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Do you have a recent master's degree in biology or environmental science and want to start your academic career off right? Then help us link impact of chemical pollution and climate change as a PhD candidate. Join an interdisciplinary and intersectoral research and training programme within a network of several European universities and research institutes.
The aim of the EU Marie Curie QTOX project (seven beneficiaries, ten PhD positions) is to improve chemical risk assessment by bridging the gap between toxicity tests in the lab and ecologically relevant endpoints in the field. In Work Package 5, three PhD positions will relate effects on individuals to impact on populations and communities. The present vacancy (DC4) addresses temperature.
In DC4 you will derive statistically robust and mechanistically based temperature dependence functions covering accumulation and effects of chemicals in scientific models (e.g. on individual toxicokinetic data and dynamics, population, community) as well as regulatory models (e.g. on species sensitivity distributions). You will review literature to obtain temperature functions as well as data to derive these functions yourself. The relationships obtained will be independently tested on experimental data either from existing or anticipated lab experiments. The project will yield a set of theoretically and empirically underpinned relationships to be used both for fundamental understanding as well as practical risk assessment. As a PhD Candidate, you will attend courses, particularly Summer and Winter Schools of ITN-QTOX, improving your research and assessment skills. You will also supervise students and assist in courses at the BSc/MSc level. Your teaching load may be up to 10% of your working time.
Fixed-term contract: you will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract) or 3.5 years (5 year contract).
The project is a collaboration of Radboud University Nijmegen and Wageningen University, which are located 25 km from each other. In Nijmegen you will be based at the Radboud Institute for Biological and Environmental Sciences (RIBES), nationally and internationally unique as its research encompasses three major groups of organisms (microorganisms, plants and animals) and spans nearly all levels of biological organisation. You will be hosted by the Environmental Science cluster, which aims to provide high-quality scientific knowledge that can help the world move towards greater sustainability. We develop predictive process-based or statistical models quantifying the impacts of human pressures on the environment and apply these to identify solutions for the environmental sustainability challenges the world faces today.
In Wageningen you will work in the Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management Group, focusing on the following research areas: the ecological structure and functioning of marine and freshwater systems, the physical-chemical quality of surface waters and sediments, and the impact of water quality on human use of surface water, including biodiversity modelling of ecosystem relations and the fate and effects of substances. The multidisciplinary expertise comes together in the development of integrated models for ecosystem and water quality management. The chemical stress ecology sub-group incorporates ecological theory by introducing trait-based approaches and mechanistic effect models.
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