Doctoral scholarship holder in restoration ecology

University of Antwerp

Antwerp, Belgium 🇧🇪

Job ID: 2560

Location: Campus Drie Eiken

Full/Part Time: Full-time


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The Department of Biology in the Faculty of Sciences is looking for a full-time (100%) doctoral scholarship holder in the field of restoration ecology

Background :

This research project is carried out within the ECOSPHERE research group of the University of Antwerpen. The research of ECOSPHERE concentrates on the ecology of aquatic ecosystems and wetlands and the processes in the land-water interaction along the whole river continuum and the river-coastal sea interaction. The studied systems vary from small streams with riparian margins over larger rivers and floodplains to estuaries, from the scale of a single molecule to an entire ecosystem. These studies, both descriptive and experimental in nature, are integrated to predict the impact of different management options on the functioning and the biodiversity of the system.

For more than 20 years, special attention is paid to the study of the Schelde estuary and the scientific support of necessary management actions to meet both human use as the ecological functioning of the system. An estuary is a very complex system with strong interactions between hydrodynamics, morphodynamics, biochemistry and ecology.

In this PhD study, the focus is on the development and monitoring of different restoration techniques for functional tidal marsh habitat. Recently, the Hedwighe and Prosperpolder have been de-embanked, creating an area of 450 ha developing tidal flats and marshes. This project includes the monitoring of vegetation, sedimentation and water quality and their ecological interactions to evaluate the success or lack of it of this project.

Within the frame of the Bankbusters project, another type of marsh restoration will be investigated. Here artificial structures will be installed along the Schelde estuary on an eroding tidal flat, to restore tidal marshes. The functionality of this approach and the delivered ecosystem functions will be investigated.

You will work in a team on this project, and conduct monitoring in the restoration projects: sedimentation and erosion, its relation with vegetation, water quality and biota.


  • You will work actively on the preparation and defence of a PhD thesis in the field of Ecosystem Management with a focus on estuarine ecology.
  • You will publish scientific articles related to the research project.
  • You will be in charge of a monitoring programme in Hedwighe Prosper and the Bankbusters project. For this monitoring you will get help from our field technicians
  • You will cooperate with scientics of the ECOSPHERE research group within the frame of other doctoral and externally funded projects to form an integrated research strategy. In addition, you will work together with other different stakeholders of the restoration projects and maintain close contacts with the managers of the project.


  • You hold a Master degree in Bio-Engineering, Biology, Geography or Geology.
  • You can demonstrate excellent study results.
  • Your teaching competences are in line with the University of Antwerp’s educational vision.
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies.
  • You act with attention to quality, integrity, creativity and cooperation.
  • You have knowledge of statistics, knowledge of modelling and/or GIS is a plus.
  • You have (basic) knowledge of hydrological and biogeochemical processes.  Knowledge of estuarine ecology is a plus.
  • You conduct field-work campaigns, you are not afraid of mud.
  • You have a driver’s license
  • Knowledge of Dutch is a plus

What we offer

  • We offer a doctoral scholarship for a period of one year. Following a positive evaluation, the scholarship can, if funding is available, be renewed for a maximum of 4 years in total.
  • The contract can start immediately after selection.  The effective start date will be determined in consultation with the selected candidate.
  • Your monthly scholarship amount is calculated according to the scholarship amounts for doctoral scholarship holders on the pay scales for Contract Research Staff (Dutch: Bijzonder Academisch Personeel, BAP).
  • You will do most of your work at Campus Die Eiken in a dynamic and stimulating working environment.
  • Find out more about working at the University of Antwerp here.
  • Additional training and education possibilities.
  • Participation in international conferences

Want to apply?

  • You can apply for this vacancy through the University of Antwerp’s online job application platform up to and including 30/1/2023 (by midnight Brussels time). Click on the ‘Apply’ button, complete the online application form and be sure to include the following attachments: a motivation letter and your academic CV
  • The selection committee will review all of the applications as soon as possible after the application deadline. As soon as a decision has been made, we will inform you about the next steps in the selection procedure.
  • If you have any questions about the online application form, please check the frequently asked questions or send an email to If you have any questions about the job itself, please contact Prof. dr. Patrick Meire ( or Ir. Tom Maris ( or Tel +32 3 265.22.63

The University of Antwerp received the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research Award for its HR policy. We are a sustainable, family-friendly organisation which invests in its employees’ growth. We encourage diversity and attach great importance to an inclusive working environment and equal opportunities, regardless of gender identity, disability, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. We encourage people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse characteristics to apply.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development