Apply for a postdoctoral fellowship

Prof. Jens-Christian Svenning (Aarhus University) and Benjamin Blonder (Arizona State University) are searching for a Marie Curie (MSCA) postdoctoral fellow to contribute to and co-develop a project on Food plant biogeography from the Holocene to the Anthropocene. The project will involve informatics and field analyses focused on better understanding how historical human use of plants for food has shaped biodiversity of contemporary landscapes, and how contemporary dietary transitions and climate change are shaping the future of agricultural and wild plant biodiversity.

Candidates interested in being based in Arizona can apply for a Global Fellowship under the European MSCA program, but it is also possible to be based in Aarhus (Reintegration or Standard Fellowships). Those with previous skills with informatics or ethnobotany and/or Spanish/Portuguese language skills are especially encouraged to apply. Deadline: September 14, 2017. For info on the MSCA fellowship program, see:

Please email or to discuss.

Interested in collaborating?

Please get in touch by email if you are interested in discussing collaborations or co-writing fellowship/funding proposals. Projects could focus on any topic of mutual interest, and use a combination of field, modeling, or informatics approaches. Joining the lab is an opportunity to gain independence, close collaboration, and active mentoring, as well as with science education and community outreach.

The lab's focus is on predictive community ecology and biogeography, paleoecological and anthropogenic effects on biodiversity dynamics, and global change plant ecophysiology. We use a combination of field, eco-informatics, and modeling approaches. Field sites are focused in forests and alpine environments in Latin America, southeast Asia, Scandinavia, and the United States.

Arizona State University is easily reached by light rail service from the Phoenix international airport. The Phoenix area hosts a vibrant multicultural community, and the region provides excellent recreation and research opportunities, with the Grand Canyon, Colorado Plateau, and Madrean Sky Islands all close by. Learn more about other faculty at the ASU School of Life Sciences at

Mentoring approach

The group is small but growing, giving members the opportunity to work closely together to develop a research project. I prefer to work with people who have a good sense of curiosity, an enthusiasm for natural history, and a desire to grow into independent scientists. I expect students to work independently and seek out help and new skills when needed. The lab also provides regular mentoring support via regular meetings, an open-door policy, 360° feedback sessions, and a strong learning community bringing together undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers. Development of soft skills, collaborations, and community linkages is strongly encouraged.

I am half Chinese, from a second-generation immigrant family on my mother's side, and feel strongly that we should be building inclusive communities that allow ecology to be open to everyone. I believe in providing a safe and welcoming community for all lab members.