PhD position: “Can hard substrate reintroduction help to restore the subtidal Wadden Sea?”

The department of Coastal Systems is looking for a highly motivated PhD student with a strong interest in (marine) restoration ecology, and experience with fieldwork and experiments.

2019-07-04 14:34:37

VACANCY ID:                     2019 - 047
CLOSING DATE:                September 30th , 2019



This PhD position is embedded within the “Wadden Mosaic/Waddenmozaïek” project, a collaboration between Natuurmonumenten, University of Groningen and NIOZ, funded by Waddenfonds, Rijkswaterstaat and the three northern Dutch provinces. This project will completely map habitat diversity and biodiversity of the subtidal Dutch Wadden Sea and test conservation and restoration measures that may contribute to the recovery of the subtidal Dutch Wadden Sea, a UNESCO world heritage site.

In this project, a postdoc and 4 PhD students, working at NIOZ and the University of Groningen, will closely collaborate to work towards these goals. The research for this position will therefore be conducted in close collaboration with the Conservation Ecology group at the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES), where the PhD-student is also expected to spend considerable time. Other collaborations will involve a broad range of stakeholders in the Wadden Sea area.



The Wadden Sea used to be littered with hard substrates such as large boulders and gravel left by glaciers during the ice age, along with peat and woody remains from wetlands that once thrived in this area. Most of this material has now disappeared over the last centuries, in part because humans have actively removed them. In this PhD project, you will empirically investigate whether the reintroduction of hard substrates can improve subtidal habitat quality and biodiversity. As a first step, you will construct an experiment in which you will introduce 3 hard substrate types (boulders, gravel, and shell material). Over the following two years, you will compare these substrates with each other and unmanipulated controls for their effects on the benthic community (e.g. mussels, oysters, anemones), as well as their nursery function for mobile invertebrates and fish. Successful treatments and other experiments will be scaled up in the following years.



We are seeking an enthusiastic candidate with a strong interest in (marine) restoration ecology, and experience with fieldwork and experiments. You should be a real team player, willing to work with a diverse group of researchers, technicians and project stakeholders, and have the ability and interest to communicate your work to both scientific peers and a broad audience. You must have an MSc degree (or equivalent) in Biology, Marine Biology, Ecology or Environmental Science, or a related field.



Employment of this position at Royal NIOZ is by NWO (The Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research). We offer a position for 4 (fulltime) years with a salary compliant to the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Research Institutes , a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, a year-end bonus, and flexible work arrangements.

You may expect attractive secondary employment conditions. We offer generous relocation expenses for employees coming from abroad and support with finding accommodation.



The job interviews will take place on October 7,8 or 9th 2019.

Additional information on job details: prof. dr. ir. Tjisse van der Heide or Dr. Laura Govers.

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

Please visit the Department of Coastal Sciences here.


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