Credits: Image taken from here

4 years PhD Studentship

FPI PhD studentship in the context of the PredWeb (Predicting Food-Web Biogeography) Project, funded through the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.


Nature’s complexity is intriguing, but the circumstances determining whether or how order emerges from such complexity remains a matter of extensive research. Using the geographical distributions and food preferences of all terrestrial mammal species with masses >3 kg, Mendoza and Araújo (2019) showed that large mammals group into feeding guilds (species exploiting similar resources) and that these guilds form trophic structures that vary across biomes globally. They identified six trophic structures closely matching climate variability. They also found that human activities simplify trophic structures, generally transitioning them form species-richer to species-poorer states. Whether the observed generalities among trophic structures of large mammals are indicative of more general patterns that replicate themselves across whole food webs, different ecosystems and historical periods is matter for further investigation.

The successful candidate will be based at the National Museum of Natural Sciences, CSIC, in Madrid and integrate an international cohort of researchers with backgrounds in biogeography, computational biology, macroecology, paleoecology, and theoretical ecology. S(he) will work extensively with marine biodiversity databases make intensive use of statistical approaches for data mining and modeling.

Required background:

  • BSc/MSc in biology, ecology, environmental sciences or data analysis.
  • Priority will be given to students with proven academic experience in statistical analysis of ecological data, modeling, and/or macroecology/biogeography. Knowledge of R language and machine learning techniques will be very valued.
  • English proficiency required since all scientific writing and a great deal of the discussions are undertaken with this language.


The call will be launched soon (date to be announced soon) but we are undertaking a screening of potential candidates to allow sufficient time for evaluation of alternative candidates. Applications should be sent by email up until the 1st of November 2019 to Miguel Araújo (maraujo  “at” mncn “dot” csic “dot” es) and Manuel Mendoza (mmendoza “at” mncn “dot” csic “dot” es). The application must include a cover letter (preferably in English) explaining why you think you are an adequate candidate for the post, a short CV (please no more than 5 pages), and the names and contacts of two academics that can provide a reference for you.

Video description about recent work: