PhD position: Cascading effects of sea-level rise on sediment and macrozoobenthos

This vacancy is the result of the collaboration between Utrecht University and NIOZ. The Department of Coastal Systems (COS) at NIOZ (Texel) are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate holding a master’s degree in biology, ecology, marine geology, physical geography, earth science or geomorphology. Experience with analyzing habitat use and spatial data are a plus.

2021-09-30 17:19:24

VACANCY ID:              2021-50
CLOSING DATE          October 31st, 2021.

The Faculty of Geosciences at UU offers education and research concerning the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere. With a population of 2,600 students (BSc and MSc) and 600 staff, the Faculty is a strong and challenging organization. The Faculty is organized in four Departments: Innovation, Environmental & Energy Sciences, Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, and Human Geography & Spatial Planning. The Department of Earth Sciences conducts teaching and research across the full range of the solid Earth and environmental Earth sciences, with activities in almost all areas of geology, geochemistry, geophysics, biogeology and hydrogeology. The Department hosts a highly international group of more than 100 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers and houses a wide variety of world-class laboratories.

NIOZ is the national oceanographic institute and principally performs academically excellent multidisciplinary fundamental and frontier applied marine research addressing important scientific and societal questions pertinent to the functioning of oceans and seas. Second, NIOZ serves as national marine research facilitator (NMF) for The Netherlands scientific community. Third, NIOZ stimulates and supports multidisciplinary fundamental and frontier applied marine research, education and marine policy development in the national and international context.

The department of COS studies integral coastal ecosystems and their populations of fish, birds, and other marine animals in the North Sea and Wadden Sea as well as on a global scale. The department focuses on key physical, chemical and biological processes that determine the productivity and the ecological functioning of coastal areas. The coastal system is studied as a unity by considering the interrelations between the key compartments of the ecosystem (water, sediment, microalgae, macro zoobenthos, parasites, fish and birds).  

Intertidal ecosystems, like the Wadden Sea, provide rich habitats for shellfish, worms, fish, and millions of shorebirds, but are threatened by sea-level rise. While sea level rise may partly be compensated by increased sedimentation, sediment-composition can change, which may lead to cascading effects in the intertidal ecosystem. We will quantify relations between bathymetry, sedimentology, and benthic communities. By capitalizing on recent morphological advances and a NIOZ time-series for benthos (SIBES), this research creates a unique opportunity for an ecosystem-wide understanding of how sea level rise affects intertidal systems.

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate holding a MSc degree in biology, ecology, marine geology, physical geography, earth science or geomorphology. Experience with analyzing habitat use and spatial data are a plus. The candidate will be part of an interdisciplinary team with ecologists and geomorphologists, and is expected to perform research at both locations. Due to the international character of our research, good command of English, spoken as well as written, is a prerequisite.

We highly encourage applicants from all members of our community and of diverse background, including LGBTIQ+ communities, to join us.

Employment of this position at Royal NIOZ is by NWO (The Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research). We offer a position for a period of 1 year (fulltime). At the end of this first year, the employment will be extended for a fixed-term of a maximum of 4 years, if the first year evaluation held with the employee is positive. The salary is compliant to the CAO-OI (Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Research Institutes), a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, a year-end bonus of 8,3%, flexible work arrangements and arrangements and 42 days of holiday leave (fulltime position).

For additional information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Allert Bijleveld or Professor Maarten Kleinhans. For additional information about the procedure, please contact  Sigrid Moerbeek (senior HR advisor).

For more information about the Department of Physical Geography, at Utrecht University see here; for more information about the Department of Coastal Systems at NIOZ, see here.

Find more information about the UU-NIOZ projects here.

Interviews will be held online (Microsoft Teams) in week 44 or 45 (3 - 12 November)


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