Statistician specialising in Applied Spatial Statistics

Starting Salary: £33,595 (Grade D)

Location: Edinburgh (flexible)


The Vacancy

Biomathematics & Statistics Scotland (BioSS) seeks a statistician with an interest in working on spatial statistics in applied and methodological research relating to the impacts of offshore renewable energy on seabirds and marine mammals. BioSS is legally part of The James Hutton Institute, a member of the SEFARI (Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes) collective, and offers a stimulating working environment, with 50 staff and students at four locations, collaborating on applications in environmental science & ecology, plant & crop science, animal health & welfare, and human health & nutrition.

The Offshore Renewables Group in BioSS carries out quantitative research on the impacts of offshore renewable energy on seabirds and marine mammals in collaboration with the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH) and others. This position offers the opportunity to work in a small team within three consortia on exciting long-term projects, which have substantial spatial statistics components. This is an opportunity to be involved in developing interesting statistical approaches using novel ecological data to solve real-world problems relating to the impacts of offshore renewables on seabirds.

  1. Funded by the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme (OWEC), Predators and Prey Around Renewable Energy Devices (PrePARED) is providing critical insight into cumulative effects from large scale developments for key species. Surveys are collecting concurrent data to characterise and quantify relationships between predators and prey in the context of a changing environment. Spatial models are being developed using mgcv and inlabru approaches to produce species distributions with uncertainty.
  2. Funded by NERC, the Ecosystem Change, Offshore Wind, Net Gain and Seabirds (ECOWINGS) project seeks to transform the existing evidence base on cumulative effects for seabird species, establish pathways for marine net gain, and account for climate change. Collecting fine-scale contemporaneous data using innovative drone technologies, we are developing spatio-temporal models to investigate interspecific competition, the impact of wind farms on predator-prey interactions, and whether species may habituate to developments post construction.
  3. Funded by the Evidence for Offshore Wind programme, the Foraging Ecology of Guillemots and Razorbills in the Non-Breeding Season project will seek to understand interannual variation in foraging behaviour and energetics. Data collection is being carried out using geolocator tags and the collection of moult feathers for isotope analysis. We will be constructing spatial models and integrating isoscapes to investigate variation in seabird distribution and foraging areas in the non-breeding season.

This position will also have links to the Statistical Methodology Theme group in BioSS, and the role will provide the opportunity to work with scientists developing novel spatial statistics approaches.


More information and how to apply:

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Dr Esther Jones ( or Dr Adam Butler ( to discuss this position.

The closing date for applications is 27th November 2023. Interviews will be held either online or in-person in December.

More information on the details of the post can be found in the job description here.

Apply here.