Two Postdoctoral positions AI in ecology (1.0 FTE)

Two Postdoctoral positions AI in ecology (1.0 FTE)

Published Deadline Location
24 May 30 Jun Utrecht

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Want to integrate and develop AI techniques in a biological setting to make a difference? To design citizen science and engage with society? Apply now!

Job description

Ecology is inherently complex, yet the global decline of biodiversity and rapid loss of natural areas emphasizes the urgency of the challenge to understand how ecosystems change and identify the main processes shaping ecological communities. At the same time, an ever-increasing amount of data is becoming available, such as large-scale and long-term inventories or (long-term) experiments, which ask for new interdisciplinary methods to make full use of their potential. One potential route involves the development and application of Artificial Intelligence approaches (such as machine- or deep learning) in ecology. AI has seen a fast development, revolutionizing various fields, in parallel, ecological datasets are currently also growing with more and more global networks as well as automated monitoring becoming available. The time is right to apply tools from AI in the field of ecology, by developing novel approaches tailored towards ecological datasets (both empirically and experimentally) capable of predicting ecological dynamics and to apply these techniques, engaging with society.

The newly formed research unit Quantitative Biodiversity Dynamics (QBD) aims to achieve a better understanding of the dynamics of biodiversity by developing and applying new approaches to quantify processes underlying the creation, maintenance and change of biodiversity. Within QBD we have two exciting Postdoctoral positions available with a different research focus.

Position 1: Development of artificial intelligence approaches tailored towards ecological datasets.
You are interested in artificial intelligence and its application in ecology. You will focus on the fundamental development of artificial intelligence approaches specifically tailored towards ecological datasets. Within the project there is ample space for pursuing your own interests and we welcome original ideas. The main focus, however, should be on the identification of challenges and the development of subsequent solutions in AI ecological approaches towards quantifying the relative importance of ecological processes and forecasting using experimental and empirical datasets.

Position 2: Artificial intelligence and its application in ecology
You are interested in artificial intelligence and its application in ecology. You will focus on the application of AI approaches in a wide range of biodiversity-related fields, ranging from taxonomical identification to fundamental ecological questions on processes shaping ecological communities, management and conservation. Areas of study will be the acquirement and assessment of (large scale) data, the potential of including citizen science projects and the development of specific (publicly available) software for the actual application of AI techniques.

Within both Postdoctoral position there will be much potential for collaboration with various departments and institutes at Utrecht University, including the Botanic Gardens. As a Postdoctoral researcher, you will be expected to build your own research lines, apply for external funding and supervise BSc, MSc as well as PhD students.


Utrecht University


We are looking for candidates with:

  • a PhD in Information Sciences, Mathematics, or related field;
  • fluency in English, both in speech and writing;
  • a strong interest in ecological theory, complex systems analysis and (non-linear) dynamics;
  • a strong interest in working collaboratively and interdisciplinary on complex problems. 

Conditions of employment

  • a full-time position for four years;
  • a full-time gross salary, depending on previous qualifications and work experience, that ranges between €2,846 and €4,490 per month (scale 10 Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao);
  • 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities.

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the cao for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow. More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here.


You will be appointed in the research unit of Quantitative Biodiversity Dynamics, an interdisciplinary collaboration between Utrecht University Botanic Gardens and the Departments of Biology, Mathematics, Information Sciences as well as the Center for Complex Systems of Utrecht University. We are embedded in the research group of Ecology and Biodiversity at the Department of Biology, part of the Faculty of Science, which consists of many fundamental connections. We have six departments: Biology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Each of these departments consists of various institutes that together focus on important social issues. Even more fundamental are the individual research groups, the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects. Find out more about us.

Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our informal atmosphere and the can-do mentality of our people. This lively and inspiring academic environment attracts professors, researchers and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the University and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2846—€4490 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1188878



Domplein 29, 3512 JE, Utrecht

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