Software Developer in Digital Species Identification

University of Twente

Job description

Do you have the technical skills to enable the automated discovery of biodiversity? In this position, your coding skills will help unravel the complexity and reveal the beauty of natural biodiversity. Moreover, your expertise will help to combat the immense challenge of biodiversity decline.

This is a unique opportunity to contribute to a new research infrastructure that aims to identify all species in the Netherlands and innovate on biodiversity monitoring.

The challenge:
ARISE ( wants to achieve an organized overview of all multicellular flora and fauna in the Netherlands and the infrastructure to identify them semi-automatically. ARISE aims to establish a unique end-to-end infrastructure that measures the occurrence of species from digital media, sensors, and eDNA. ARISE facilitates the measurement of biodiversity at any location in the Netherlands and helps users interpret a wide variety of biodiversity data. ARISE is an ambitious project driven by a diverse team of enthusiastic engineers, ecologists, and computer scientists.

As a full-stack software developer, you are part of the Digital Species Identification (DSI) team within the ARISE project. The goal of DSI is to facilitate the automated detection and identification of species from a variety of digital media types. DSI comprises tooling from dataset creation, data annotation, artificial intelligence (AI) training, and standardized evaluation of deep learning algorithms. DSI aims to be a streamlined and scalable solution that accommodates various media types, including images, sound, and radar data.

We are looking for two talented, motivated, and innovative full-stack software developers that help design, build, and maintain the digital species identification (DSI) pipeline. You will be involved in thinking along about the architecture. You will be involved in implementing both the front and backend and designing, developing, testing, monitoring, and logging the developed web services and improvements. As a full-stack developer, you have a broad knowledge of tools, techniques, and programming languages.

ARISE is a unique joint project by Naturalis, the University of Amsterdam, Westerdijk Institute, and the University of Twente. This software developer position in the DSI team will primarily involve Naturalis and the University of Twente, giving you the unique opportunity to live in either the east or west of the Netherlands.

Your profile

  • You have at least a BSc in applied sciences or university thinking level (for Dutch applicants, that means minimally HBO/WO). Preferably in software engineering or a similar technical study;
  • You are a team player that has a great sense of responsibility and a high degree of independence. You feel comfortable working in a distributed work environment;
  • You have a service-oriented attitude with good communication skills;
  • You have experience in web technologies, including some of Python, Docker, Kubernetes, Java/J2EE, and SQL;
  • (Desirable) experience in AI deployment and machine learning frameworks such as Keras, TensorFlow, PyTorch;
  • (Desirable) experience with scalable APIs / microservices;
  • You are self-motivated and able to complete tasks with minimum supervision. You think along, are proactive. You show initiative in work, come up with new ideas, and like to keep up to date with modern technologies;
  • You think in long-term, scalable and maintainable but also pragmatic and practical solutions;
  • You have good English communication skills in word and writing. You always want to continue to develop yourself and stay up to date with technological developments. You have an interest in, and preferably affinity with the community, biodiversity, and the field of natural sciences and biology;

Do you not yet have enough knowledge or experience with one of the technologies or skills mentioned above, but are you eager to learn? Then we offer you the opportunity to develop yourself further to acquire the remaining skills.

Our offer

You will be employed by the University of Twente in close collaboration with the Naturalis ICT team, Westerdijk Institute, and the University of Amsterdam.

  • The position is for 32 or 38 hours per week and initially for two years. Extension after this period is a possibility;
  • The terms of employment are under the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Universities (CAO) and include: depending on your relevant background and experience, a gross salary of a maximum of €4.402 per month (based on a full-time position), a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A minimum of 29 leave days in full-time employment based on a formal workweek of 38 hours. Full time employment in practice means 40 hours a week, therefore resulting in 96 extra leave hours on an annual basis;
  • Excellent professional and personal development programs;
  • You will work in a lively, inspiring, and dynamic working environment in an organization focusing on internationalization, where you will have a high degree of responsibility and independence. You will join an ambitious, diverse, and fun team;
  • You can live in either the east (Enschede) or west (Leiden) of the Netherlands;
  • You will have access to high-quality state of the art facilities at both Naturalis and the University of Twente.

Information and application

Are you interested in this position? Please apply by clicking on the ‘Apply now’ button below and include:

  • A detailed CV and;
  • Motivation letter.

This vacancy will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.

For more information about the vacancy, feel free to send an email to Jacob Kamminga via

About the department

The position is part of NIEBA ARISE (Netherlands Infrastructure for Ecosystem and Biodiversity Analysis: Authoritative and Rapid Identification System for Essential biodiversity information), a programme aimed at establishing a unique large scale end-to-end infrastructure for the interpretation of evidence of the occurrence of species from digital sensors and eDNA. ARISE aims to innovate and build services to facilitate rapid species identification based on various input sources such as specimens, environmental DNA, sound recordings, photographic images, and radar information. This will be achieved by exploiting recent advances in DNA sequencing technologies (e.g. establishing high-throughput DNA sequencing pipelines) and machine-learning (e.g. species identification through image and sound recognition). The services to be built within ARISE will make species recognition and biodiversity monitoring accessible for researchers, industry, policy and citizens. Having such knowledge readily available will drive the future of biodiversity and our planet.

About the organization

The faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) uses mathematics, electronics and computer technology to contribute to the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). With ICT present in almost every device and product we use nowadays, we embrace our role as contributors to a broad range of societal activities and as pioneers of tomorrow's digital society. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

As an employer, the EEMCS Faculty offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With our Faculty, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customizable conditions.

University of Twente (UT)

University of Twente (UT) has entered the new decade with an ambitious, new vision, mission and strategy. As ‘the ultimate people-first university of technology' we are rapidly expanding on our High Tech Human Touch philosophy and the unique role it affords us in society. Everything we do is aimed at maximum impact on people, society and connections through the sustainable utilisation of science and technology. We want to contribute to the development of a fair, digital and sustainable society through our open, inclusive and entrepreneurial attitude. This attitude permeates everything we do and is present in every one of UT's departments and faculties. Building on our rich legacy in merging technical and social sciences, we focus on five distinguishing research domains: Improving healthcare by personalised technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

As an employer, University of Twente offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With us, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.