PhD position in reef ecology: quantifying community dynamics through time

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: Permanent
Deadline: 15 Mar 2021

The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) recently awarded a grant to a new project called Land, Sea, and Society: Linking terrestrial pollutants and inputs to nearshore coral reef growth to identify novel conservation options for the Dutch Caribbean (SEALINK): The Program intends to provide a comprehensive understanding of ocean pollution and coral reef health in the Dutch Caribbean. A total of 9 PhD positions in varying scientific disciplines are available through this project including this PhD position in reef ecology: quantifying community dynamics through time.

In this project you will conduct yearly surveys based on high-resolution 3D mosaic images of reefs at selected sites around Curaçao and St Eustatius to produce estimations of community structure, biomass, and volume through time at e.g., sites with/without pressure from coastal development and that experience differences in run-off and hydrodynamic conditions. Biomass estimates need to be collected to estimate substance fluxes in collaboration with other project partners. You will also produce in situ experimental estimates of calcification and respiration rates of important reef calcifiers and bioeroders. In addition, coral skeletons will be used to reconstruct coral growth (calcification) over the past decades/centuries and serve as archives of environmental change in response to historic events (e.g., run-off, development).

What are you going to do?

  • Participate in and organize fieldwork in the Caribbean;
  • analyze data, write scientific manuscripts for peer-reviewed scientific journal;
  • present research at conferences and meetings and write a PhD thesis;
  • take part in teaching efforts, including on site supervision of bachelor and master students from Dutch and Caribbean Universities;
  • collaborate with and assist other scientists and students that participate in the SEALINK project.

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