Start date: As soon as possible
Salary: Commensurate with experience, to be discussed
Duration: 1-year full-time contract
Location: Montreal, Canada (currently remote)
Deadline for application: 24 September 2021, 5pm EDT

Position overview

Future Earth is seeking an outstanding Postdoctoral researcher to contribute to advancing knowledge and action at the intersection of sustainability science and digital transformation. The postdoctoral researcher will be based in Montreal, Canada and cross-appointed with Concordia University, under the supervision of Dr. Éliane Ubalijoro and Dr. Damon Matthews in the Department of Geography, Planning, and Environment. The Postdoc will work closely with members of the Future Earth Canada Hub and Sustainability in the Digital Age (SDA) to advance a diversity of initiatives through scientific research, project coordination, knowledge co-production, and proposal development. The Postdoc will also have the opportunity to participate in the Leadership in Environmental and Digital innovation for Sustainability (LEADS) Program. Projects underway to which the Postdoc would contribute immediately include:

  • A Landscape Analysis of Carbon and Water Modelling to Inform the Scale-up of Nature-based Climate Solutions in Canada

The mandate of this project, funded by Microsoft, is to address key questions around leveraging digital technologies for carbon and water monitoring, refined in collaboration with an expert advisory group, through research and a rapid consultation process. A final report in the format of a roadmap will be produced by the end of 2021. This roadmap will be used to prioritize research and investment towards promising avenues for scaling-up machine learning applications in Canada and present a more inclusive and representative view of nature-based climate solutions. Through this work, we will also support a project developed by an Indigenous-led non-profit on nature-based climate solutions in Canada. The Postdoctoral Researcher is expected to provide necessary research support for this project including literature review, stakeholder consultation, knowledge product development, and proposal development.

  • Biodiversity Pathways for Sustainability in Canada

This project, funded by SSHRC, aims to develop an integrated biodiversity pathway for Canada contributing to  Canada’s national plan adhering to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda and post-2020 biodiversity framework. It is also connected with a global Future Earth initiative, Science-based Pathways for Sustainability (SBPS). A nationwide workshop was conducted in May that focused on the topics of Indigenous leadership for biodiversity conservation and the need for collaborative efforts from citizens, natural and social scholars, digital technicians, and governmental agencies for biodiversity conservation in Canada. The Postdoctoral Researcher is expected to review the progress of this project and support knowledge mobilization.

  • Laval/EDS partnership for Urban Nature-based Solutions

Future Earth and Laval University’s Institute of Environment, Development, and Society (EDS) have partnered to further advance their shared goals and objectives and contribute to the achievement of the SDGs in Canada. This is the second year of a two-year agreement, in which a call for projects dedicated to nature-based solutions and SDGs will be launched. The Postdoctoral Researcher is expected to liaise with sister agencies, review proposals submitted, and support related activities for knowledge dissemination.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Act as a research lead for the Landscape Analysis project 
  • Liaise with other initiatives and scientists in Future Earth’s global network to support global activities and coordination
  • Co-produce peer-reviewed publications and public-facing reports
  • Oversee students and interns working on related initiatives
  • Support research and development of funding opportunities to expand the Landscape Analysis and SBPS initiative in Canada
  • Provide ad hoc support for additional initiatives as they emerge as directed by the Director of the Future Earth Canada Hub

Qualifications & Desired Qualities

  • PhD in a relevant discipline in the last three years (e.g. climate change, sustainability science, natural resource management, biology, and/or ecology)
  • Knowledge of nature climate solutions and Indigenous context in Canada
  • Experience in conducting research at the nexus of Indigenous science, digital innovation, and environmental sustainability
  • Experience in conducting interviews and workshops with key stakeholders
  • Quantitative analysis skills using Excel, R, SAS or other software programs. Experience and skills in data science is an asset.
  • Excellent writing and synthesis skills in English, ability to work in French an asset
  • Demonstrated excellence in leadership, communication, and collaboration
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced work environment and multitask
  • Ability to engage in networking activities

Application procedure

As the position is based in Montreal, applicants must be legally authorized to work in Quebec. The successful candidate will be hired as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Concordia University. 

Applicants to this position are requested to submit a curriculum vitae and a cover letter describing their interest in the position and how their skills and experience would help them meet the requirements of the role. Please also include the name and contact details of two referees. Applications – in one combined PDF file in English – should be sent via email with “Postdoc, Landscape Analysis” in the subject line to, copying The closing date for applications is September 24, 5pm EDT. 


Institutional background

About the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment at Concordia University

The Department of Geography, Planning and Environment at Concordia University is at the forefront of interdisciplinary research and teaching that addresses some of the most pressing social and ecological problems of our time. Located in the heart of Montreal, we are home to a diverse and dynamic community of faculty, staff, undergraduate students, graduate students and alumni. Bridging the natural and social sciences, we provide a distinctive and incisive perspective on the world through our research, teaching and graduate training in three core areas: geography, urban studies and urban planning, and environmental science.

About the Future Earth Canada Hub

Future  Earth is  an  international  platform  for  research,  innovation,  and  collaboration  working  to accelerate transformations to global sustainability. With offices all over the world, we harness the experience and reach of thousands of scientists and innovators from across the globe.

The Future Earth Canada Hub based in Montreal mobilizes the best sustainability science to advance sustainability transformations in Canada and around the world. We’re a network of Canadian researchers and innovators, collaborating across disciplines and sectors, to connect local projects to Future Earth’s global sustainability initiatives.

About Sustainability in the Digital Age

Sustainability in the Digital Age (SDA) is a partner organization to Future Earth. As an international initiative, SDA builds networks, conducts research, and sparks innovation in technology, policy, and social change, at the intersection of the natural, social, and digital worlds. SDA works across three areas: (1) facilitate research and innovation for leveraging digital capabilities to transform social systems; (2) advance innovative policies, standards, and best practices for building sustainability in the digital age; and (3) train the next generation of leaders to navigate the intersection of the two most powerful forces shaping our world today – digital transformations and global environmental change.