PhD Position in Resilience of Biodiversity

Wageningen University

PhD position 'Resilience of Biodiversity'

Published on
November 5, 2021

Location Wageningen

We are looking for

Do you have a passion for nature? Are you interested in understanding how biodiversity patterns respond to global and local drivers? Would you like to contribute to identifying how biodiversity conservation worldwide can become more resilient to future changes in climate and land use changes to maintain ecosystem services? Then we invite you to apply for this exciting PhD position in our team!

Life on Earth is undergoing a sixth mass extinction, a dramatic human-caused loss of  biodiversity that will accelerate in the coming decades as climate change, agricultural expansion, species exploitation and urbanization continue. Massive changes in species distributions and ecological networks are expected. Changes in species distributions will likely depend on locally interacting ecological and social factors as well as on the past changes that shaped the functional traits of species. Understanding how these species distribution changes cascade in the composition and functioning of ecological communities is of fundamental importance for effective conservation science.

We aim to identify the main patterns of biodiversity resilience worldwide. We want to correlate changes in species distributions with functional traits, phylogenetical lineages, past climates and social factors to predict to what extent ecological communities are at risk, and to what extent they are resilient to damage, based on projections of climate and disturbance regimes.

We are looking for a PhD candidate who is keen to perform state-of-the-art research on biodiversity patterns / ecological communities worldwide. The ideal candidate will have experience working with data science and geographical information systems. The candidate is expected to publish the research findings in leading international academic journals, but must also communicate well across disciplines, stakeholders (e.g. government, development) and media. The candidate will also be involved in the supervision of MSc students who perform their thesis research within the framework of the project.

We ask

  • MSc in ecology, environmental science, or a related field;
  • skills in analysing spatial and temporal data (e.g. GIS, remote sensing, scenario modelling, phylogenetics), including social processes;
  • experience in data science and statistical modelling;
  • team player;
  • good organizational and communication skills;
  • excellent command of English;
  • driver license.

We offer

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our  Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.
In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.
The gross salary for the first year is € 2.434,- per month rising to € 3.111,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 16th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Communitypage contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.

More information

To learn more about this position, please contact Dr. Frank van Langevelde (frank.langevelde@wur.nl) and Dr. Milena Holmgren (milena.holmgren@wur.nl)
For additional information about the process please contact our corporate recruiter Edgar Tijhuis (edgar.tijhuis@wur.nl).

Do you want to apply?
You can apply up to and including 6 December 2021.

Interviews with the top 5 candidates are planned for February 2022. Interviews will be online if travel turns out to be impractical. Envisioned starting date of the PhD position is March 2022. Applications must be uploaded via our webpage and include (1) a cover letter summarizing your motivation to apply and explaining why you are the ideal candidate for this position, (2) your CV, including the names of two references at the end of the CV. Please do not upload any other documents.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

We are

The Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Group is working to understand how changing environments affect the abundance, distributions, and ecological interactions of wild animals and plants. We study how humans influence wildlife by examining direct mechanisms as well as mechanisms that are part of larger-scale processes. We embrace field-based, experimental and theoretical studies, and we work at levels of biological organization ranging from individuals to ecosystems.

The group is embedded in the department of Environmental Sciences of Wageningen University & Research, which provides fundamental research and academic education on our living environment. The mission of Wageningen University and Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With its roughly 30 branches, 6.800 employees and 12.900 students, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.

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