Checking reliability of statistical methods used in community assembly studies by analysis of simulated data

Supervisor: Zoltán Botta-Dukát
e-mail: botta-dukat.zoltan [at] (botta-dukat[dot]zoltan[at]okologia[dot]mta[dot]hu)

In the last decade, trait-based approach became widespread. However, there is no consensus
on the best way to analyze trait data. A lot of different test statistics and randomization
procedures were proposed and applied without checking their statistical properties (type I
error rate and power). Our research group has developed an individual-based simulation
framework that enable checking type I error rate and statistical power of test statistics and
randomization algorithms (Botta-Dukát and Czúcz 2016 – Methods in Ecology and Evolution
7(1): 114-126; Götzenberger et al. 2016 – Journal of Vegetation Science 27: 1275-1287.).
Unfortunately, most of the widely used test statistics proved to be inappropriate.
Original version of simulation is spatially implicit, and cannot handle intra-specific trait
variation (ITV). A new improved version that allows modelling spatially explicit meta-
communities and ITV is under preparation. The post-doc applicant could participate in this
development, and she/he should use this simulation for testing different methods, especially
ones that can use ITV data, and should prepare at least one manuscript from the results, and
submit it into a high quality journal.

Criteria for the applicants:

  • Work experience outside Hungary for at least two years as a researcher (0.5 contract
    or more) or doctoral studies during the last three years.
  • Stay and work in the MTA Centre for Ecological Research, GINOP Sustainable
    Ecosystems Group;
  • Excellent written and fluent spoken English.
  • Experience in doing statistical analysis by R (experience in programming in R or in
    other languages is an advantage)

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


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