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PhD position in coral reef biology


Project Description

Do you have an MSc in Marine Biology, Ecology or Environmental Science, and are you interested in how reef-building corals are impacted by climate change? Are you excited to elucidate the mechanisms that enable reef-building corals to cope with environmental extremes and multiple climate change stressors, and do you enjoy both field and laboratory work? We are looking for a PhD student who will conduct research on corals living in extreme/marginal reef environments to better understand the environmental, eco-physiological and biogeochemical mechanisms that promote coral persistence in a changing ocean.

What are you going to do?

You will investigate a new and to date ’unexplored’ type of extreme coral habitat in the Dutch Caribbean (i.e. Curaçao). The aim is to conduct field experiments to understand the mechanisms and time scales that promote coral resistance to environmental extremes, including climate change stressors. You will further conduct laboratory work to analyze seawater chemistry and coral physiology. You will use statistical analysis to interpret the data, communicate your results via conference presentations and publications in peer-reviewed journals, and write a high-quality PhD thesis, while closely working with the project team.

You will be expected to:

- spend significant time in the field (Curaçao);
- meet regularly with the project team and collaborators to present work in progress and discuss findings;
- assist with the supervision of BSc and Msc students, if and when requested;
- assist teaching coral reef courses, if and when required;
- show good time management, balancing competing demands and multiple deadlines;
- Be aware of and proactive about the risks associated with working in a marine environment, in tropical locations and in a laboratory, and comply with health and safety regulations.

What do we require?

- MSc in marine biology, ecology or environmental science, or a related discipline;
- an interest in, and understanding of, how marine organisms adjust their physiology to environmental conditions, especially in the context of climate change;
- experience with marine fieldwork, preferably in tropical locations;
- SCUBA diving certificate;
- experience with laboratory work, preferably related to the analysis of animal or plant samples and seawater chemistry;
- experience with coral husbandry and setting up and running aquarium experiments is desirable but not required;
- good analytical and statistical skills, including the use of programming languages such as R;
- excellent English skills and demonstrated skills in scientific writing (either excellent Master-thesis (in English) or published paper in peer-reviewed scientific journal);
- an ability to work both independently and as part of a team;
- driving license.


Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week, preferably starting in spring 2020, for the duration of 4 years (initial appointment will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,325 to €2,972 (scale P) gross per month, based on fulltime (38 hours a week), exclusive 8 % holiday allowance and 8.3 end-of-year bonus. A favorable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.


Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your CV and cover letter by 26 January 2020. You may apply online by using this link: https://ssl1.peoplexs.com/Peoplexs22/CandidatesPortalNoLogin/ApplicationForm.cfm?PortalID=16107&VacatureID=1083661

Applications should include:

- a motivation letter and CV, including – if applicable - a list of publications,
- contact details for two referees.

We anticipate inviting potential candidates for interviews during the third week of February 2020

More information about the position can be found here: https://www.uva.nl/en/content/vacancies/2019/12/19-864-phd-position-in-coral-reef-biology.html?z

More information about Dr Verena Schoepf’s research: http://www.verenaschoepf.com

Funding Notes

This position is fully funded.

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