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PhD position in radar aeroecology

A new PhD position is currently open in the Theoretical and Computational Ecology Department within the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) at the University of Amsterdam. 
As humans expand their activities into the ...

10 maanden geleden


Landelijk / geen vaste standplaats
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


A new PhD position is currently open in the Theoretical and Computational Ecology Department within the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) at the University of Amsterdam.

As humans expand their activities into the aerial environment of birds, through aviation and infrastructure such as wind turbines, conflicts between humans and birds are increasing. Increasing our understanding of flight behaviour and the external and internal factors that influence flight behaviour can be applied to find novel solutions to reduce such conflicts. This PhD project will contribute to a long-term mission to understand how birds adapt their movement strategies to environmental conditions, what the costs, benefits and constraints of different movement strategies are, and whether diversity is important for population persistence. This project will focus on the migratory behaviour of birds over the North Sea in the context of offshore windfarms. As wind energy development is expected to increase in the coming years in the North Sea, so to the need to find solutions to reduce the impact large scale wind farms may have on migratory birds. This project will be conducted in collaboration with Rijkswaterstaat (Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment) and the main aim is to develop a predictive model of bird migration to provide the wind energy industry advance warnings of intense migration and enable efficient adaptation of the turbine activity to reduce collision risk for migratory birds.

Within the project the following objectives will be addressed by the PhD candidate:

  1. synthesize current knowledge and identify major gaps in our understanding about migration over the North Sea in terms of species composition, timing, numbers, source areas of departure, flight behaviour, spatial distribution;
  2. identify large scale spatial and temporal patterns of migration over the North Sea for at least two consecutive autumn and spring seasons;
  3. assess data quality of local bird detection radars for monitoring migration at se;
  4. determine how external factors influence the timing and 3D spatial distribution of migration over the North Sea;
  5. develop a statistical predictive model framework of migration over the North Sea with an emphasis on the air layer relevant for wind parks;
  6. explore the use of a mechanistic model of bird migration over the North Sea, with an emphasis on the air layer relevant for wind parks.


  • A Master’s degree in Ecology, Earth Science or comparable fields. Exceptions can be made for candidates the profile from exact sciences with a shown interest in Ecology and otherwise fit the profile;
  • experience with spatial temporal data, preferably radar data and environmental data;
  • shown experience in analysing large and complex datasets;
  • good data analysis and modelling skills, experience with programming and working with databases is an advantage;
  • interest in conducting multidisciplinary research;
  • interest in communicating with non-academic stakeholders.


The appointment would begin by January 2018, or earlier if possible. The full-time appointment will be on a temporary basis for a maximum period of four years (18 months plus a further 30 months after a positive assessment of the candidate) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). A training and guidance plan will be drafted that includes attendance of courses, (international) meetings and contribution to teaching. The full-time gross monthly salary will range from €2,222 in the first year to €2,840 in the final year, according to the salary scale for PhD candidates. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities is applicable. The annual salary will be increased by 8 % holiday allowance and 8.3 % end-of-year bonus.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

You may also visit her personal webpage for more information about her work:

Applications should be sent ultimately at 3 November 2017, via email to

Please quote vacancy number 17-487 in the subject field.

Applications should include

  1. a detailed CV including educational experience, a list of publications (if any) and the names and contact addresses of two academic references from which information about the candidate can be obtained;
  2. a letter describing motivation and research interests and
  3. an English writing sample (e.g. paper, MSc or BSc thesis).

Please combine these materials into a single PDF file.

Interviews, possibly via Skype, will be held on 17 or 20 November 2017.


With over 5,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad. The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.

Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

The Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) is one of eight research institutes within the Faculty of Science. Research in IBED aims at a better understanding of the dynamics of ecosystems at all relevant levels, from genes to climate change, using a truly multidisciplinary approach.

The PhD candidate will work with weather radar as well as dedicated bird radars to extract information about the spatial and temporal dynamics of avian migration over sea. The candidate will model migratory movement in relation to atmospheric conditions as well as other potentially relevant environmental factors. The candidate will be expected to communicate regularly with the project partners and lead periodic project meetings with external partners. For more information about work being conducted in the field of radar Aeroecology see the COST action titled 'European network for the radar surveillance of animal movement', a network we have played a leading role in.