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Research Associate: Environmental Policy and Management

Environment and Geography
Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
33,309 - 40,927
Interview Date
Posted Date
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Job Reference

Role Description

Research Associate: Environmental Policy and Management

York Law School and the Department of Environment and Geography are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate to join a team from York, the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH) and the University of Aberdeen working on a NERC-funded project ‘Impacts of Contamination from Legacy Waste sites on Seabirds’ (CLEWS). There is increasing recognition that disused waste disposal sites may represent an important source of pollutants into coastal environments. The occurrence of these pollutants in water and sediment can facilitate the entry of a complex mixture of toxicants into aquatic food chains that could negatively affect the health of species of high conservation concern. A risk assessment framework that establishes the importance of disused waste sites as a source of exposure to pollutants in coastal food chains is therefore urgently needed to support management decisions.

Using the European shag, a seabird that forages close to the coast and is highly exposed to chemicals, as our study species, the CLEWS project combines historical analyses of waste disposal practices with environmental monitoring and modelling to establish the transfer of chemical contaminants arising from disused waste sites through coastal marine food chains and the impacts of such exposures for populations of seabirds. We will use the results to develop a risk assessment framework that can be used alongside existing regulatory regimes for disused waste sites and coastal environments to mitigate any identified adverse impacts on coastal wildlife populations.



Working alongside a small team of environmental chemists, ecotoxicologists, ecologists and environmental lawyers, you will be responsible for translating the scientific results from the project into policy and impact. To achieve this, you will work with regulators, policy makers, business and NGOs with an interest in the waste and conservation sectors to identify and evaluate approaches for managing and/or regulating the impacts of chemicals arising from legacy waste sites on coastal systems and the potential barriers to adopting these approaches. The findings will be used to produce a toolkit for use by key stakeholders to develop future regulatory and policy interventions for the management of legacy waste sites.

Key responsibilities

  • To build relevant stakeholder networks with regulators, policy makers, business, NGOs with an active interest in managing and/or regulating the impacts of legacy waste sites
  • To organise and run workshops, seminars, conferences for relevant stakeholder networks in which to discuss and develop options for managing and/or regulating the impacts of chemicals from disused waste sites
  • To develop a toolkit for use by regulators and policy makers to address the problem of chemical pollution arising from disused waste sites
  • To conduct individual and collaborative research to support the aims of the CLEWS project, duties to include: analysis and interpretation of research data; use of appropriate research techniques and methods; writing up of research results and dissemination through publications, seminar and conference presentations and public engagement and outreach activities; and contributing to the identification of possible new areas of research


Interview date: To be confirmed

For informal enquiries: please contact Professor Stuart Bell on

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The University strives to be diverse and inclusive  – a place where we can ALL be ourselves.

We particularly encourage applications from people who identify as Black, Asian or from a Minority Ethnic background, who are underrepresented at the University. 

We offer family friendly, flexible working arrangements, with forums and inclusive facilities to support our staff. #EqualityatYork

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