PhD position on the effects of nocturnal illumination on bat behaviour - NIOO-KNAW - Wageningen

PhD position on the effects of nocturnal illumination on bat behaviour - NIOO-KNAW - Wageningen

Published Deadline Location
1 Mar 31 Mar Wageningen

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Job description

Project description:  Artificial light at night is increasing worldwide, and forms a serious threat for ecosystems. Nocturnal species such as bats are particularly affected as they rely on darkness at night. Recent research has provided information on how bats respond to different light spectra, however, little is known on how their response varies with light intensity. This is an important question for bat conservation, as knowledge on thresholds for negative impact enables urban planners to avoid harmful light levels.

The aim of this PhD project is to assess dose-response relationships between different light sources and activity and movement of different bat species. This will be done for bats when foraging in their natural habitat, and when moving through the landscape, as commuting routes between roosts and foraging grounds may be particularly affected.

Using high-resolution tracking systems, the PhD will measure the response of bats to deliberate variation in experimental lighting at seven large, long-term experimental test sites and at corridors in the landscape that are in use by different species of bat. The work is part of a larger NWO-TTW funded project ‘Light on Landscape’ on the light intensity dependent habitat loss and landscape use of nocturnal species.


Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)


The candidate needs to have a strong background in field ecology, handling large datasets and statistical analysis. Experience with bats is appreciated.  She/he needs to have a master degree. As the PhD student will interact with many organizations, good communication skills are essential.

Conditions of employment

This is a temporary appointment, initially for one year and upon satisfaction to be prolonged for a maximum of four years (1.0 fte). Starting day: May 1st 2019. The PhD position is for four years.

The gross salary starts at € 2.325 - per month in the 1st year, and will gradually increase to a maximum of €2.972,- per month in the 4th year, scale P, Collective Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten), excluding 8% holiday pay and a year-end bonus.


Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW)

The Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) is an Academy research institute. It conducts ecological research on land, in the ocean and in fresh water and studies how living organisms interact with one another and their environment. NIOO stimulates biodiversity and sustainability in nature and society through its worldwide network of researchers, policymakers, conservationists and other stakeholders.


  • PhD positions
  • max. 38 hours per week, temporary
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • University Graduate
  • AT4138 - PhD-AnE-19007


Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)

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Droevendaalsesteeg 10, 6708 PB, Wageningen

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