Local and traditional ecological knowledge of herders/pastoralists and its use in conservation management

Supervisor: Zsolt Molnár
e-mail: molnar.zsolt [at] okologia.mta.hu (molnar[dot]zsolt[at]okologia[dot]mta[dot]hu)

Our research group (Traditional Ecological Knowledge Research Group of the Hungarian
Academy of Sciences) studies local and traditional knowledge of herders/pastoralists and
farmers in Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Mongolia and Iran. We are focussing on local and
traditional knowledge of habitats, and wild plant and animal species, locals’ understanding of
ecological processes and the impact of their land-use practices on grassland and forest
vegetation, local perceptions of changes of landscapes, disturbance regimes and ecosystem
services (oral history), the potential uses of traditional ecological knowledge and traditional
land-use practices in nature conservation management of protected areas, and the potential
benefits and harms of EU and national level agricultural and conservation regulations on local
livelihoods (incl. human-wildlife conflicts).

One of the major research topics of our research group is the grazing behaviour of livestock,
herders’ understanding of livestock behaviour, traditional herding practices herders use to
modify grazing behaviour and manage pasture resources, and the actual and potential
cooperations and conflicts between herders/pastoralists and protected area managers.
The main objective of the postdoc fellowship is that the applicant joins one or several of the
above mentioned research topics and conducts comparative studies between her/his previous
or ongoing research site(s) and the sites of the research group (including conducting
additional interviews with locals, field surveys to collect missing ecological data, and the
necessary literature review), and prepares one or two high-ranked publications.
Required characteristics: 1) experience in working with local communities, indigenous
peoples and people with traditional occupations (interviewing, participatory field work,
knowledge co-production) and 2) experience in field survey methods of ecology / vegetation

Preferred characteristics: applicants working in the Iberian peninsula, the Sami territories, the
Balkans, Central Asia, Turkey and Iran are especially welcome.

The exact research program for the 6 or 12 months of fellowship period will be discussed and
decided during the applicant selection process.

As the supervisor will be out-of-office in the field with almost no internet connection between
14 July and 6th August, applications arriving by early July are preferred (the official deadline
is 15th July).

Criteria for the applicants:

  • Research experience for at least three years as a researcher or doctoral studies
    during the last three years;
  • Stay and work in the MTA Centre for Ecological Research, GINOP Sustainable
    Ecosystems Group;
  • Good written and spoken English.

Starting Job: 1st September 2019 (optionally later)

Contract duration: minimum 3 months, maximum 12 months (latest possible end of
employment is 31th August 2020)

Jobs Hours: Full time

Salary: up to 600 000 HUF/months (depending on the applicant’s experience)

Application deadline: 15th July 2019 As the supervisor will be out-of-office in the field with almost no internet connection between 14 July and 6th August, applications arriving by early July are preferred.


Please send the following documents (all in one PDF file) by by e-mail to the Supervisor:

  1. For EU candidates: Copy of your national ID card or of your passport page where your
    photo is printed.
    For non-EU candidates: Copy of your passport page where your photo is printed.
  2. Curriculum Vitae (may include hyperlinks to your ResearchID, Research Gate, Google
    Scholar accounts).
  3. Detailed list of publications (may include hyperlinks to DOI of publications).
  4. Letter of motivation relatively to the position (Cover Letter) in which applicants (i)
    describe themselves and the planed duration of the contract (ii) their contributions to previous
    research projects (maximum 2 pages)
  5. Copy of your PhD degree if already available.
  6. Coordinates of reference persons (maximum 3, at least your PhD supervisor):
    Title, Name, organization, e-mail.

If you have questions regarding the application, please contact the supervisors