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PDRA in Fire, Livelihoods and Biodiversity

PDRA in Fire, Livelihoods and Biodiversity

  • Date21 February 2024

Department of Geography

PDRA in Fire, Livelihoods and Biodiversity
Location:  Egham
Salary:  £41,481 per annum - including London Allowance
  Fixed Term
Post Type:  Full Time
Closing Date:  23.59 hours GMT on Saturday 16 March 2024
Reference:  0224-054

Full Time, Fixed Term

Applications are invited for the post of Post Doctoral Research Associate in Fire, Livelihoods and Biodiversity within the Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society ( 

The Centre was established in 2019 and is comprised of social and natural scientists from Imperial College, King’s College London, Royal Holloway and University of Reading, working together to create a new, integrative science of wildfire. The aim of the Centre is: to understand what factors govern wildfire regimes, including the sources, frequency, intensity, timing, and spatial pattern of fire; develop ways of predicting fire risks that include new biophysical understanding and account more reflexively for human-environment dynamics; quantify the impacts of fire on natural processes and human systems, including assessing their economic consequences and wider cultural meanings; and develop ideas for living with fire. The post holder will therefore join a vibrant interdisciplinary research community with a joint vision of producing evidence-based understanding of the human-fire nexus that can help inform policy and practice.

This post will contribute to the analysis of human-fire interactions and specifically explore the role of fire in mediating the relationship between cultural diversity and biodiversity. It will examine the ecological impacts of different forms of human fire use, e.g. cultural burning / livelihood fires, and how knowledge of these practices is shared, adapted, and affected by other changes, such as in vegetation (e.g. fragmentation, plantations, invasive species), climate change and governance. The research may involve secondary data collation as well as empirical research through mixed methods including ethnography, participatory research, remote sensing, GIS and quantitative analysis of ecological and biodiversity datasets. The postholder may need to undertake periods of international fieldwork, and the applicant must be willing and able to travel and work in Global South settings. 

The successful candidate will hold, or will have recently submitted, a PhD in a relevant field, and will have significant experience of human-environment interactions, mixed methods capability, and local level fieldwork in the Global South. The PDRA will also have the opportunity to both lead and to contribute to publications arising from the research and to present results at UK and international conferences.

This is a full-time post for 2.75 years, immediately available from the 1st April 2024, or as soon as possible thereafter. The successful applicant will join one of the UK’s strongest Geography Departments, ranked 5th in the UK in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework and consistently ranked highly in the National Student Survey. The successful applicant will be a member of the world-leading Geopolitics, Development, Security and Justice (GDSJ) Research Group. The GDSJ group works on issues of mobility, security, governance, justice and rights across political, development, environmental and social geography, both in and across the Global North and Global South.

This post is based in Egham Surrey where the University is situated in a beautiful, leafy campus near to Windsor Great Park and within commuting distance from London. The successful candidate will also spend periods working with fellow researchers at the Leverhulme Centre’s hubs in Central London.

Informal enquiries can be made to Professor Jay Mistry at:

The Human Resources Department can be contacted with queries by email at:

Please quote the reference: 0224-054

Closing Date:   23:59, 16 March 2024

Interview Date: To Be Confirmed

Further details:    Job Description & Person Specification    
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