Postdoc on Conservation strategies for Mediterranean forests

Postdoc on Conservation strategies for Mediterranean forests

Published Deadline Location
1 Dec 23 Dec Amsterdam

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Do you want to contribute in designing new biodiversity conservation approaches based on spatial modelling and stakeholder co-design? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Job description

Mediterranean forests are a global biodiversity hotspot. Here, the combined effects of climate change and human-driven land use have shaped and will shape the spatial distribution of species. Integrative and pro-active conservation actions will therefore be paramount to the long-term persistence of biodiversity in the area.
Building on species distribution models for the trees, birds, and butterflies of the European Mediterranean biome, on spatially-explicit models of the provision of regulating and cultural services provided by nature, and on a tight collaborative network with on-the-ground conservation practitioners and stakeholders, the postdoctoral researcher will generate spatially-explicit maps of conservation priorities for biodiversity and ecosystem services.
The analysis will rely on cutting-edge modelling and conservation planning to integrate the phylogenetic and functional facets of biodiversity, exploring the importance of climate change for species distributions, of climatic and socio-economic drivers of land use change, connectivity, and of economic costs to inform future steps in the protection of this biome. Next to spatial modelling efforts, the postdoc will co-design approaches with non-academic partners and stakeholders in the study region. This co-design is essential to represent the different views and values of stakeholders in one or multiple alternative conservation plans.
The postdoc is part of the BiodivERsA project INTEGRADIV (Efficient conservation of Mediterranean forests: an integrative assessment of the drivers and vulnerability of multi-taxa, multi-facet and multi-scale biodiversity patterns). Within this project the postdoc will collaborate with the other European consortium partners in successfully meeting the project objective of sustaining biodiversity in the most diverse region of Europe.

Your duties
  • Contribute to and collaborate within the INTEGRADIV project consortium
  • Develop novel ways of doing conservation prioritization based on ecological understanding and spatial modelling
  • Integrate stakeholder co-design in spatial prioritization algorithms
  • Publish scientific papers and reach out to stakeholders


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • PhD degree in ecology or geography
  • proven experience with spatial analysis and modelling
  • knowledge of European landscapes
  • good writing and communication skills.
  • ability to start the position by April 1st 2023 or shortly after

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 3 years.

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,960 (scale 10)
and a maximum €4,670 (scale 10), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

The employment contract will affect a period of 3 years.
Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment, 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus, solid pension scheme (ABP)


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor - from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 30,000 students. We employ over 5,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

The Faculty of Science
The Faculty of Science inspires researchers and students to find sustainable solutions for complex societal issues. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to medicines and from molecules to the moon: our teaching and research programmes cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. We share knowledge and experience with leading research institutes and industries, both here in the Netherlands and abroad.

Working at the Faculty of Science means working with students, PhD candidates and researchers, all with a clear focus on their field and a broad view of the world. We employ more than 1,250 staff members, and we are home to more than 11,000 students.

About the institute
IVM is a leading environmental research institute that is internationally recognized for its high quality research output in a range of environmental disciplines, as well as for its interdisciplinary work. The mission of the institute is to contribute to sustainable development and care for the environment through scientific research and teaching. IVM aims to do excellent problem-oriented research that is useful to a wide range of stakeholders in the Netherlands and internationally. A unique strength of our research is to understand sustainability problems in their social and economic context. IVM research community works within four departments: Environmental Economics; Environmental Policy Analysis; Environmental Geography; and Water and Climate Risk. IVM is part of the Faculty of Science at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ( This position is based within the Environmental Geography department. The Environmental Geography department conducts interdisciplinary research on the spatial aspects of environmental and social challenges and the solutions sustainable land use can provide to these.


  • Postdoc
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2960—€4670 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 13259


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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