PhD position: “Unravelling wetland-edge dynamics, resilience and management of living dikes under climate change”

Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

Netherlands

January 1, 2022

Description

PhD position: “Unravelling wetland-edge dynamics, resilience and management

of living dikes under climate change”

Nature-based flood defense (NBFD) solutions have increasingly been recognized as sustainable and cost-effective alternatives to conventional engineering approaches against climate change. Salt-marsh wetlands fronting a dike / sea-wall, significantly lowers the wave-loading on such dike, and may thereby strongly reduce construction and maintenance costs. Moreover, it may provide ecological valuable nature, that supports both recreation and biodiversity. In this project we aim to develop the fundamental scientific insight needed be able to implement on a large-scale the use of salt marshes as flood defense measure.

2021-11-04 12:08:16

PhD position: “Unravelling wetland-edge dynamics, resilience and management of living dikes under climate change”

Nature-based flood defense (NBFD) solutions have increasingly been recognized as sustainable and cost-effective alternatives to conventional engineering approaches against climate change. Salt-marsh wetlands fronting a dike / sea-wall, significantly lowers the wave-loading on such dike, and may thereby strongly reduce construction and maintenance costs. Moreover, it may provide ecological valuable nature, that supports both recreation and biodiversity. In this project we aim to develop the fundamental scientific insight needed be able to implement on a large-scale the use of salt marshes as flood defense measure.

LOCATION: ROYAL NIOZ-YERSEKE

VACANCY ID: 2021 – 45

CLOSING DATE: 1 January 2022

THE NIOZ DEPARTMENT

The department of Estuarine and Delta Systems (EDS, NIOZ-Yerseke) aims at understanding how the interplay between organisms, hydrodynamics, sediment dynamics and chemistry shapes the sub- and intertidal landscape and how it affects the functioning and resilience of the diverse communities living in these landscapes. We take a multidisciplinary approach that combines state-of- art biophysical and biochemical measurements, remote sensing, and manipulative experiments with mathematical and numerical modeling to obtain in-depth process-based understanding. We do Frontier Applied science, meaning that we link fundamental understanding to societal usage. In doing so, we aim to actively support managers with insight needed for ecosystem conservation, ecosystem restoration and creating nature based flood defense, which is the focus of this project.

THE VACANCY

In this PhD-position you will study experimentally how salt-marsh stability is affected by global change processes. You will use both traditional lab- and novel field flumes as well as set-up unique large-scale manipulative field experiments to resolve the following 3 sub-questions:

  • How does the mudflat-wetland transition function, and how is marsh-edge erosion initiated?
  • How do global change processes affect the overall wetland stability?
  • How to temporary protect wetland edges by using ecological beneficial wave breakers?
  • The project explicitly aims to provide the fundamental understanding needed, to move from science to practice, in implementing integrated Nature-management & Nature-Based Flood Defense. The research builds on earlier projects on Nature-Based Flood Defense.

    The vacancy is part of a larger integrated multidisciplinary research project, aimed at understanding how to apply nature-based flood defense making use of salt-marsh vegetation. In the project you will collaborate within a large multidisciplinary team consisting of social scientist, engineers, physical modelers and ecologists/physical geographers. You will have the closest collaboration with 2 PhD-students studying the effect of marshes on wave loading on dikes, and a post-doc focused on modelling.

    Project organization:

    The overall project is coordinated by dr. Bas Borsje (Twente University); the ecological work by prof. Tjeerd Bouma (NIOZ, UU) in collaboration with prof. Johan van de Koppel (NIOZ). The PhD defense will be at Utrecht University (UU).

    THE CANDIDATE

    We are looking for a highly-motivated candidate with an MSc degree in ecology/biology OR physical geography OR engineering. The candidate should have a keen interest in designing smart experiments, setting up and carrying out challenging experimental work and be able to analyze complicated data. Good statistical knowledge is a prerequisite, and a good feeling for mathematics is a benefit. Candidates should be capable of planning and organizing their own work independently, to organize and carry out field experiments, and meet deadlines imposed by the project.

    Most importantly, the candidate should be open and communicative, and keen on interacting with both end-users and interdisciplinary project partners. The candidate should be inspired by frontier-applied research, where fundamental knowledge is developed, in order to provide a knowledge base for managers. Excellent communication skills and an open collaborative attitude are essential for the success of the project.

    Good English oral and writing skills are demanded, as the candidate must publish the findings in scientific journals and effectively communicate results to end-users.

    We highly encourage applicants from all members of our community and of diverse background, including LGBTIQ+ communities, to join us.

    CONDITIONS Employment of this position at Royal NIOZ is by NWO (The Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research). We offer a position for a period of 1 years (fulltime). At the end of this first year, the employment will be extended for a fixed-term of a maximum of 4 years, if the first year evaluation held with the employee is positive. The salary is compliant to the CAO-OI (Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Research Institutes), a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, a year- end bonus of 8,3%, flexible work arrangements and arrangements and 42 days of holiday leave (fulltime position).

    You may expect attractive secondary employment conditions. We offer generous relocation expenses for employees coming from abroad and support with finding accommodation.

    The position will be based at the NIOZ-Yerseke, which is at commuting distance of cities like Antwerpen, Breda, Middelburg and Vlissingen.

    Further information:

    For additional information about this vacancy, please contact the Prof. dr. Tjeerd Bouma. For additional information about the procedure, please contact Mylene Lormans, sr. HR advisor.

    Interviews will be planned in the 2nd half of January

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