Land use is one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss globally. Quantifying these losses is a major yet vital effort in order to design and underpin conservation measures. The aim of this PhD project is to quantify biodiversity responses to land use across spatial scales, with a focus on vertebrate species. To that end, we will develop a model that integrates habitat suitability mapping with species-area relationships. We will then use this model to back- and forecast species losses and estimate extinction debts based on reconstructions and projections of past and future land use. For verification, we will compare the model outcomes with assessments of the IUCN Red List and Living Planet Index. Eventually, the model developed in this PhD project will be integrated in the GLOBIO 4 model of the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, which is routinely used in large-scale biodiversity assessments.
The main focus of the Environmental Science group of the Institute of Wetland and Water Research (IWWR) is on quantifying, understanding and predicting human impacts on the environment. To that end, we employ a variety of research methods, including process-based modelling, meta-analyses, field studies and lab work. In our research we cover multiple stressors, species and spatial scales, searching for overarching principles that can ultimately be applied to better underpin environmental management and biodiversity conservation.
What we expect from you:
You are a motivated candidate with an MSc degree in macroecology or a relevant related field. Ideally, you meet the following requirements:
you have a drive for ecological research with conservation application;
you have a strong background in spatial ecological modelling;
you are a proficient programmer preferably in R or Python;
you have experience with managing and analysing large datasets;
you have a good command of spoken and written English.
What we have to offer:
employment: 1.0 FTE;
a maximum gross monthly salary of € 2,840 based on a 38-hour working week;
in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
the gross starting salary amounts to €2,222 per month, and will increase to €2,840 in the fourth year;
duration of the contract: 4 years;
you will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years;
you will be classified as a PhD candidate in the Dutch university job-ranking system (UFO).