PhD project 'Extrapolation of ecotoxicological effects in a changing climate"

PhD project 'Extrapolation of ecotoxicological effects in a changing climate"

Published Deadline Location
3 Oct 7 Nov Wageningen

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Job description

Are you a highly motivated and skilled PhD candidate with a recent MSc degree in environmental sciences, biology or related area? Do you have good communication skills and are you a result-driven team player? And do you have experience in ecosystem-level experimentation or ecological modelling in relation to the ecological effects of chemicals? Then this could be the ideal PhD position for you!

You will be part of the EU funded QTOX project (, which is an Innovative Training Network consisting of 7 beneficiaries and 10 PhD positions aiming to develop quantitative approaches for characterisation of exposure conditions and determinants of bioavailability in water and sediment, and for extrapolation of potential ensuing adverse effects from the sub-individual and individual level to the ecosystem level under environmentally realistic scenarios.

PhD project: Extrapolation of ecotoxicological effects in a changing climate.
The objectives of this PhD project is to determine the robustness of approaches for extrapolation of chemical toxicity in the context of climate changes scenarios in central and southern Europe. For this, mesocosm experiments will be performed in The Netherlands and Spain to investigate the interactive effects of stressors related to climate change (e.g. CO2, temperature, drought) and chemicals (pesticides, emerging chemicals). This will provide insight into how the fate, effects and risks of (mixtures of) chemicals are influenced by the climate change related stressors separately and in combination. The geographical consistency of these (interactive) effects is also tested. The experimental data will also be used to test and validate the population and food-web models developed by other PhD students, to understand the interactions of effects, and to evaluate possible mitigation measures.


Wageningen University & Research


Special requirements
Applicants should comply to the EU rules regarding ITN projects. The most important rules are that applicants should not have a doctoral degree, should have obtained their MSc degree within the last four years and should not have spent more than 12 months of his/her time during the last 3 years in the Netherlands. If you do not comply with each of these rules, please do not apply as it is impossible to be hired!

Furthermore, successful candidates have
  • a recent university MSc degree in environmental sciences, biology or related area, with a strong experimental aquatic and/or ecotoxicology-related background, preferably with experience at the higher levels of biological organisation.
  • a command of the English language at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognized Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here.

Conditions of employment

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:
  • study leave and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.
In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.
The gross salary for the first year is € 2.443,- per month rising to € 3.122,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well. The total duration of the project is 4 years. In addition to this salary you will receive a mobility allowance and, if relevant, a family allowance for a total of 36 months of the employment

There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the " Best University " in the Netherlands for the 17th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research's International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. For more information please go to our inclusivity page. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment


Wageningen University & Research

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is "To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life". Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With its roughly 30 branches, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR's Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch this video to get an idea of our green campus!

The Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management Group of Wageningen University focusses on the following research areas: the ecological structure and functioning of marine and freshwater systems, the physical-chemical quality of surface waters and sediments, the impact of water quality on human use of surface water, including diversity modelling of ecosystem relations and the fate and effects of substances. The research of the group is multidisciplinary (environmental engineering, environmental chemistry and aquatic ecology) and ranges from the laboratory scale (detailed process studies) to the scale of actual ecosystems (field studies). The multidisciplinary expertise of the team comes together in the development of integrated models for ecosystem and water quality management. The chemical stress ecology sub-group aims to incorporate more ecological theory by introducing novel methods, among others, traits based approaches and mechanistic effect models. This to improve the ecological risk assessment of chemicals but also to obtain a better linkage with the assessments of effects of emerging chemicals and multiple stressors, the latter also including non-chemical stressors like climate change, habitat destruction and flow alteration.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • P1072218-1


Wageningen University & Research

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Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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