May 28, 2013

PhD position ‘multi-scale assessment of landscape hete

The applicant will be based in the Department of Spatial Analysis and Decision Support  ( nl/SPACE) . The department investigates the role of spatial variation in environmental systems with a focus on Land use change and Adaptation to climate change risk. Methods include monitoring environmental change and multi-scale analysis and modelling of spatial processes and patterns. Temporal dynamics and future scenarios are explored with spatial modelling of changes in land use and ecosystem services, including rural, urban, marine and coastal systems. Advanced methods for stakeholder participation and ex-ante evaluation are developed and tested to support environmental management and land use planning. 

Ecosystems provide humankind with a range of beneficial resources, goods and services. Although the ecosystem service concept has been adopted in high-level policy frameworks a mismatch still exists between the wealth of conceptual understanding in science, the diversity of different academic approaches, and the practical application of this knowledge in policy and decision-making practice. The OPERAs (Operational Potential of Ecosystems Research Applications) project, financed by the European Commission, aims to improve understanding of how applying ecosystem service concepts in managing ecosystems contributes to human well-being in different social-ecological systems. Within this project the PhD candidate will develop knowledge on the role of landscape heterogeneity on the delivery of ecosystem services, investigate spatial tradeoffs (e.g. in the context of the “land sharing / land sparing” debate) as well as temporal trade-offs (using multiple
scenarios of e.g. climate change, habitat restoration, socio-economics developments) . Synergies and trade-offs will be identified and tested for robustness at multiple spatial scales, ranging from local case studies (including regions in Scotland) to Europe as a whole, using spatial modelling techniques and Geographic Information Systems. 

• A completed MSc degree in the field of geography, environmental sciences or (spatial) ecology; 
• affinity with an interdisciplinary working environment; 
• excellent research and publication skills, proven by past accomplishments; 
• experience with spatial modelling and GIS analysis. 

Further particulars 
The appointment will be initially for 1 year. After satisfactory evaluation of the initial appointment, it can be extended for a total duration of 4 years. You can find information about our excellent fringe benefits of employment at www.workingatvu. nl like: 
• remuneration of  8,3% end-of-year bonus and  8% holiday allowance; 
• solid pension scheme (ABP); 
• generous contribution (70%) commuting allowance based on public transport. 

The salary will be in accordance with university regulations for academic personnel, and amounts € 2.062,- gross per month in the first year up to € 2.664,- in the fourth year (salary scale 85) based on a full-time employment. 

For additional information please contact:
Prof. Dr. Peter Verburg 
phone +31 (0)20 5983594 
email: peter.verburg@
website: www.  

Applicants are requested to provide a motivation letter, accompanied by a curriculum vitae and the contact information of at least one potential reference. Written applications should be sent before May 30, 2013 to: 

VU University Amsterdam 
Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences 
Attn.: Prof. Dr. P. Verburg 
De Boelelaan 1085 
1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
It is also possible to send your application by e-mail: josephine.say@  
Please mention the vacancy number in the e-mail header or at the top of your letter and on the envelope