netherlands: PhD position Animal Ecology

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PhD position Animal Ecology
for the project: A regime shift of benthic organisms in the Wadden Sea: causes and consequences for higher trophic levels.

The aim of this project is to analyze whether documented historic
and recent dramatic changes in higher trophic levels have contributed
to a regime shift of benthic organisms in the Wadden Sea, and how this
change in the food base now cascades back onto higher trophic levels.
In this project the PhD candidate will make an analysis of long-term
abundance and diet composition data at different spatial scales, to
look at historic trends and indications of long term changes in food
web structure and species abundances of fish. The PhD candidate is also
expected to participate closely in the joint larger field experiment
and include her/his own specific sub-experiments to determine the
strength of important predators (shrimp) in controlling the benthic
community. Within the larger experiment, the PhD is also responsible
for documentation of bird, fish and crustacean communities.

Supervisors: Dr. H.W. van der Veer, prof.dr. T. Piersma (promotor).

Location: Animal Ecology, the Centre for Ecological and
Evolutionary Studies (CEES), University of Groningen and the Marine
Ecology and Evolution group on Texel – Netherlands Institute for Sea
Research (NIOZ).


University Graduate
We are looking for
highly motivated, enthusiastic and creative persons with a degree in
biology or environmental science, with experience and/or a clear
interest in experimental field ecology. In project 1 and 3 we search
for persons interested in combining experimental approaches with
analyses of large scale datasets and food web interactions; in project
2 we search for a person that will combine experimental ecology and
theoretical modelling. The candidates must be able to design and carry
out experiments in the field, and to interpret the results
statistically. Candidates should be capable to clearly report on their
results, both orally and in writing. We expect that the candidate will
successfully complete a PhD thesis within 4 years.


University of Groningen
Since its foundation in 1614, the University of
Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and
innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching
and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of
disciplines encourage the 25,000 students and researchers to develop
their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research
universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigeous partner
universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an
international place of knowledge.

The University provides a career advisory service for partners of new staff who move to Groningen.

The University is an equal opportunities employer. Because women
are still underrepresented in a number of fields, they are particularly
encouraged to apply.

Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Conditions of employment

Maximum salary amount in Euro’s a month 2558
Employment basis: Temporary for specified period
Duration of the contract: Four years
Maximum hours per week: 38

Additional conditions of employment:
The University of Groningen offers a salary of € 2000 gross per month
in the first year up to a maximum of € 2558 gross per month in the
final year. Objective of the temporary 4-year position is the
production of a number of research articles in peer-reviewed scientific
journals, which together will form the basis of a thesis leading to a
PhD degree (dr.) at the University of Groningen. After the first year,
there will be an evaluation as to the feasibility of successful
completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years.

Additional Information

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from:

Dr. H.W. van der Veer
E-mail address:
Or additional information can be obtained through one of the following links.
Letters in English language, including a
personal motivation (important!), curriculum vitae, and the names and
addresses of three referees (including telephone number and e-mail
address), to be sent before the 12th of October 2008 to:

Also send an electronic copy of your application to:

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You can apply for this job before 12-10-2008 by sending your application to:

University of Groningen
Personnel and Organization Office
P.O. Box 72
9700 AB Groningen
The Netherlands
E-mail address:

When applying for this job always mention the vacancy number AT208232.


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