PhD in Arctic Migration Ecology

Project background
Climate is warming faster in the Arctic than elsewhere in the northern hemisphere. As a result, migratory birds may arrive too late to benefit from the Arctic growth pulse. On the other hand ...

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Arbeidsvoorwaarden

Standplaats:
Droevendaalsesteeg, Wageningen, Gelderland
Dienstverband:
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
Salarisindicatie:
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand
Opleidingsniveau:
WO

Functieomschrijving

Project background

Climate is warming faster in the Arctic than elsewhere in the northern hemisphere. As a result, migratory birds may arrive too late to benefit from the Arctic growth pulse. On the other hand, they may be able to invade areas that up to recently became snow-free too late. In order to predict the consequences of Arctic warming for these birds we have to study both processes. Pink-footed geese traditionally nest in western Svalbard, but are now invading eastern Svalbard where the breeding season starts later. The project aims to test whether geese nesting in eastern Svalbard arrive and commence incubation later, but earlier after the local snow melt than those nesting in western Svalbard, whether they are genetically differentiated, and whether geese nesting in western and eastern Svalbard use different migration schemes or routes already before reaching the breeding grounds. The tracks of the geese will also be used to test an agent-based model simulating the migration of the geese, that will be developed by a post-doc to be appointed later in this project.

The project is funded by the Netherlands Polar Programme (NPP) of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

Project description

Pink-footed geese will be caught in both western and eastern Svalbard during wing moult. Adult female geese will be tagged with GPS/accelerometer collars. These collars will yield year-round information about their location and behaviour.Behaviour is derived from tri-axial accelerations, which are calibrated using captive geese. This enables the construction of annual time-energy budgets and possibly weight gains at a higher level of accuracy than is currently possible. The method can be tested against field observations of increases in abdominal profiles. The moment of snow melt and peak food availability will be determined from satellite imagery. Genetic differentiation and exchange rates between pink-footed geese from western and eastern Svalbard will be analysed using an existing single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip.

Start date: Preferably 1 October 2017.

Functie-eisen

A creative, enthusiastic and ambitious researcher, with an MSc degree in Ecology or related discipline, who has:

  • experience with both field and lab work (preferably including handling of birds)
  • analytical skills (R, GIS)
  • expertise with working with large datasets
  • good communication and writing abilities (in English)

Conditions

  • a temporary appointment, initially for 1 year and upon satisfactory performance to be prolonged for a maximum of 4 years total

  • a gross salary starting at € 2.222,- per month in the 1st year, gradually increasing to a maximum of € 2.840,- per month in the 4th year, scale P, Collective Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten), plus 8% holiday pay and a year-end bonus

  • an extensive package of fringe benefits

  • enrolment in the doctoral training program of the PE&RC graduate school (https://www.pe-rc.nl/)

  • use of state-of-the-art facilities

Additional information

Additional information about this position is available upon request from prof. dr. Bart Nolet (b.nolet@nioo.knaw.nl); +31-(0)317-473448/00).

Start date Preferably 1 October 2017.

Bedrijfsomschrijving

The Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) is a top research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). NIOO-KNAW focuses on fundamental and strategic research on individual organisms, populations, communities, and ecosystems.

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