PhD Candidate: Modelling Global Biodiversity Change

PhD Candidate: Modelling Global Biodiversity Change

Published Deadline Location
27 May tomorrow Nijmegen

Job description

Are you interested in understanding and predicting global biodiversity change and identifying solutions for biodiversity conservation? If so, come and join us to develop and apply new modelling approaches to quantify how species and communities respond to global environmental change and possible conservation measures. You will be part of a larger team studying broad-scale biodiversity patterns and trends, with the ultimate aim of identifying solutions for a more sustainable and nature-inclusive society.

Human activities are causing major changes in biodiversity and ecosystems across the globe. Prominent threats to biodiversity include habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change and pollution. Biodiversity models are indispensable to quantify the impacts of these threats on biodiversity and to assess the effectiveness of possible measures to conserve and restore biodiversity.

In this project you will develop and apply global models to understand how biodiversity responds to human activities. Building upon the increasing availability of global datasets on biodiversity and underlying direct drivers (such as climate and land use), you will quantify how the distributions and population sizes of species and the composition of ecological communities respond to anthropogenic environmental change. You will then apply these models in scenario simulations to explore how potential future environmental change (e.g. projected climate change) as well as possible conservation measures (e.g. expansion of the global protected area network) may affect species and ecological communities globally. You will collaborate with researchers from PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency to ensure that the models and scenario simulations are useful for policy and decision support.

Besides conducting research, you will also dedicate about 10% of your working time to teaching BSc and MSc students. Teaching activities include guiding students in courses and research projects and developing and testing course materials.


Radboud University


  • You hold an MSc degree in Biology, Ecology or a relevant related field within the natural sciences.
  • You have a drive to better understand broad-scale biodiversity patterns and trends.
  • You are familiar with statistical and/or process-explicit ecological modelling.
  • You have experience with at least one common high-level programming language, such as R, Python, or Matlab.
  • You are not afraid of data processing or programming challenges - or even enjoy these.
  • You appreciate collaborative and solution-oriented research.
  • You have good communication skills in both written and spoken English.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: We will give you a temporary employment contract (1.0 FTE) of 1.5 years, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, your contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4-year contract).

  • We will give you a temporary employment contract (1.0 FTE) of 1.5 years, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, your contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4-year contract).
  • You will receive a starting salary of €2,770 gross per month based on a 38-hour working week, which will increase to €3,539 in the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • You will receive an 8% holiday allowance and an 8,3% end-of-year bonus.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Support Service. The Dual Career Programme assists your partner via support, tools, and resources to improve their chances of independently finding employment in the Netherlands. Our Family Support Service helps you and your partner feel welcome and at home by providing customised assistance in navigating local facilities, schools, and amenities. Also take a look at our support for international staff page to discover all our services for international employees.
  • You will receive extra days off. With full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the statutory 20.

Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.


You will be based at the Department of Environmental Science of the Radboud Institute for Biological and Environmental Sciences (RIBES). The mission of the Department of Environmental Science is to provide high-quality scientific knowledge that can help the world move towards greater sustainability. To achieve this, we aim to understand and predict the impact of anthropogenic pressures on ecosystems and humans from the landscape to the global scale and use the knowledge obtained to identify solutions for a more sustainable society. Our group currently consists of around 50 people, including around 25 PhD candidates, and offers a very open, inclusive and supportive work environment with regular social activities.

Additional information

You can apply only via the button below. Address your application to Aafke Schipper and Jelle Hilbers. Your application should include a motivation letter and your curriculum vitae (CV). Please include the contact details of two potential referees in your CV.

The first round of interviews takes place on 4 July. You will preferably start your employment on 1 September 2024.

We can imagine you're curious about our application procedure. It describes what you can expect during the application procedure and how we handle your personal data and internal and external candidates.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 62.122.24



Houtlaan 4, 6525XZ, Nijmegen

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 20 Jun 2024 1:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).