The biodiversity crisis requests novel strategies to transform the way we interact with nature. Re-wilding of previously intensive managed land is one of these. Often a focus is put on the development of new nature on former agricultural lands. This project will, in contrast, focus on the potential of re-wilding managed forest areas. The benefits and tradeoffs of such re-wilding of forest areas across many physical and socio-economic dimensions is likely to vary across Europe. The purpose of this PhD project is to assess possible pathways towards re-wilding forest land use in Europe and designing strategies to navigate the associated tradeoffs by spatial planning and targeting of interventions.
Research in this project is 1) to identify likely locations for re-wilding based on scenarios using exploratory land use change models, 2) assess the tradeoffs of alternative forest change trajectories on physical and socio-economic dimensions, 3) optimize target locations for re-wilding and 4) assess the role of a very uncertain future in terms of climate and social changes on these re-wilding pathways.
You will be part of the European project ‘Wildcard’ which bring together European partners in assessing the potential of re-wilding European landscapes. This project is aimed to provide actionable knowledge for EU policy making. You will deploy quantitative and spatial tools, but will additionally work with project partners in a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary way. Your duties
- Conduct scientific research and publish this in peer-reviewed journals, the articles building the PhD thesis
- You contribute to project tasks, in particular in collaborating on assessment methods for the impacts of re-wilding
- you assist in teaching at BSc and/or MSc level, for example by supervising thesis candidates and guiding tutorials