Research Fellow in Insect Ecology

University of Leeds School of Geography

United Kingdom

Research Fellow in Insect Ecology

Are you an ambitious researcher looking for your next challenge? Do you have an established background in insect ecology with strong data analysis skills? Do you want to further your career in one of the UK’s leading research intensive Universities?

Insects dominate terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems in terms of animal numbers, diversity and biomass, and play pivotal roles in a wide range of ecosystem functions. Yet there are growing indications of wholesale declines in insect populations and communities, which have sparked public and policy concern. Despite this growing concern, there is remarkably little hard evidence of general, cross-taxon insect declines in the UK or abroad. Most studies are restricted to a few well-studied families or orders (e.g. butterflies and moths, aphids and more recently pollinators), and even within these groups there are strong inter-specific differences in trends. Insect populations face pressures from multiple drivers including intensified land use, climate change, pollution, and novel pests and pathogens. While these drivers have long been recognized, research into the complex, potentially interacting effects of drivers acting in combination is lacking.

This research fellow is part of a large collaborative project (Drivers and Repercussions of UK Insect Decline; DRUID) between the University of Leeds, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), University of Reading and Rothamsted Research, funded through the NERC Insect Declines Highlights Topic. DRUID seeks to provide a step change in evidence on recent insect population and community trends for the UK. It will bring together the widest possible set of standardised monitoring data with two contrasting sets of more spatially comprehensive data: modelled occupancy and abundance estimates from species records in biodiversity databases, and novel biomass, abundance and morphodiversity estimates from post-processed radar data. Using these data, DRUID will assess the drivers of change in terrestrial and aquatic insect populations and communities and fully quantify the links between these populations and natural capital.

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact:

Lee Brown, Professor of Aquatic Science


Bill Kunin, Professor of Ecology


Location: Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service: Faculty of Environment
School/Institute: School of Geography
Category: Research
Grade: Grade 7
Salary: £33,797 to £40,322 p.a.
Due to funding restrictions this post will be appointed at no higher than spine point 31 (£34,804)
Working Time: 100% - We will consider flexible working arrangements
Post Type: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed Term (for 24 months)
Release Date: Thursday 28 January 2021
Closing Date: Saturday 27 February 2021
Reference: ENVGE1138

In your application, please refer to


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