President’s Excellence Chair in Biodiversity Studies

The most remarkable feature of our planet is the diversity of its life forms, which include about 1.8 million described species and up to 30 million species that remain to be discovered.

This biological diversity is key to a healthy and productive world, offering services ranging from nutrient cycling and carbon uptake, to the provisioning of food, fibre, and medicine, to purifying water and air. 

Understanding biodiversity – its origins, maintenance, interactions, and temporal and geographic distributions – is a major focus of biologists and has been so for the past two centuries.  However, with the increasing pace of extinction due to anthropogenic impacts, and a further acceleration of extinction rates anticipated under climate change, this focus has expanded to include threats to biodiversity and the development of strategies to mitigate these threats. 

UBC’s Biodiversity Research Centre (BRC) is home to one of the world’s strongest groups studying biodiversity, identifying global change impacts, and providing solutions to challenges associated with these changes.  Members of the BRC employ a diverse array of approaches, ranging from theory to ecology to genomics to study organisms across all of the domains of life and to address real world issues in Ocean & Fisheries, Forestry & Agricultural, and Microbial Systems. 

Uniting scientists working on different systems, and with different disciplinary perspectives and expertise, offers the best hope for solutions to large-scale problems. The President’s Excellence Chair in Biodiversity Studies is expected to establish UBC as a global leader for research and graduate training in this field.

The Biodiversity Research Centre at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada, invites applications for a President’s Excellence Chair in Biodiversity Studies. We welcome applications from candidates working in any area of biodiversity research, and on any organisms or ecosystems. Candidates are expected to have an innovative and integrative research program that would extend and complement existing faculty strengths in conservation biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, microbial evolution, physiology, and systematics.  

We are especially interested in candidates with a track record of effective societal engagement. While the appointment is expected to be at the rank of Professor, more junior applicants of exceptional qualifications will be considered. Applicants must have a Ph.D. degree, postdoctoral experience, and an outstanding research program, as well as demonstrated excellence in teaching at the graduate and undergraduate level. 

UBC is close to marine, freshwater, temperate rainforest, grassland, alpine and boreal habitats. On-campus facilities include greenhouses, aquatic facilities, the UBC Farm and Botanical Garden, and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. The appointment will begin no earlier than July 1, 2018.

The successful applicant will join the Biodiversity Research Centre, which provides exceptional opportunities to interact with an outstanding and collegial research community, develop strengths in research and graduate teaching, study and contribute to the Beaty Biodiversity Museum's collections, and participate in the Museum’s outreach efforts.  The Chairholder also will become a member of the academic Department(s) most closely associated with their research interests.

To apply, please view the full position recruitment ad below:

Excellence Chair in Biodiversity Studies Ad

For additional information please contact:

Dr. Sally Otto, Chair of the Search Committee
Marcia Lang, Consultant


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