PhD candidate ecological Modelling in Environmental Risk Assessment

PhD candidate ecological Modelling in Environmental Risk Assessment

Published Deadline Location
7 Nov 4 Dec Wageningen

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 4 Dec 2023).

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

Job description

Are you a talented biologist, ecologist, ecotoxicologist or an environmental scientist with demonstrated experience in ecological modelling and programming in R and/or Phyton? Do you like to collaborate with colleagues who have varying areas of expertise, including analytical chemistry, environmental fate of chemicals, ecology, ecotoxicology, statistics and computer science? Then, this vacancy might be of interest to you.

The Environmental Risk Assessment team at Wageningen Environmental Research is looking for a PhD researcher to work on the recently granted four-year horizon Europe project SYBERAC (Towards a SYstems-Based, holistic Environmental Risk Assessment of Chemicals).

SYBERAC aims to advance the risk assessment of chemicals that end up in the environment. The project sets out to assess the risk due to different types of contaminants for terrestrial species, terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity. To do so, innovative system-based ERA tools will be developed along 6 case studies. Wageningen Environmental Research is one of the international partners in this project, which is led by Wageningen University.

Your research will focus on the development of a mechanistic modelling suite for a system-based ERA of single, cumulative, and mixture chemical effects on terrestrial organisms for 2-3 of these case studies. The focus of the study will be on the assessment of effects on ecosystem services at the landscape level for a number of focal species.

You will work here
The PhD project will take place within the Environmental Risk Assessment team at Wageningen Environmental Research, where you will be supervised by Dr. Bas Buddendorf and Dr. Louise Wipfler.
Prof. Paul van den Brink of the Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management group of Wageningen University will be your promotor.

The Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) team is an interdisciplinary team of ecologists, chemists, modelers and ecotoxicologists and consists of a mixed group of juniors and seniors. The ERA team develops models and conducts experimental research to predict the behavior of organic contaminants in the environment, and to determine their effects on ecosystems.

This will offer you the unique opportunity to profit from an extensive collaborative network and expertise from two key research groups in the field. As a PhD student you will become part of the Wageningen Institute for Environment and Climate Research (WIMEK), which is one of the six Graduate Schools at Wageningen University that will support you with additional skills and opportunities to develop your academic and professional network.


Wageningen University & Research


For this PhD position, we are searching an enthusiastic result-driven candidate with:
  • an MSc degree in a relevant discipline in computer science, environmental sciences, geo-ecology, biology or other relevant field, from an internationally recognized two year master program;
  • affinity with the field of ecotoxicology;
  • preferably experienced in development and implementation of ecological models;
  • good programming skills (R, Python, MATLAB, NetLogo, etc.);
  • experience and affinity with data wrangling and data analysis;strong interpersonal skills & a pleasant team worker ;
  • excellent writing skills;
  • oral and written proficiency in English (C1 level). Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised 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:
  • 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 hours by working more;
  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • 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 € 2.629,- per month rising to € 3.360,- in the fourth year in accordance with the CLA Wageningen Research (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 36 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

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 18th consecutive time.


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.. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of Wageningen’s unique approach. WUR has been named Best Employer in the Education category for 2019-2020.

These are the points our employees list as good reasons to come work at WUR: read the 5 reasons to come work at WUR

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.


  • PhD
  • Agriculture
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • P1362026-1


Wageningen University & Research

Learn more about this employer


Droevendaalsesteeg, 6708 PB, Wageningen

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you