The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS, Belgium) is recruiting a PhD student. This PhD student will be involved in the recently started project ‘Research on the protection of the marine environment in relation to the installation of offshore wind farms’ (2019-2023), funded by the Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment. The research will be conducted in close collaboration with the Marine Biology Research Group of Ghent University.
The focus of the PhD student will be on the positive and negative effects of the installation of offshore wind farms on natural gravel bed fauna and on fauna colonizing the introduced artificial hard substrates (i.e. erosion protection layers and wind turbines). The envisaged research will be a mix of both lab and field experiments, and statistical modelling to investigate (1) the sensitivity of gravel bed fauna to pressures owing to the presence of offshore wind farms; (2) the effect of habitat complexity on the colonization patterns and development of communities inhabiting the artificial hard substrates; and (3) the link between structural and functional diversity of fouling communities on the one hand and the combination of man-made hard substrate and the natural environment on the other hand.
The PhD student will be affiliated to RBINS but will work both at RBINS and at the Marine Biology Research Group of Ghent University.
Candidates should have a Master in Sciences or Bio-engineering Sciences or equivalent, a strong interest in multidisciplinary research in relation to marine ecology, and excellent written and spoken English.
If interested, please send your motivation letter, CV and a copy of the Master Degree diploma, withreference “OWF-HD” before 25 February 2019 to Yolande Maes (ymaesnaturalsciences [dot] be).
Interviews with pre-selected candidates will take place on 20 March 2019.