Two Postdoctoral Scholar Positions in the Integrative Community Ecology Unit (Armitage Unit)

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST; see is a dynamic new graduate university of science and technology in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The university is located on 85 hectares of protected forestland overlooking beautiful shoreline and coral reefs. The campus is striking architecturally, and the facilities are outstanding (OIST campus video tour). There are no academic departments, which facilitates multidisciplinary research. Outstanding resources and equipment are provided and managed to encourage easy access and collaboration. English is the official language of the University, and the university research community is fully international, with more than 50 countries represented. OIST is rapidly gaining recognition in the worldwide academic community as a model for excellence in education and research.


1919‐1 Tancha, Onna‐son, Okinawa, Japan 904-0495


Position summary:

The recently-established Integrative Community Ecology Unit at OIST is recruiting two postdoctoral researchers to conduct research broadly within the field of community ecology. We invite applicants with either empirical or theoretical backgrounds, and especially value integration of the two. The research agenda is to be determined by the candidate, but I hope to recruit members interested in pursuing ecological questions related to mechanisms of species coexistence, plant-microbe interactions, geographic range limits, and community-ecosystem linkages. This research can capitalize on established laboratory (e.g., duckweeds, Azolla, microbial isolates) or natural (e.g., mangroves, cycads, carnivorous plants) systems, if the candidate so chooses. Ample opportunities exist at OIST for interdisciplinary collaboration as well as travel to domestic and international conferences.


Unit summary:

We employ theory-informed experiments to mechanistically identify how species interactions — such as competition and mutualism — vary over time and space to influence population dynamics and ecosystem functioning. Our research agenda is community ecology-focused but values a diversity of backgrounds and expertise, hence the “integrative” in our name.



1. PhD degree (in Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, or any related discipline)

2. Research experience in plant, microbial, molecular, or evolutionary ecology.

3. Proficiency in spoken and written English.



1. Experience in one or more of the following topics is desirable: plant ecophysiology, modern coexistence theory, landscape genetics, metagenomics, plant-microbe interactions.

2. Working proficiency in statistical and/or bioinformatic programming.

3. A track record of high-quality peer-reviewed publication.

Report to 

Prof. David Armitage

Starting Date 

Summer 2021, but very flexible

Term & Working Hours 

Term: Full-time, the position is initially for one year and can be extended to 2 additional years based on performance and mutual agreement.

Working hours: 9:00-17:30 (Discretionary)

Compensation & Benefits 

In accordance with the OIST Employee Compensation Regulations

Relocation, housing and commuting allowances
Annual paid leave and summer holidays
Health insurance (Private School Mutual Aid )
Welfare pension insurance (kousei-nenkin)
Worker's accident compensation insurance (roudousha-saigai-hoshou-hoken)

How To Apply 

To apply, please email your submission documents as a single PDF file to Dave Armitage at the following address: david.armitage[at] with the subject header “Postdoc Application <your name>”

(Please replace [at] with @ before using this email address)

Informal inquiries prior to applying are welcome.

Submission Documents 

In a single PDF, please include the following:

1. A cover letter describing your fit for the position, your research background & interests, academic goals, and any other relevant information.
2. Your CV
3. The names and contact information of three academic references (at least one reference should be a former employer or Ph.D. advisor).

Application Due Date 

Review of applications will begin on February 15, and will continue until the position is filled.


  • OIST Graduate University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer and is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty, students and staff. The University strongly encourages applications from underrepresented groups.
  • Information provided by applicants or references will be kept confidential, documents will not be returned. All applicants will be notified regarding the status of their applications.
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  • Further details about the University can be viewed on the OIST website