Academic Positions Europe

PhD Marine Ecology “Understanding long-term changes in the Wadden Sea fish fauna

The department of Coastal Systems (COS, department chair: dr. ir. Henk W. van der Veer) is looking for a highly motivated PhD with a background in marine ecology to take part in our research on Wadden Sea fish fauna. We would like to get into contact with a PhD who is experienced in the field research of fish, physiological ecology and theoretical ecology.

VACANCY ID:         2017 – 001
CLOSING DATE:    MARCH 15th, 2017


The scientific research department of Coastal Systems (COS) focuses on key physical, chemical and biological processes that determine the productivity and ecological functioning of coastal, open marine areas, notably in terms of population dynamics of higher trophic levels, e.g., as fuelling stations for migrating birds and nursery and feeding areas for fish, marine mammals and other species.

The principal goal in our research is to better understand how these generally highly productive systems function, and how changes in trophic interactions -in response to natural and anthropogenic environmental changes in hydrological, morphological and environmental regimes- influence the richness and productivity of coastal marine ecosystems and the ecological functions they provide. Within COS, research is performed as a combination of field observations, experiments and modelling activities, including hydrodynamics, dispersal and dynamic energy budgets.


Your work will capitalise on the long tradition, including long-term data sets, of fish research within the Royal NIOZ. In your work you will address challenging research questions related to local causes and consequences of long-term changes in the Wadden Sea fish fauna by (1) evaluation of changes in, including the reconstruction of past, Wadden Sea food webs, (2) analyses of the physiological requirements of the various life stages of key fish species within the Wadden Sea, and (3) inventories of the importance of potential fish habitats hitherto undersampled, such as hard substrates, shallow beach zones, and salt-marsh creeks.


The candidate we would like to meet with is an excellent, highly motivated student with a background in marine ecology. Experience with (fish) fieldwork, physiological ecology and theoretical ecology is beneficial. Due to the international character of the research group, excellent English communication skills are expected. You will closely work together with other marine ecologists and physical oceanographers at COS. You are also expected to contribute your knowledge to other multidisciplinary projects, performed together with researchers throughout the Royal NIOZ. The main task is to conduct a PhD thesis. PhD defence will take place at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (promotor prof. dr. T. Piersma).


We offer a pension scheme, a health insurance allowance, a yearly 8% vacation allowance, year-end bonus and flexible employment conditions. Our labour policies are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of Research Institutes (WVOI). The Royal NIOZ will provide cost of relocation and help with housing.

Additional information on job details: dr. ir. C.J.M. (Katja) Philippart (senior scientist) and dr. ir. H.W. (Henk) van der Veer (department head). 

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


NIOZ - Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research

NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research is the National Oceanographic Institution of the Netherlands.

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