CAKE Opportunity: Two PhD positions in climate change adaptation social science

Opportunity Type: Other


The newly funded research project seeks to understand how both rural human communities and species populations will respond to challenges posed by climate change and is by a team of collaborators at the University of Maine (Dr. Tim Waring, Dr. BrianMcGill, Dr. Kati Corlew, Dr. Matthew Dube), and the University of Vermont (Dr. Meredith Niles, Dr. Nicholas Gotelli, Dr. Laurent H├ębert-Dufresne). The project will synthesize large amounts of data and develop new modeling techniques to predict climate-driven shifts in species ranges as well as the responses and cultural adaptations of human communities. Successful applicants for 2 PhD positions will work with a multidisciplinary team of biologists, social scientists and complexity researchers in Maine and Vermont.

Modeling Cultural Adaptation to Climate Change: UMaine

The main aim of this position is to develop theoretical models of human cultural evolution under the influence of climate change and apply those models to existing data from farmers and rural communities in the northeast and beyond. Tasks include developing theoretical models of cultural adaptation to the effects of climate change, fitting and calibrating those models based on data assembled as part of this research project, and using the models to make predictions to help rural communities and policy makers understand and anticipate the needs of adapting to climate change. The graduate student will work with Dr. Tim Waring (

Using Data Science to Understand Farmer and Rural Community Climate Adaptation: UVM

The main aim of this position is to work within the social science team to assist in data aggregation of farmer behavior and perceptions related to climate change adaptation, work with farming and rural communities to present results and understand perspectives, and develop models of human behavioral shifts under the influence of climate change. Tasks include data identification, aggregation and synthesis, modeling and data analysis, engagement with agricultural and rural communities, and presenting results to diverse stakeholders and policy makers to facilitate understanding and anticipation for climate change adaptation. The graduate student will work with Dr. Meredith Niles (

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