Postdoc in Geoinformatics, with a focus on urban expansion and conversion of natural areas

Copenhagen University
September 04, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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The Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), invites applicants for a full-time postdoctoral position for a period of 2 years focusing on urban expansion and associated conversion of natural areas within African cities. The position is available from 1 January 2025, or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project

The postdoctoral position is part of the research project "Urban encroachment – untangling drivers and dynamics of land-use transitions in ecologically sensitive areas" funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. The overarching aim of this project is to identify and promote more sustainable trajectories of urban expansion in African cities, allowing cities to accommodate rapidly growing populations, while preserving ecologically sensitive areas, benefiting from ecosystem services and building resilience to climate change. The research will entail a comparative case study of two rapidly growing cities – Accra in Ghana and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania – which are characterized by extensive informal expansion. The objectives of the research are:

  • to estimate the scale and magnitude of natural areas lost in urban expansion.
  • to gain insights into the motivations and logics of diverse actors involved in land-use conversions within ecologically sensitive areas.
  • to develop a comprehensive understanding of how urban governance arrangements shape encroachment dynamics
  • The project will combine analysis of satellite images and other spatial data with in-depth fieldwork among local actors within ecologically sensitive areas as well as urban planners and policymakers involved in land governance, spatial planning, and management of natural areas.

    Responsibilities and tasks

    The postdoc is expected to develop and conduct independent research within the project frame, in collaboration with the PI and a PhD student. The postdoc will be the main responsible for spatial analyses of urban expansion trends and associated land-use/land cover conversions within natural areas, drawing mainly on remote sensing and GIS-based methodologies. The postdoc is also expected to contribute to the discussion on policies and planning for ecologically sensitive areas and to facilitate the integration of digital spatial analysis and insights from qualitative research in order to identify natural areas at risk of future encroachment. There will be possibilities to influence the research and develop own research ideas within the project frame. The postdoc is expected to publish scientific articles in internationally recognized journals and present findings at national and international conferences. A limited contribution to supervision and teaching in relevant courses will also be expected.

    Who are we looking for?

    We are looking for a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher with strong methodological skills within geoinformatics, including GIS and high-resolution remote sensing in urban contexts, and an interest for urban development issues in the Global South. Applicants should hold a PhD degree in geoinformatics, geography or related fields and have a track record of relevant, high-quality academic publications based on spatial analysis methodologies. Proficiency in remote sensing and GIS-based methodologies is required, while experience with integration of spatial and qualitative methodologies will be considered an asset. It is desirable for candidates to be comfortable working in research groups and have an interest in collaborative research. High proficiency in spoken and written English is a requirement.

    It is a requirement that a maximum of 4 years have passed from the time of acquiring the PhD degree to the posting application deadline. The 4 years can be extended by the length of any maternity, parental, sick or care leave, military service, humanitarian aid work, etc. carried out during the period. For maternity leave, the PhD age can be extended by the number of months of leave actually taken multiplied by 2.

    The scientific environment

    You will be employed in the Sections for Geograpy at the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management at University of Copenhagen. The department offers an international work environment and hosts a diverse group of faculty, postdocs and PhD students within the field of geography and geoinformatics, with research spanning social and natural science perspectives on land-use changes and landscape transformations as well as geoinformatics. For more information see: https: //

    Terms of employment

    The postdoctoral position is a full-time position with a fixed term limited to a period of 24 months.

    The terms of employment and salary are in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

    Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

    Application Procedure

    The application, in English , must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

    Please include:

  • Cover letter explaining your motivation for applying for the postdoctoral position and highligting particularly relevant research experience (max one page)
  • Research ideas – outline of potential research ideas within the project frame (max one page)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD diploma or equivalent)
  • List of publications
  • Publications – applicants may choose a maximum of 3 publications or pieces of writing for assessment.
  • Application deadline: 4 September 2024, 23:59 GMT +2 .

    After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.

    You can read about the recruitment process at https: // .

    The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

    International applicant? The University of Copenhagen offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including support before and during your relocation and career counselling to expat partners. Please find more information about these services as well as information on entering and working in Denmark here:


    For specific information about the postdoctoral position, please contact the PI, Manja Hoppe Andreasen, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Email: [email protected], Direct Phone: +4522904442.

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