Postdoc in Ecosystem Services Modelling and Natural Capital Accounting


The Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) offers a full-time postdoctoral scientist position on Modelling and Natural Capital Accounting in order to support the research activities of Research Line (RL) 5 on Integrated Modelling of Coupled Human-Natural Systems.

The RL generates multidisciplinary scientific knowledge from human-nature interdependence to address complex sustainability problems through artificial intelligence (AI). The goal of the RL is to provide environmental data, models and understanding by retrieving, evaluating and integrating the existing information in order to support an effective policy-making where nature counts. Besides Ecosystem Services, the RL also tackles Natural Capital Accounting, Conservation Finance, Food Security, Marine Spatial Planning, and Renewable Energy.

Job description: The position will support the ongoing application and expansion of the ARIES for SEEA platform. ARIES for SEEA is the  result of a collaboration between BC3, the UN Statistics Division, UN Environment Programme, and other international organizations. Released in April 2021, ARIES for SEEA has already been applied in multiple countries around the world, and is under continuous development.

The postdoctoral scientist will contribute to the ARtificial Intelligence for Environment & Sustainability (ARIES) platform, a semantic web infrastructure that uses AI to build computational solutions to environmental, policy and sustainability problems. The position’s duties will include (1) development and testing of new SEEA-compliant ecosystem service models and (2) working with governments and other stakeholders around the world to apply ARIES for SEEA in developing national SEEA accounts, by training these teams and working with them to improve and customize their accounts using national data and models.

The position will require international travel on an as-needed basis.

Experience/skills required: We are looking for an individual who can support strategic activities related to integrated data science and collaborative, integrated modelling on the semantic web, with a focus on ecosystem service modelling and the System of Environmental Economic Accounting – Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EA). Desired qualifications include:

  1. A PhD in Economics, Ecology, Geography, Engineering, Hydrology, or other fields relevant to the position.
  2. Strong analytical skills and an ability to learn quickly and to think outside the box. Our work is very innovative and you should expect your job to be both as intellectually challenging and as rewarding. A strong motivation and a desire to learn and explore new technologies are a must.
  3. Familiarity with (minimum) and past experience using (preferred) the SEEA EA.
  4. Experience with environmental/ecosystem service modelling.
  5. Working knowledge of geomatics and, in particular, open source GIS. Knowledge of OGC services, Geotools, Geoserver is considered a plus.
  6. Programming experience in any language, Java is considered a plus.
  7. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  8. Excellent written and oral command of English. French language skills are considered a plus.
  9. Ability to work independently, with a diverse, multi-location and multi-lingual team.

Term of contract

The position will be for a period of at least 1 + 1 years starting in January 2022, with a probation period of 2 months based on the performance of the work.


The position will carry excellent conditions of work. The salary will be in the range at BC3 for a Postdoctoral researcher.


Basque Centre for Climate Change, Leioa, Spain.

As a HR Excellence awarded institution, BC3 is committed to conciliate research-academic requirements and family duties. BC3 is particularly concerned with creating equality opportunities for people. Women with relevant qualifications are therefore strongly encouraged to apply for the position.

Application procedure:

Those interested should include in their request:

  1. 2-page CV
  2. One-page motivation letter
  3. Contact details of two referees


20 December 2021 (CET 16:00).

Informal enquiries can be made to Ferdinando Villa ( and Stefano Balbi ( noting in the subject of the message “ARIES NCA scientist”

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María de Maeztu Excellence Unit 2023-2027 Ref. CEX2021-001201-M, funded by MCIN/AEI /10.13039/501100011033

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