PHD POSITION 'MODELING LAND COVER CHANGE IN EUROPE OVER CURRENT AND PAST ENERGY REGIMES: THE COMBINED EFFECTS OF CLIMATE AND ANTHROPOGENIC ACTIVITIES ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF EUROPEAN LANDSCAPES'

PHD POSITION 'MODELING LAND COVER CHANGE IN EUROPE OVER CURRENT AND PAST ENERGY REGIMES: THE COMBINED EFFECTS OF CLIMATE AND ANTHROPOGENIC ACTIVITIES ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF EUROPEAN LANDSCAPES'

Published Deadline Location
15 Feb 15 Apr Amsterdam

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Job description

Do you want to make a contribution to the sustainable management of European Landscapes? And model land cover change in TERRANOVA? Please apply at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Location: Amsterdam
FTE: 1

Job description
The PhD position is part of the European Training Network TERRANOVA (H2020 ITN) in which 15 PhD fellows will collaborate to increase long-term understanding of landscape histories and land use strategies in Europe.The main objective of this ESR project is to provide a better understanding of the landscape settings during the Energy Regimes 1 & 2 of the TerraNova ITN in the pre-industrial period (early to mid-Holocene) and provide other collaborators of the project with a digital Atlas of land-cover change throughout the selected time periods.  Even if the general evolution of human pressure on the environment is clear, there is considerable uncertainty in the understanding of the climate and land-cover variability (at century timescales) and its spatial variability (across the European continent).

The ESR will make use of a recently developed spatial downscaling technique within an Earth System model (iLOVECLIM) to perform climate and land-cover evolution simulations (with the CARAIB land surface model) at high resolution over continental Europe.  The ability of this technique to zoom into one region though retaining the global physical coherency of the climate system is a major new step forward that will allow the ESR to progress rapidly into new ground.

This PhD project will be jointly supervised by three supervisors. Three secondments will take place: to University of South- Eastern Norway (prof Renssen) to the climate modelling group, to University Leiden (NL, prof Kolen), to relate human subsistence strategies to climate history, and to Landscape Research & Management (UK, dr Howard) to understand the relationship between applied consultancy and research dealing with landscape and archaeology.

Your duties

  • Assess the current state of land-cover reconstruction that have emerged from proxy evidence and complement them where necessary by taking newly published information into account.
  • Develop the necessary skills  to apply coupled climate and land-surface modeling approaches to understanding the general long-term evolution and variability of natural systems.
  • Study the interaction between natural systems and human evolution.
  • Integrate the effects of human activities, identified by agent-based modeling undertaken during work package ESR 3, into the modeling framework and outputs, which include the atlas.
  • Publish scientific papers and deliver synthesis
  • Interact and collaborate with other PhD students in the TERRANOVA project

Specifications

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

Requirements

  • We seek a candidate with an above-average MSc (or equivalent degree) in Environmental Science, Physical Geography, Earth Sciences, Climate Sciences or related fields.
  • We expect a strong background in climate system sciences. Required skills include experience in modelling and excellent writing and communication skills. Knowledge of GIS would be a plus.

What are we offering?

  • A challenging position in a socially involved organization. Renumeration according to the conditions of Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions (MSCA).
  • Be part of a team of leading scientists in different fields of academia and commerce (science, landscape management, modelling and imaging techniques).
  • Prestigious EU fellowship.
  • Develop multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary research skills.
  • Excellent training programme covering human-environment interaction, landscape histories, reconstruction, and management, energy regimes and spatial planning, among others.
  • Establish a professional network in academia, business organizations and NGO’s.
  • Internships and visits to different disciplinary institutes within industry and academia.

Conditions of employment

The appointment will initially be for 1 years. After a satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a duration of 2 more 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
  • excellent sport facilities
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalised benefits package

Employer

About Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. And to be a university where personal education and societal involvement play a leading role. Where people from different disciplines and backgrounds work together on innovations and on generating new knowledge. Our teaching and research embrace the whole spectrum of science – from the humanities, the social sciences and the pure sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 23,000 students. We employ more than 4,500 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible, located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

Diversity
Diversity is one of our university’s core values. We are an inclusive community, and we believe that diversity and international activities enhance the quality of education and research. We are always looking for people who can enhance diversity on our campus thanks to their background and experience.

Department

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 around 6,000 students.
The Department of Earth Sciences has a long-standing tradition in studying the effects of natural and anthropogenic processes on landscape evolution. The HORIZON2020 Terra Nova project aims at improving our diachronic long-term understanding of landscape histories and land use strategies in Europe in the Holocene and Anthropocene. Regional and continental syntheses will be used to anchor a new generation of landscape and climate change models, which include the effects of past human actions and generate scenarios for landscape management and rewilding. Ultimately, this project will contribute to identifying major previous shifts in resource use and energy regimes and provide options for the future transition to a low carbon society.

Specifications

  • PhD positions
  • Agriculture; Natural Sciences
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • University Graduate
  • 457

Employer

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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Location

De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV, Amsterdam

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