University of York logo

Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity Recruitment


Why we are recruiting

Profile photo of Director of Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity

The Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity (LCAB) aspires to stimulate a profound shift in environmental thinking, recasting ‘biodiversity loss’ and ‘ecosystem degradation’ perspectives into a more complex, realistic, and nuanced picture of Anthropocene change.

Our interdisciplinary approach to understanding, interpreting and responding to the challenges of the Anthropocene will help identify opportunities to increase the future sustainability of our planet, steering us towards what might be regarded as a good Anthropocene.

LCAB is home to a community of academics, researchers and postgraduate students from a wide range of disciplines, all working on different aspects of how human activity impacts on the Earth’s Biodiversity. As such it is a dynamic environment where you will be able to deliver your research aspirations collaborating with academics from a host of intellectual perspectives. You will also be able to engage with visiting academics from our partner institutes and beyond.

Four posts are currently available::

  • Research Fellowships in Anthropocene Biodiversity and in Societal Change (3 posts, grade 7 - £40,927 to £50,296 a year)

    We are looking for outstanding researchers who wish to build independent research careers in the area of Anthropocene Biodiversity and Societal Change. As well as working on your own research and generating research outputs, fellows will provide supervisory guidance to other staff and students, and participate actively in the planning and management of research projects.

  • Postdoctoral Researcher in Anthropocene Change (1 post, Grade 6 - £33,309-£40, 927 a year)

    We are looking for an outstanding researcher who wishes to develop their research career focusing on Anthropocene change in any area of the Arts and Humanities and/or Social Sciences. As well as working on your own research, you will collaborate with other staff and students within the Centre and will have the opportunity to explore novel research avenues with new partners.

Professor Chris Thomas,
Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity

Our research areas

The Centre's core research is developing an improved understanding of biodiversity gains; how humans are causing, responding to, and sometimes benefitting from those gains, and how human responses in turn affect subsequent biodiversity change.

We use a combination of methods from multiple disciplines within the Centre’s four Research Programmes to address the following key issues:

  • Biodiversification: Understanding how human impacts and biological processes underpin changes to biodiversity and ecosystems. Tackling radical questions about the growth of biological diversity and rates at which new species are coming into existence.
  • Philias and phobias: Identifying the causes and consequences of varied human attitudes to the growth and loss of biodiversity. Considering personal, historical and cultural circumstances and points of view which influence societal responses to these changes.
  • Utility: Establishing both the benefits and harms we experience from human-altered biodiversity and novel ecosystems. Evaluating the socioeconomic, political, geographical, historical and cultural circumstances under which these changes exist.
  • Moulding the future: Integrating knowledge to foster further positive gains in biodiversity, without compromising human wellbeing or risking 'past' biodiversity. Furthering understanding of how we can foster beneficial increases rather than just attempting to halt the losses.

Why we work here

We value the participation of every member of our community and want to ensure that LCAB is an enjoyable place to work. LCAB provides a friendly, supportive, collaborative working environment and advocates flexible working to encourage a healthy work/life balance. We welcome applications from people of any and all backgrounds, and are very happy to discuss and accommodate any individual needs.

A brand new work space designed in collaboration with LCAB provides an area which caters for individual and collaborative research as well as social space for relaxed and informal get togethers.

Meet our existing PhD students:

  • Dr Sarah Bezan - Perceptions of Biodiversity Change
  • Dr Tadhg Carroll - Accumulation of Biodiversity in Anthropocene Environments
  • Dr Brennen Fagan - Mathematics of Biodiversity Change
  • Dr Jack Hatfield - Data Analyst
  • Dr Tabitha Kabora -Archaeological and Geographical History of Biodiversity Change
  • Dr Harrie Neal - Attitudes to Biological Purity
  • Dr Michael Stratigos - History of Power, People and Nature
  • Jonathan Gordon - The development of Anthropocene biodiversity
  • Alex Payne - Evolutionary acceleration in the Anthropocene
  • Chantal Berry - Sensory environments c1500-c1950
  • Katie Noble - Knowledge and perspectives on laboratory grown meat: Understanding the environmental sustainability of meat alternative and how that informs consumer perspectives
  • Molly Brown (starting January 22) - Knowledge, understanding and the demand for ivory
  • Megan Tarrant - The role of environmental knowledge in rights-based approaches to conservation
  • Theo Tomking - Statistics, computing and environmental knowledge in the 20th Century
  • Tyler Gaines - More or less: understanding the trade-offs of increased resolution and complexity in environmentally-extended trade models.

The University of York

Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity

LCAB researches the changing relationship between humanity and the natural world, and how we might maintain and develop a sustainable Earth. The Centre represents an interdisciplinary collaboration between multiple departments at the University of York, the University of Sherbrooke, the Australian National University and the University of St Andrews. LCAB recognises biological gains as well as losses, and identifies the circumstances under which changes are perceived as positive or negative. It aims to understand and inform society’s response to these changes.

LCAB and the University are committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community - a place where we can all be ourselves and succeed on merit. We offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies, flexible working arrangements, staff engagement forums, campus facilities and services to support staff from different backgrounds.

The University

Founded on principles of excellence, equality and opportunity for all, the University of York opened in 1963 with just 230 students. In 2019 it is the centre for over 18,000 students across more than 30 academic departments and research centres. In over 50 years we have become one of the world's leading universities and a member of the prestigious Russell Group.

The University has consistently been recognised as one of the leading Higher Education Institutes and is one of just six post-war universities which has appeared in the world top 100. The University of York has won six Times Higher Education (THE) Awards and five Queen's Anniversary Prizes, including two in Computer Science.

We are proud of our association with Athena SWAN, holding twelve awards in support of women in science, with gold awards for Chemistry and Biology as well as a University-wide bronze award.

Of 154 universities that took part in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014, the University of York ranked 14th overall and 10th on the impact of our research. The University is consistently in the top ten UK research universities and attracts over £60m a year of funding from research alone.

Centred around the picturesque village of Heslington on the edge of the city of York, our colleges are set in an attractive landscaped campus. With a compact and easy to get around design, York enjoys a safe, friendly atmosphere. The campus offers a wealth of facilities, which includes bars, shops, theatres and concert halls all within easy walking distance.

Find out more about the University of York

How to apply

Links to the job specifications and application portal are provided below.

Candidates will be asked to submit a:

  • CV
  • Covering letter outlining your interest in the role, and how you meet the job specifications
  • 2 page outline of your proposed research project, justifying your goals and how they align with LCABs research. This is not a formal or detailed proposal (which will be discussed with mentors after appointment) but the overall strategic and/or methodological direction you would like to take

Key dates

  • Application deadline: 27 February 2022
  • Anticipated interview dates: week commencing 4 April 2022
  • Start date: all roles are flexible but ideally will be in summer 2022

Currently recruiting

Posts are available full-time for 3 years, based in York. The postholder will be a member of LCAB and will work with colleagues across disciplines, as well as being a member of a University Department most appropriate to their research.

Research Fellowships in Anthropocene Biodiversity and in Societal Change

(3 posts, Grade 7, £40,927 to £50,296 a year)

We are looking for fellows with previous postdoctoral experience in the sciences, social sciences, or arts and humanities, ideally with an interdisciplinary perspective to submit their own research proposal within the broad theme of Anthropocene biodiversity and societal change. As well as working on your own research and generating research outputs, you will provide supervisory guidance to other staff and students, participate actively in the planning and management of research projects and lead on securing additional external funding. We are particularly interested in existing fellows who have secured funding from other schemes and wish to continue their work through an LCAB Fellowship.

LCAB may appoint a Grade 6 postdoctoral research associate to support the Fellow’s work for up to 2 years where appropriate.

LCAB provides opportunities to interact with students and researchers across departments and institutions, and will offer additional training as required.

Postdoctoral Researcher in Anthropocene Change

(1 post, Grade 6, £33,309 to £40,927 a year)

Outstanding researchers wishing to develop a research career focused on Anthropocene change in any area of the Arts and Humanities and/or Social Sciences are invited to submit their own research proposal within this broad theme. As well as working on your own research, you will collaborate with other staff and students within the Centre and will have the opportunity to explore novel research avenues with new partners. You will also be encouraged to contribute to proposals for additional and subsequent funding, under the guidance of your mentorship team.

Additional funding may be available to support your research; this could include research assistant time or an extension to your contract and will be discussed upon your appointment.


York and moving to the UK

The City of York

Internationally acclaimed for its rich heritage and historic architecture, York's bustling streets are filled with visitors from all over the world. Within its medieval walls you will find the iconic gothic Minster, Clifford's Tower and the Shambles - just a few of the many attractions.

But York isn't just a great place to visit - it's also a great place to live and work. While nourishing a vibrant cosmopolitan atmosphere, York still maintains the friendly sense of community unique to a small city.

Shopping, culture and entertainment

York boasts specialist and unique boutiques but also all the high street stores on its busy shopping streets. Alongside them you will find cinemas, theatres, an opera house, art galleries, a vast range of restaurants, live music venues and clubs. York is particularly renowned for its multitude of pubs and bars, from the modern to the medieval.


The Lonely Planet guide recently declared Yorkshire the third best region in the world to visit. There is something to cater to every taste, whether it be the rugged landscapes of the Moors or the Dales, the picturesque seaside towns of Scarborough and Robin Hoods Bay, the gothic architecture of Whitby or the vibrancy of cosmopolitan Leeds.

Do you have any questions?

Follow us

© University of York | Legal statements