PhD “How to manage and ‘design’ foreshore ecosystems to gain both coastal protection and ecological value?”
26 days ago | Closing on Apr 15
NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
PhD “How to manage and ‘design’ foreshore ecosystems to gain both coastal protection and ecological value?”
NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research is the National Oceanographic Institution of the Netherlands.
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JOB DETAILS
Published: 26 days ago
Application deadline: Apr 15
Location: SZ 't Horntje, Netherlands
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JOB DESCRIPTION
PhD “How to manage and ‘design’ foreshore ecosystems to gain both coastal protection and ecological value?”

The Conservation Ecology Group of the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES) and the department of Estuarine and Delta Systems of the Royal NIOZ in Yerseke would like to get into contact with a highly-motivated, energetic PhD candidate with an MSc degree in ecology, biology or physical geography to support our research of intertidal ecosystems within the All-Risk program.

LOCATION:            UNIVERSITY OF GRONINGEN & ROYAL NIOZ YERSEKE
VACANCY ID:         2017-022
CLOSING DATE:    April 15th, 2017

THE UNIVERSITY OF GRONINGEN RESEARCH GROUP

The Conservation Ecology Group of the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES) studies how organisms, communities and entire ecosystems are affected by changing environmental conditions; whether and by what means species can adapt and how ecosystem resilience can be preserved.

GELIFES is involved in frontline research in the Wadden Sea on many topics and through strong collaborations with other Wadden Sea ‘users’, such as nature conservation organizations. We actively contribute to its preservation by providing sustainable management recommendations.

The research of the group in Groningen is done by field and lab experiments, monitoring, field observations, remote sensing and modelling.

THE ROYAL NIOZ DEPARTMENT

The department of Estuarine and Delta Systems (EDS, NIOZ-Yerseke) aims at understanding how the interplay between organisms, hydrodynamics, sediment dynamics and chemistry shapes the sub- and intertidal landscape and how it affects the functioning and resilience of the diverse communities living in these landscapes.

Central to our department is a multidisciplinary approach that combines state-of-the-art biophysical and biochemical measurements, remote sensing, and manipulative experiments with mathematical and numerical modelling to obtain in-depth, process-based understanding of the processes that control estuarine and delta systems.

An important additional focus of our research is to study how abiotic-biotic interactions can create value for society, following the “Building with Nature” paradigm. We aim to deliver scientific insights that support ecosystem conservation, ecosystem restoration, and the establishment of a nature-based coastal defense against flooding.

THE PROJECT

The PhD will work within a large, integrated, and multidisciplinary All-Risk program, funded by STW, together with several other PhD’s, postdocs and technicians.

The overall aim of All-Risk is to address key knowledge gaps that need to be resolved in order to implement the new risk standards in the Dutch Flood Protection Program. This imposes questions on several issues and perspectives, ranging from ‘legal’, ‘governance’, ‘engineering’ to ‘ecological’.

Adequate management of foreshores along the Wadden Sea dikes may save huge costs of ‘hard’ coastal protection through higher and stronger dikes. The implementation of such foreshore management measures (including eco-engineering) is however hampered by uncertainties about i) impact on natural values (protected species and habitats) and ii) ecosystem-based safety during repeated storms.

THE VACANCY

The aim of this project is to reduce uncertainties by providing thorough understanding of management effects on the safety value, ecological status and ecosystem behavior (long-term dynamics), across connected intertidal habitats (e.g. mussel beds, seagrass meadows, tidal flats, salt marshes).

As a PhD to this project, you will address questions like (1) how will sequences of storms affect the wave attenuation by marshes, (2) how does nature-oriented grazing management affect the safety services and long-term stability of salt marsh and (3) can we develop nature-based management options for the tidal flats to stabilize marshes?

To address these questions, you will study a unique, large-scale foreshore restoration project at Griend, make use of state-of-the-art instruments (field flumes, wave mesocosms, etc.), large datasets of previous projects, and of remote sensing techniques.

A technician will be appointed to the project (part-time), to help with field flume experiments.

THE CANDIDATE

Are you a highly-motivated and proactive researcher with an MSc degree in ecology, biology or physical geography? Interested in co-creating new fundamental research insights that may support future risk management within the Dutch Flood Protection Program? Like to work together with other societal stakeholders and researchers? Then we gladly invite you to apply.

As our new colleague, you need to have experience with experimental work. You are capable to plan and organize your work independently, organize and carry out field experiments, and meet deadlines imposed by the project. Good statistical knowledge, a feeling for math and basic physics, are a prerequisite.

The perfect candidate is frank, collaborative and communicative, and easily interacts with both end-users and interdisciplinary All-Risk project partners. Good English oral and writing skills are essential, as the candidate must publish the findings in scientific journals and effectively communicate results to end-users.

CONDITIONS

We offer a fulltime PhD-position for 4 years (or part-time for 5 years), a pension scheme, a yearly 8% vacation allowance, year-end bonus, flexible employment conditions and a good operating budget for the project. Advanced training opportunities are available. Conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of Research Centers (WVOI). Cost of relocation and help with housing is provided by the Royal NIOZ.

You will mainly perform your research at the University of Groningen, complemented by extended research periods at the Royal NIOS in Yerseke. During that time, you can stay in the NIOZ guesthouse.

For additional information about this vacancy, please contact prof. dr. Tjeerd Bouma or prof dr. Han Olff(senior scientists). For additional information about the procedure, please contact Sigrid Moerbeek(senior HR advisor).

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