2 PhD positions Global change impacts on cyanobacterial bloom toxicity - NIOO-KNAW - Wageningen

2 PhD positions Global change impacts on cyanobacterial bloom toxicity - NIOO-KNAW - Wageningen

Published Deadline Location
25 Jul 4 Sep Wageningen

Job description

What you will be doing

Scarcity of clean and healthy water is among the biggest societal challenges for the 21st century. The quantity and quality of surface waters are declining at a high rate by increased societal demands and global environmental change. Notably, eutrophication may lead to harmful cyanobacterial blooms, which are expected to be further promoted by elevated pCO2 and warming. Although studies focussing on individual global change factors are relatively common, studies on combined stressors on harmful cyanobacterial blooms are remarkably rare. Importantly, harmful cyanobacteria produce toxins, which are the major cause of their threat to human health. Overall bloom toxicity is thus not only driven by the biomass of cyanobacteria, but also depends on the amounts and types of toxins produced by the dominant species and genotypes. We currently lack a mechanistic understanding on key indicators of bloom toxicity, and their response to the complex interplay of multiple global change factors.

We here advertise two PhD projects that are closely interlinked and part of an overarching ERC project that is aimed to mechanistically understand the processes underlying bloom toxicity, and their response to the complex interplay of multiple global change factors. The project combines a unique approach crossing all scales that determine bloom toxicity, linking cellular processes to population, community and ecosystem dynamics. For this, the project will integrate the ecological frameworks trait-based ecology and ecological stoichiometry.

What you will be contributing

You will contribute to the overarching ERC project through one of the two PhD projects. The first will scale from cyanobacterial cells to populations and communities, and the second project from cyanobacteria populations to communities and ecosystems.

Project 1: Cellular traits and population interactions

In this project, you will focus on scaling from cellular traits to population and community interactions, primarily using flat panel chemostats. This project will specifically test 1) the combined effects of CO2, temperature and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) on different traits of cyanobacteria species and genotypes, 2) the impacts of CO2 and temperature on resource competition between species and genotypes, and 3) the role of rapid evolution in determining bloom biomass and toxicity along changes in environmental conditions.

Project 2: Population interactions and natural dynamics

In this project, you will focus on scaling from populations to natural community dynamics, using microcosms, mesocosms and field studies. This project will specifically test 1) the toxicity of blooms along nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) gradients in the field, 2) the combined effects of climate change factors along N:P ratios on community dynamics in microcosms, and 3) the impacts of climate change on bloom toxicity in near-natural systems using indoor large scale mesocosm systems.

Specifications

Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)

Requirements

Job requirements:
  • Master's degree with a background in freshwater, marine and/or microbial ecology.
  • Experience with phytoplankton or bacteria experiments (project 1) or aquatic field or mesocosm studies (project 2) would be preferred but not essential.
  • Strong intrinsic motivation for doing science, a natural curiosity, and the ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Professional working proficiency in English, including scientific writing.
  • Car driving license is necessary for project 2 as it involves field work.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 jaar.

What we are offering

We offer training in a broad range of empirical ecological skills ranging from phytoplankton experimental ecology, culturing, field studies, and chemical and molecular analyses. Furthermore, general training is offered through the KNAW and partners (such as research schools), involving statistical analysis, data interpretation, creative thinking, ecological conceptualization, scientific writing, and career guidance.

Your workplace

Both PhD projects will be performed within the Department of Aquatic Ecology of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), located in Wageningen, the Netherlands, with supervision by Dedmer van de Waal. The projects will be in close collaboration with the Department of Freshwater And Marine Ecology at the University of Amsterdam, with supervision of Jef Huisman. The work is part of a larger ERC Consolidator project granted to Dedmer van de Waal, consisting in total of two post-doc positions and these advertised PhD projects, who all start at approximately the same time. The Department of Aquatic Ecology at NIOO-KNAW is a dynamic, diverse and respectful group of enthusiastic aquatic ecologists, with ample opportunity to socially and scientifically interact.

About the NIOO
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.

Terms of employment
Depending on education and experience, the salary amounts to a minimum of €2.541,- and a maximum of € 3.247,- gross per month for full time employment, scale P under the Collective Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten), excluding 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. There are excellent fringe benefits.

For more information

Please contact: Dedmer van de Waal, Senior Researcher, d.vandewaal@nioo.knaw.nl, +31(0)317 473 553.

Diversity and Inclusion
Everybody is different. Fortunately, as this makes working together more delightful and often leads to better end results. The NIOO believes in a working environment in which everyone feels welcome and appreciated. A working environment in which attention is paid to individual quality and where development opportunities are paramount. Together we strive for an inclusive culture in which we embrace differences. We would like to get in touch with candidates who can contribute to this culture thanks to their background and experience.

We will not respond to any supplier enquiries based on this job advertisement.

Employer

NIOO-KNAW

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.

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 30.4—38 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1020

Employer

Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)

Learn more about this employer

Location

Droevendaalsesteeg 10, 6708PB, Wageningen

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 4 Sep 2022 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).