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  • Post-doctoral Researcher (wildlife and wind energy interactions)

    • Employer: MKO
      Location: Ireland
      Country: Ireland
      Last Date to Apply: 04/05/2023
      Open Until Filled: No

    MKO Research has recently been awarded funding for a four-year project to better understand hen harrier (Circus cyaneus) interactions with wind energy developments in Ireland. Wind energy development within the hen harrier range (Wilson et al. 2017) and the species’ sensitivity to wind farms (McGuinness et al. 2015) make them especially relevant. MKO Research is recruiting a researcher at the postdoctoral level to contribute to this project.

    The successful candidate will be involved in desk and field-based research to understand hen harrier interactions with wind energy developments. Using extensive datasets, they will investigate hen harrier flight behaviours in relation to turbines and habitat use and (ii) nest site fidelity in relation to wind farm development. This position will require data management, spatial and statistical data analysis; preparation of manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals, conference attendance and presentation of results. The project will also involve data collection in the field and the researcher will be expected to be involved in planning and assisting with fieldwork. Beyond the main body of work described above, the successful candidate will be encouraged to develop their research ideas in the broader field of wildlife-wind energy interactions and contribute to developing new research ideas and future funding applications. The position has an initial duration of 48 months, with funding available for contract extensions upon review of performance and progress.

    MKO Research is a new research initiative established in 2019 that lies at the interphase between industry and academia. The research group is based in the private sector and hosted by MKO, and has links to academia through active collaborations with third-level institutes and national bodies. MKO Research is established as an RPO (Research Performing Organisation) within MKO, meaning it is a non-profit and independent section of MKO. All research is open access and peer-reviewed publication driven, as the aim is to conduct research that will advance wildlife-wind energy knowledge and that can be incorporated into environmental policy.


    • A PhD in a relevant field (ecology/conservation).
    • Strong analytical skills.
    • Proven expertise in GIS/spatial ecology and relevant software.
    • Experience working with large datasets and conducting statistical analysis.
    • Excellent organisational capability and ability to meet deadlines.
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and proven ability to write manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
    • Ability to work independently (e.g. take the lead on research papers and see them through to publication).
    • Eligibility to work in Ireland.
    • Full driving licence.


    • Post-doc experience.
    • Knowledge of upland ecology/ornithology/wind energy.
    • Project management experience.
    • Experience securing funding.
    • Experience using species distribution models.
    • Experience in ornithological field work.

    Position details

    • Location: MKO has offices in Galway and Dublin, with hybrid working arrangements facilitated where possible.
    • Salary: commensurate to experience
    • Duration: 48 months, 37.5 hours/week fixed-term contract (with extension possible).
    • Start date: To be agreed upon depending on personal circumstances, ideally April-May 2023 or as soon as possible after that.


    • Email a cover letter and CV as a single pdf file (filename: your surname) to careers@mkoireland.ie with the subject ‘HH postdoc + your surname’.
    • Cover letter (one page max.) should describe how you meet the above criteria (preferably in bullet point form).
    • CV should include academic record, publication(s), names and contact details of two referees.

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