Doctoral scholarship holder Aquatic ecology

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 25 May 2021

Let’s shape the future - University of Antwerp

The University of Antwerp is a dynamic, forward-thinking, European university. We offer an innovative academic education to more than 20 000 students, conduct pioneering scientific research and play an important service-providing role in society. We are one of the largest, most international and most innovative employers in the region. With more than 6000 employees from 100 different countries, we are helping to build tomorrow's world every day. Through top scientific research, we push back boundaries and set a course for the future – a future that you can help to shape.

The Department of Biology in the Faculty of Sciences is looking for a full-time (100%) doctoral scholarship holder in the field of aquatic ecology

Background :

This research project is carried out within the Ecosystem Management Research Group (ECOBE) of the University of Antwerpen. The research of ECOBE concentrates on the ecology of aquatic ecosystems and wetlands and the processes in the land-water interaction along the whole river continuum and the river-coastal sea interaction. The studied systems vary from small streams with riparian margins over larger rivers and floodplains to estuaries. These studies, both descriptive and experimental in nature, are integrated to predict the impact of different management options on the functioning and the biodiversity of the system.

In many valleys in Flanders, rivers have been straightened to improve drainage, rapid evacuation of rainwater and optimize land use for agriculture. Doing so, the ecology of these rivers declined and hence the delivery of important ecosystem services. With climate change, the demand for certain ecosystem services is steadily increasing. River valleys are already now often suffering periods of drought during summer, and climate change scenarios predict more problems in the future.

In this project, you will investigate if and how reconnecting former meanders in the Demer valley (Flanders, Belgium) can mitigate climate change problems and restore ecosystem functioning, with focus on drought prevention, nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration.

This research is part of a restoration project by De Vlaamse Waterweg (DVW), the waterway authority in Flanders. Several meanders will be reconnected. Research and monitoring of the first phase of this restoration project should give more insight in the efficiency of these measures, and result in advice to improve future projects.

You will work in a team on this project, and conduct monitoring of the remeandering projects: hydro- and morphodynamics, its relation with vegetation, water quality and biota. You will calculate ecosystem service delivery using GIS based modelling tools and evaluate the restoration of former meanders as a tool to cope with climate change.


  • You will work actively on the preparation and defence of a PhD thesis in the field of Ecosystem Management with a focus on Aquatic Ecology.
  • You will publish scientific articles related to the research project.
  • You will be in charge of a monitoring programme on the Demer river. For this monitoring you will get help from our field technicians
  • You will cooperate with scientics of the ECOBE research group within the frame of other doctoral and externally funded projects to form an integrated research strategy. In addition, you will work together with other different stakeholders of the Demer restoration project and maintain close contacts with the managers of the project.


  • You hold a Master degree in Bio-Engineering or Master in Biology.
  • You can demonstrate excellent study results.
  • Your teaching competences are in line with the University of Antwerp’s educational vision .
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies .
  • You act with attention to quality, integrity, creativity and cooperation.
  • You have knowledge of statistics, knowledge of modelling and/or GIS is a plus.
  • You have (basic) knowledge of hydrological and biogeochemical processes. Knowledge of River ecology is a plus.
  • You are willing to participate in field-work campaigns
  • You have a driver’s license
  • Knowledge of Dutch is a plus

What we offer

  • We offer a doctoral scholarship for a period of one year. Following a positive evaluation, the scholarship can be renewed for a maximum of 4 years in total.
  • The contract can start immediately. The effective start date will be determined in consultation with the selected candidate.
  • Your monthly scholarship amount is calculated according to the scholarship amounts for doctoral scholarship holders on the pay scales for Contract Research Staff (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • You will do most of your work at Campus 3 Eiken in a dynamic and stimulating working environment.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here .
  • Additional training and education possibilities.
  • Participation in international conferences

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including 24th of May 2021 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on the 'Apply' button, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following attachments: a motivation letter and your academic CV
  • The selection committee will review all of the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision has been made, we will inform you about the next steps in the selection procedure.
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to . If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact Prof. dr. Jonas Schoelynck ( ) or Ir. Tom Maris ( ) or Tel +32 3 265.22.63

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.

View or Apply

Similar Positions