WUR RGB standardAre you a theoretical ecologist or applied mathematician with a strong interest i marine ecology and population dyamics? Do you want to study how climate change and sand extraction affect individuals, life cycle closures, and population dynamics of fish species? Then we may have position for you at Wageningen Marine Research, The Netherlands.

As a PhD candidate you will be a member of a large multi- and interdisciplinary research project (OR ELSE) whose aim is to give recommendations for large-scale sand extraction in the North Sea. Sand is the second most extracted natural resource globally, exceeding fossil fuels and biomass. Sand extraction volumes are expected to increase drastically for infrastructure projects and to ensure coastal protection by sand nourishments. Large-scale marine sand extraction has important ecosystem effects through changes in flows and sediments and physical disturbance of benthic habitats, affecting the food web and fisheries.

During your PhD you will study the consequences of large-scale sand mining on the ecology of plaice and brown shrimp, as key commercial and key ecological species in the North Sea ecosystem. Both species fulfil their life cycle in the North Sea and use the coast as nursery area. The two species do so at different spatial scales, and thus may be affected differently by anthropogenic measures to combat sea level rise.

You will develop mathematical models, and combine different techniques, such as Dynamic Energy Budget models (DEB) and physiologically structured population models. You will integrate the results of larval drift modelling and benthic production models to investigate effects on juvenile performance in the coastal nurseries of plaice and shrimp. Subsequently, population dynamical modelling will be used to describe the full life cycle, incorporating changes in benthic production, larval drift, temperature, and harvesting practices.

The PhD candidate in this advertised project will be positioned at Wageningen Marine Research in IJmuiden, part of Wageningen University & Research. The PhD project is supervised by dr. ir. Karen van de Wolfshaar and by Prof. Jaap van der Meer.  

For more information and to apply, visit the WUR website: https://www.wur.nl/en/vacancy/phd-position-modelling-individual-and-population-performance-of-plaice-and-brown-shrimp-and-the-impact-of-large-scale-sand-extraction.htm.

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