2 PhD Positions on Multi-Level Ecosystem Responses to Climate Change

2 PhD Positions on Multi-Level Ecosystem Responses to Climate Change

Published Deadline Location
31 Jan 20 Mar Utrecht
The Ben-Gurion University is looking for a PhD in Multi-level ecosystem responses to climate change. Interested? Then read the full profile and apply!

Job description

Within the EU project RESILIENCE, coordinated by Utrecht University, the Ben-Gurion University, Israel, offers two PhD positions in Pathways of resilience and evasion of tipping in ecosystems.

Your job
Ecosystems are highly complex systems characterised by hierarchies of organisation and trophic levels. Their response to climate change is likely to involve mechanisms operating at different levels, such as phenotypic changes and evolutionary adaptation in individual plants, spatial self-organisation of plant and herbivore populations, and community reassembly. Depending on history, disturbances, and environmental variability, ecosystem response can be realised in various pathways; some may lead to tipping points and collapse, while others may result in resilient states.

RESILIENCE aims to fundamentally advance our understanding and predictions of tipping points and critical transitions in ecosystems and reveal how these can be evaded and even reversed through spatial pattern formation. RESILIENCE will develop a new theory for emerging resilience through spatial pattern formation and link this with real tipping-prone biomes undergoing accelerating global change: savanna and tundra.

You will study various aspects of multi-level ecosystem response to environmental stress in dryland biomes, savanna, or tundra to identify pathways of resilience associated with spatial patterning. You are expected to:
  1. be involved in the development of spatial vegetation models for plant populations and communities that capture various elements of ecosystem complexity, such as phenotypic changes, plant-resource and plant-soil feedbacks, herbivore dynamics, and effects of ground templates, e.g. stone patterns in tundra;
  2. study the models using mathematical analysis, numerical simulations, and numerical continuation in one and two spatial dimensions;
  3. confront model predictions with available empirical data.

You will benefit from the expertise of the four Principal Investigators (PIs) in the RESILIENCE project: Ehud Meron, a physicist at Ben-Gurion University; Arjen Doelman, a mathematician at Leiden University; Max Rietkerk, an ecologist at Utrecht University; and Isla Meyers-Smith, an ecologist at the University of British Columbia.

Specifications

Utrecht University

Requirements

We are looking for two PhD candidates with:
  • a relevant Master's degree and a strong scientific background in the field of physics, mathematics, or engineering sciences;
  • excellent English language skills;
  • experience with field work, data collection and spatial data analysis;
  • programming skills (e.g. Matlab, Python);
  • an interest in or a background in nonlinear dynamics, pattern formation, and ecology, and experience in modelling and numerical computations.

Conditions of employment

The successful candidates will receive PhD scholarships (1.0 FTE) to work with Professor Ehud Meron at the Swiss Institute for Dryland Environmental and Energy Research (SIDEER) of the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR), located in the Sede Boqer campus of Ben-Gurion University. The monthly fellowship will be approximately 10,000 NIS. The offer includes subsidised residence, most likely in the university dorms.

Employer

Universiteit Utrecht

The SIDEER is an interdisciplinary research institute consisting of physicists, applied mathematicians, ecologists, and environmental scientists, covering in their research major aspects of dryland ecosystems. It is one of three institutes that comprise the BIDR, with the other two offering complementary expertise in water research, agriculture, and dryland biotechnologies. The BIDR is located in the Sede-Boqer Campus, about 60km south of the main campus of BGU in the city of Be'er-Sheva. The Sede Boqer campus is an intimate place with a spectacular and inspiring desert landscape and an international atmosphere, thanks to the Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies it hosts.

Additional information

For more information about these positions, please contact Professor Ehud Meron via ehud@bgu.ac.il.

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 3566

Employer

Location

Princetonlaan 8a, 3584CB, Utrecht

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Application procedure

Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We value staff with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and identities, including cultural, religious or ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. We strive to create a safe and inclusive environment in which everyone can flourish and contribute.

To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation, via the ‘apply now’ button.

Application procedure

Application procedure

Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We value staff with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and identities, including cultural, religious or ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. We strive to create a safe and inclusive environment in which everyone can flourish and contribute.

To apply, please send your curriculum vitae, including a letter of motivation, via the ‘apply now’ button.

Make sure to apply no later than 20 Mar 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).