PhD Animal Ecology “Shorebirds growing up in a rapidly warming Arctic”

The department of Coastal Systems (COS, department head dr. ir. Henk W. van der Veer) is looking for a highly motivated PhD student with a background in animal ecology to take part in our research on effects of rapid Arctic warming on the development of young shorebirds. We would like to meet a candidate with experience in the fields of animal ecology, physiological ecology, and theoretical ecology.

2017-10-04 16:30:54
VACANCY ID:         2017-082



There are strong indications that long-distance migrant shorebirds breeding in the high Arctic have difficulty keeping up with the phenology changes taking place at their rapidly warming breeding grounds.

Using the red knot (Calidris canutus canutus) as a focal species, the aim of the project is to investigate whether new-born knots face a trophic mismatch at their breeding grounds in northern Taimyr, Russia.

The emphasis in the PhD Work Package is on monitoring growth rates and fates of juvenile knots under experimentally manipulated food conditions. The entire project is embedded in long-term demographic and experimental work taking place on red knots at NIOZ since 1988.



The candidate should be an excellent, highly motivated student with a background in animal ecology, who is able to work under tough field conditions (full-summer camping at a remote site in the high Arctic).

Due to the international character of the research group, excellent English communication skills are expected.

You will closely work together with the Postdoc in this project (see vacancy 2017-083 “Postdoc Bodyshrinkage project”), other animal ecologists at COS, and with Russian ecologists in the field. The main task is to conduct a PhD thesis. PhD defence will take place at the University of Groningen (promotor prof. dr. T. Piersma).



We offer you a fulltime position for 4 years, a pension scheme, a yearly 8% vacation allowance, year-end bonus and flexible employment conditions. Our labour policies are based on the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement of Research Institutes (WVOI). Cost of relocation and help with housing is provided by the Royal NIOZ.

Additional information on job details: dr. J.A. (Jan) van Gils (senior scientist)

For additional information on the procedure, please contact Sigrid Moerbeek (senior HR advisor)

Please note: job interviews will take place on December 11th or 14th, 2017

Visit the department of Coastal Systems (COS) for more information about our research.


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