Postdoc Acoustic Biodiversity Monitoring

Postdoc Acoustic Biodiversity Monitoring

Published Deadline Location
15 May yesterday Amsterdam

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Job description

Do you have experience with the analysis of acoustic biodiversity monitoring data? Are you interested in integrating data from digital sensors with observations from traditional monitoring methods? Do you enjoy working in an interdisciplinary academic research setting bridging ecology and computer science?

The Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) at the University of Amsterdam is looking for an ambitious and motivated Postdoc in Acoustic Biodiversity Monitoring for a 30-month (2.5 year) position within the European-funded Biodiversa+ project TABMON.

The central objective of the project TABMON (Towards a Transnational Acoustic Biodiversity MOnitoring Network) is to develop a transnational biodiversity monitoring with autonomous acoustic sensors across a large latitudinal range in Europe, demonstrating how acoustic sensing can complement existing monitoring efforts to fill current gaps in reporting to EU directives and assessing targets of the EU Biodiversity Strategy target. The position is part of an internationally diverse and world-leading team of ecologists, computer scientists, engineers, and stakeholders. It will develop showcases for integrating acoustic observations with traditional monitoring data from structured monitoring schemes, with a focus on Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) of species distributions, population abundance and migration phenology of birds. The showcases will test approaches for model-based data integration with the aim to demonstrate how acoustic observations can complement existing monitoring schemes and how current data gaps can be filled.

Your work will be embedded in the Biogeography & Macroecology (BIOMAC) lab of the Theoretical and Computational Ecology Department of IBED. It will involve collaborations with other partners from the Netherlands (e.g. SOVON, CBS Statistics Netherlands, Netherlands Institute of Ecology NIOO-KNAW, University of Tilburg, Naturalis Biodiversity Centre) and abroad (Forest Science and Technology Center of Catalonia in Spain, University of Toulon in France, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research in Norway). It will also connect to other Dutch biodiversity projects such as LTER-LIFE and the biodiversity monitoring demonstration sites of ARISE.

What are you going to do?
You will integrate acoustic observations from a cutting-edge, high-throughput and fully autonomous acoustic monitoring system called Bugg with data from structured biodiversity monitoring schemes, i.e. conventional surveys with repeatable protocols and/or a stratified sampling design. In this context, you will develop showcases with model-based data integration to demonstrate how acoustic observations can complement existing monitoring schemes and how current data gaps can be filled.

You will address some of the future needs for EBV workflows as identified by EuropaBON, i.e., developing an autonomous, network-connected, cloud-based, and transnational acoustic biodiversity monitoring system based on EBV workflows with digital sensors and automated end-to-end data streams. The EBV showcases will focus on birds and include improving species distribution data for inconspicuous or night-active species (e.g. harmonizing and integrating different detection probabilities and encounter rates), outlining statistical tools and models to estimate population abundance (e.g. N-mixture models or indices of vocal activities), and quantification of migration phenology (e.g. migrant bird arrival, departure, or intensity of migration). This will provide a basis for near-real time, harmonized and standardized EBV data.

Tasks and responsibilities:
  • Handling, assembling and processing large bioacoustic datasets;
  • Maintaining bioacoustics sensor deployments and their automated data streams;
  • Developing and applying model-based biodiversity data integration tools;
  • Statistical modelling of biodiversity data;
  • Working with ecologists, computer scientists and stakeholders from research institutes; universities, national parks and NGOs;
  • Writing publications in peer-reviewed journals to present the scientific results or developed tools;
  • Applying open science principles (e.g. data papers, open source code, metadata specifications).

What do you have to offer?
Your experience and profile
  • A PhD in ecology, ecological informatics, or a closely related field;
  • Interest, passion and experience with acoustic sensors for biodiversity monitoring;
  • Exceptional quantitative skills and profound experience in scripting/programming (e.g. R, Python) and handling of large and diverse datasets;
  • Willingness to work in a multidisciplinary team (ecology, computer science; software engineering, remote sensing, environmental management);
  • Proficiency in scientific writing;
  • Ability to speak and communicate in English at an academic level;
  • Ability to work independently and self-motivated;
  • Work experience in a European country.

Our offer
We offer a temporary employment contract for 38 hours per week for a period of 12 months, with the possibility to the extend the contract for another 18 months upon a positive evaluation of your performance. The preferred starting date is as soon as possible.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week and dependent on relevant experience, ranges between € 3,226 to € 5,090 (scale 10). This does not include 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% year-end allowance. The UFO profile Researcher, level 4 (Post doc Researcher) is applicable. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands is applicable.

Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park we offer you multiple fringe benefits:
  • 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime) and extra holidays between Christmas and 1 January;
  • multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
  • multiple courses on topics such as leadership for academic staff;
  • multiple courses on topics such as time management, and an online learning platform with 100+ different courses;
  • 7 weeks birth leave (partner leave) with 100% salary;
  • partly paid parental leave;
  • the possibility to set up a workplace at home;
  • a pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
  • the possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
  • help with registration at UvA- Housing for a studio or small apartment when you’re moving from abroad.

Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here.

About us
The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands' largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics is one of eight research institutes of the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam. The research at IBED aims to unravel how ecosystems function in all their complexity, and how they change due to natural processes and human activities. At its core lies an integrated systems approach to study biodiversity, ecosystems and the environment. IBED adopts this systems approach to ecosystems, addressing abiotic (soil and water quality) and biotic factors (ecology and evolution of plants, animals, and microorganisms), and the interplay between those. The IBED vision includes research encompassing experimental and theoretical approaches at a wide variety of temporal and spatial scales, i.e. from molecules and microorganisms to patterns and processes occurring at the global scale. The University of Amsterdam has excellent high performance computing facilities. Furthermore, IBED has a dedicated computational support team with specialized knowledge of bioinformatics, (geo)database management and scientific programming. IBED also works with non-academic partners to deliver transdisciplinary science for society.

The position is embedded in the Department of Theoretical and Computational Ecology (TCE) at IBED which focuses on understanding the complexity of ecological systems by using theoretical and advanced computational approaches. A key research focus is to address how organisms cope with changing environmental conditions and how nature and life is distributed across our planet. Within TCE, the position is embedded in the Biogeography & Macroecology (BIOMAC) lab, a research group which aims to quantify how biodiversity and abiotic components of the Earth system vary across space and time, how they interact, and how responses of species and ecosystems to changing environmental conditions can be predicted and forecasted. The group covers a wide variety of scientific backgrounds, including ecology, data science, conservation science, physical geography, Earth science, and global change biology.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.

Any questions?
Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:
  • Dr. W. Daniel Kissling Associate Professor of Quantitative Biodiversity Science
  • T: +31 (0)20 525 8423
  • Email:

Job application
If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including June 16, 2024.

Applications should include the following information (all files besides your cv should be submitted in one single pdf file):
  • a letter of motivation
  • a CV (with the months, not just years, when referring to your education and work experience, names of 2(-3) referees, and a list of publications.

Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.

A knowledge security check can be part of the selection procedure.

(for details: National knowledge security guidelines)

We will invite potential candidates for interviews soon after the closing date.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

No agencies please.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €3226—€5090 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 12997


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Science Park 904, 1098XH, Amsterdam

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