Postdoctoral Researcher - Deforestation and supply chain transparency in Indonesia


UC Santa Barbara


Sunday, September 11, 2022

Start Date

Saturday, October 1, 2022

The Environmental Markets Lab (emLab) is an interdisciplinary team of scientists based at UC Santa Barbara that conducts cutting-edge, data-driven research on the power, limitations, and design of market-based approaches to tackle the world's most pressing environmental problems. In collaboration with implementing partners, emLab aims to better align environmental objectives and economic incentives in support of sustainable livelihoods and a resilient planet. We endeavor to foster an inclusive, collaborative work environment to bring interdisciplinary expertise to solve critical environmental problems. emLab is seeking a motivated Postdoctoral Researcher to lead analyses uncovering the environmental and social impacts of Indonesia’s palm oil and pulp supply chains and their governance. This research builds upon five years of collaboration between scientists at emLab, Global Canopy (GC), the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and Auriga to build the Trase initiative’s models of global supply chains for Indonesian pulp and oil palm. As part of the Trase partnership, you will join a leading multinational, multidisciplinary, and multilingual team of experts. Trase and emLab value diversity, inclusivity and creativity at the core of what we do and we welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds. The overarching goal of the project is to improve transparency in pulp and oil palm supply chains, enabling more effective and transparent sustainability interventions by companies and governments. As a result of past research conducted by the team, the postdoc will have access to extensive data detailing land use change, policy adoption, market structure and trade flows associated with Indonesian palm oil and pulp production. We believe that these data provide a unique opportunity for a postdoc eager to explore diverse research questions, such as:
● What supply and demand-side policies and market conditions have contributed to the dramatic decline in deforestation in Indonesia over the past decade?’
● What impact have demand-side and supply-chain policies had on deforestation Indonesia?
● How can global commodity supply chains be managed to ensure both equitable economic opportunities and effective conservation of vital natural resources?
● How do public institutions and private businesses interact to shape land use change in Indonesia?

The Postdoctoral Researcher will lead research answering these or related research questions, and author publications targeting scientific, policy and public audiences. The researcher will also work closely with the wider Trase team and partners to update and improve the palm and pulp supply chain models and links to deforestation and other impacts, while also helping to identify new opportunities for impact. Working as part of the Trase initiative, which is widely recognized as a global reference in supply chain transparency, the researcher will have the opportunity to engage directly with key decision makers in both Indonesia and consumer markets on key trends and insights from the data. Prior publications completed as part of this collaboration range from articles published in the highest impact, interdisciplinary scientific journals (e.g. Zu Ermgassen et al , 2022; Pendrill et al., Forthcoming in Science; Heilmayr et al., 2020, papers in review at leading economic field journals (e.g. Kraus et al.), and influential policy briefs and technical reports. The Postdoctoral Researcher will work closely with the project’s principal investigator, Robert Heilmayr (UC Santa Barbara), as well as collaborate with scientists at UCSB, SEI, GC and Auriga.

The University is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and service.