candidates should hold a PhD in forest ecology or environmental science with experience directly relevant to the topics described above, strong written and communication skills, and demonstrated ability to work in a team environment.

The fellow will be awarded the standard Smithsonian postdoctoral stipend. The appointment is for one year initially, with an opportunity for a second year based on successful performance. The starting date is flexible; earlier start dates are preferred.

To apply, send a single PDF file containing a cover letter including a statement of research interest, CV, contact information for three references, and three relevant publications or manuscripts to Lauren Krizel, ForestGEO Program Manager,

Closing date for applications is 14 December 2018. For further information, contact ForestGEO Director, Stuart Davies,

Job Locations: 
Panama City, Panama