The Marine Biology Research Group at Ghent University (Flanders, Belgium) is recruiting a PhD student to aid the University's participation in the project PERSUADE (ExPERimental approaches towards Future Sustainable Use of North Sea Artificial HarD SubstratEs), which is funded by the Belgian Science Policy.
The focus of the PhD student will be on experimental research, statistical processing of the data and modeling of the biogeochemical response of the benthic environment to the mentioned cumulative local and global stressors. The research will include (1) detailed behavioral experiments with benthic model species (mainly bivalves and polychaetes) under natural as well as stressed (for instance by ocean acidification) conditions; (2) experiments to investigate how the behaviour and activity of these model species affectthe benthic biogeochemistry, in particular the release of N2O, under various scenarios of disturbance; (3) community-level experiments investigating the benthic C- and N-flows under different climate/multi-use scenarios; and (4) diagenetic modeling to integrate the obtained data in an ecosystem context.
The PhD student will work at, and be affiliated to, Ghent University. For the experimental work, there will be a close collaboration with Dr. Jan Vanaverbeke at RBINS. The modeling work will be done in close cooperation with Prof. Dr. Karline Soetaert at the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research in Yerseke (The Netherlands). As such, several research stays in Yerseke are planned for this PhD research.
Applicants are expected to have excellent organisational, communication and social skills. A strong interest in experimental work, and knowledge of statistical processing of data is essential. The PhD is a 2-year position, with the possibility of an 18-24 month renewal.