Interdisciplinary PhD Scholarship on Values in Arctic Tern conservation

Interdisciplinary PhD Scholarship on Values in Arctic Tern conservation

Published Deadline Location
22 Jun 31 Jul Groningen
Between nuisance and survival: understanding value and spaces from an interspecies perspective

The Faculty of Arts and Campus Fryslân (both at the University of Groningen, NL) offer a four year studentship to complete a PhD within a joint interdisciplinary project led by Dr Ma

Job description

Between nuisance and survival: understanding value and spaces from an interspecies perspective

The Faculty of Arts and Campus Fryslân (both at the University of Groningen, NL) offer a four year studentship to complete a PhD within a joint interdisciplinary project led by Dr Maarten Loonen (https://www.rug.nl/staff/m.j.j.e.loonen/) and Prof. Anne Beaulieu (https://www.rug.nl/staff/j.a.beaulieu/). The proposed PhD research plan will be embedded in the Arctic Centre of the Faculty of Arts and the Knowledge Infrastructures Department of Campus Fryslân.

The PhD candidate will investigate how humans and birds have a long history of sharing spaces. While different configurations of interspecies relations have led to cohabitation, there are also increasingly common situations where the presence of one species is valued over the other. For example, Arctic and common terns are protected species regarded of high value for the natural ecosystems in which they occur. However, they do breed in colonies on roof tops, harbours as well as in nature areas. In areas close to humans, these colonies are regarded as a nuisance because the birds have a strong group defense by attacking approaching people with hits and dive bombing of faeces. In the Eemshaven, there has been a reallocation of a colony by providing a new island and making the original breeding site unsuitable for breeding. These actions were allowed thanks to a compensation plan, and in spite of the protected status of the birds and the potential negative effect on the natural values of the Wadden Sea, even when the birds are nesting outside the Wadden Sea. In this case, we therefore see how the value of the colony and species, the value of human-built facilities, and the value of the Wadden Sea lead to allocation of different spaces to the various species.

In this project, the PhD candidate will explore how birds are differently valued and how knowledge infrastructures play a role in this valuation. For example, it is possible to evaluate the reproductive success and terrain use of terns in areas that are affected by humans e.g. buildings, turbines, cooling water. It is also possible to follow to which extent terns have been relocated to new developed nesting areas, by tracking individuals during the breeding season with individually coded plastic rings, GPS devices, radio transmitters and wildlife cameras. We can compare this evidence and how it lends value to specific species by comparing it to other knowledge infrastructures, which are used to establish the value of nature areas (the designation of the Wadden Sea as a World Heritage Site) or of human facilities.

This interdisciplinary project will shed light on the intersection between different ways of establishing value and how we make room (literally) for survival. This project is especially urgent as we see more and more encroachment of natural habitats by built environments.
From the Arctic Centre, Faculty of Arts, there is an interest as this study will be part of a research project in which Arctic terns are studied in the northern part of their breeding range on Spitsbergen and the southern part of their breeding range in The Netherlands. The terns in these areas differ much in terms of the amount of climate warming, start of season and migration route to Antarctica. Loonen has been involved in the translocation project working closely with the Province of Groningen, Groningen Seaports, SOVON Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology and the national coordinator of tern ringing.
This project connects to one of the main lines of work at the Knowledge Infrastructure Department of Campus Fryslân: Knowledge for the Anthropocene, and specifically the relation between socio-environmental challenges and better knowledge infrastructures.

Specifications

University of Groningen

Requirements

We are looking for talented and ambitious researchers in relevant disciplines, such as ecology, science and technology studies, anthropology and animal studies. Affinities with ethnographic fieldwork and multi-species approaches are essential to pursue this PhD project.

Important qualifications for the PhD candidate are:

- a Research Master’s degree, or comparable selective masters, with a strong academic record
- demonstrated research abilities and affinity with the research topic
- demonstrated experience in qualitative research
- great communication skills
- excellent command of English and proven academic writing skills.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 48 months.

The successful candidate will receive a scholarship € 2,249 gross per month. You will be required to be resident in Groningen or the Northern Netherlands.

General information about the University of Groningen’s PhD scholarship programme can be found here: https://www.rug.nl/education/phd-programmes/phd-scholarship-programme/conditions-application/

The non-negotiable starting date is 1 October 2022

Department

Faculty of Arts and Campus Fryslân

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative center of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 36,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

Additional information

Dr Maarten Loonen
m.j.j.e.loonen@rug.nl

Prof. Anne Beaulieu
j.a.beaulieu@rug.nl

Specifications

  • PhD scholarship
  • Language and culture
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €2249 per month
  • University graduate
  • B039222

Employer

University of Groningen

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Location

Broerstraat 5, 9712 CP, Groningen

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Application procedure

Your application (uploaded in one pdf as your ‘Letter of motivation’) should include:

- a brief letter of motivation
- a CV, including contact details of two academic referees
- a research proposal of up to 2,000 words, covering (a) state of the art, (b) main research question, key objectives, and relevance, (c) the proposed (methodological) approach, and (d) the proposed timetable for the writing of your thesis. This proposal should correspond to the project description above
- a writing sample of no more than 5,000 words, such as an essay or part of a Master’s thesis
- certified official transcripts of your academic degrees.

You may apply for this position until 31 July 11:59pm / before 1 August 2022 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Note that the procedure will include interviews. Selected candidates will be invited for an interview online or on site. Interviews are scheduled to take place in the first week of September.

We recommend you contact either supervisor before applying for the scholarship. For questions regarding the submission procedure, please contact gia@rug.nl

The PhD candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School for the Humanities and in WTMC, the Netherlands Graduate Research School of Science, Technology and Modern Culture.

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage: https://www.rug.nl/about-ug/policy-and-strategy/diversity-and-inclusion/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): https://www.nvp-hrnetwerk.nl/sollicitatiecode/ and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers: https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/charter/code

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Application procedure

Application procedure

Your application (uploaded in one pdf as your ‘Letter of motivation’) should include:

- a brief letter of motivation
- a CV, including contact details of two academic referees
- a research proposal of up to 2,000 words, covering (a) state of the art, (b) main research question, key objectives, and relevance, (c) the proposed (methodological) approach, and (d) the proposed timetable for the writing of your thesis. This proposal should correspond to the project description above
- a writing sample of no more than 5,000 words, such as an essay or part of a Master’s thesis
- certified official transcripts of your academic degrees.

You may apply for this position until 31 July 11:59pm / before 1 August 2022 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Note that the procedure will include interviews. Selected candidates will be invited for an interview online or on site. Interviews are scheduled to take place in the first week of September.

We recommend you contact either supervisor before applying for the scholarship. For questions regarding the submission procedure, please contact gia@rug.nl

The PhD candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School for the Humanities and in WTMC, the Netherlands Graduate Research School of Science, Technology and Modern Culture.

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage: https://www.rug.nl/about-ug/policy-and-strategy/diversity-and-inclusion/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): https://www.nvp-hrnetwerk.nl/sollicitatiecode/ and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers: https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/charter/code

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Make sure to apply no later than 31 Jul 2022 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).