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Postdoctoral Scholar- Climate Change and Plant Phenology

Position overview

Position title: Postdoctoral Scholar- Climate Change and Plant Phenology
Salary range: Commensurate with qualifications and experience. Minimum annual salary rates are made based on the individual’s Experience Level, which is determined by the number of months of postdoctoral service at any institution. See current salary scale for Postdoctoral Titles at
Percent time: Full-time (100%)
Anticipated start: As soon as possible after initial review of the applications. Ph.D. must be in hand at time of the initial appointment.
Position duration: Postdoctoral Scholar appointments are full-time; the initial appointment is for a minimum of one year, with the possibility of reappointment. Reappointment will be contingent upon positive performance review and availability of funding. The total duration of an individual’s postdoctoral service may not exceed five years, including postdoctoral service at any institution. Under limited circumstances, an exception to this limit may be considered, not to exceed a sixth year.

Application Window

Open date: July 30th, 2021

Last review date: Monday, Aug 30, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Thursday, Dec 23, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The Department of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz) invites applications for a Postdoctoral Scholar in Climate Change and Plant Phenology, under the direction of Associate Professor Kai Zhu. The postdoctoral scholar will develop a novel framework to quantify multiple processes in climate-phenology coupling, addressing questions about how climate and phenology interact with each other, across scales, and among remote locations. Project specifics will depend on the skills and interests of the successful applicant and may include topics, such as quantifying phenological mismatch on multiple levels, forecasting leaf and flower development during climate change, exploring possible teleconnections in the climate-phenology system. The project will take advantage of various data sources, from ground observations at the individual plant level to remotely sensed phenometrics at the landscape or larger scales.

The position will require the incumbent demonstrate a solid foundation in global change ecology as well as excellent quantitative and analytical skills. Responsibilities will include developing quantitative theories to improve ecological understanding of phenology, analyzing climate and phenology data that lead to peer-reviewed publications, and presenting findings at professional conferences and seminars.

Applicants with experience working with large geospatial and time-series datasets, high-performance and cloud-based computing, ecological model development, and/or familiarity with phenological research are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Environmental Studies Department at UC Santa Cruz is highly interdisciplinary, comprising 20 faculty with expertise across natural and social sciences to address environmental challenges. UC Santa Cruz is a world-leading public research university that sits on two thousand acres of redwood-forested hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Monterey Bay, with one of the most visually spectacular settings in higher education. The University of California is known for offering competitive retirement savings, health and family benefits, and has a strong institutional commitment to inclusive excellence and diversity.

Zhu Lab:

Environmental Studies Department:


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

Record of scientific publications and presentations.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

Ph.D. (or equivalent foreign degree) in Ecology, Environmental Sciences, Earth Sciences, or a related discipline.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V., which must include a list of your scientific publications and presentations.

  • Cover Letter - Letter of application that briefly summarizes your qualifications and interest in the position.

  • List of Professional References - Provide three to four professional references along with their contact information.

    Only references of those applicants who are under serious consideration will be contacted.

  • Statement of Research Interests - Clearly articulate projects during a two-year period and be not more than three pages (12 font size, single-spaced, including figures and references).

Apply link:

Help contact:

Campus Information

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University’s equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 or by phone at (831) 459-2686.

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check (see The university sponsors employment-based visas for nonresidents who are offered academic appointments at UC Santa Cruz (see

UCSC is a smoke & tobacco-free campus.

If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact Disability Management Services at (831) 459-4602.

UCSC is committed to addressing the spousal and partner employment needs of our candidates and employees. As part of this commitment, our institution is a member of the Northern California Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (NorCal HERC). Visit the NorCal HERC website at to search for open positions within a commutable distance of our institution.

The University of California offers a competitive benefits package and a number of programs to support employee work/life balance. For information about employee benefits please visit

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. For new University of California employees, the applicable deadline is eight weeks after their first date of employment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.)


Job location

Santa Cruz, California