Application deadline: 15 May 2016
Which (anthropogenic) factors determine species distributions and biodiversity? And what are the consequences of shifts in species distributions and changes in species persistence and biodiversity for ecosystem functioning? The Department of Environmental Science is looking for two PhD candidates to answer these questions by developing correlative and mechanistic species distribution models (SDMs) to assess biotic responses to multiple drivers of global change.
The aim of this project is to develop generic, large-scale biodiversity models for multiple taxonomic groups (e.g. vertebrates, invertebrates and vascular plants) and multiple anthropogenic pressures (e.g. land use and chemical pollution). One PhD project (on terrestrial biodiversity) will primarily focus on quantifying the effect of anthropogenic pressures on the extinction risk of terrestrial plants, macroecological patterns (e.g. species richness) and ecosystem functioning, particularly related to biofuel production on a global scale. The other PhD project (on aquatic biodiversity) will focus on quantifying the responses of freshwater biodiversity to human drivers in freshwater ecosystems, including water pollution, dams and water extraction. The results are expected to contribute to the further development of existing models, such as the global biodiversity model GLOBIO (www.globio.info).
The project will be funded by the European Research Council (ERC).