Assistant or Associate Professor in Ecological Impacts of Climate-related Environmental Change

Universiteit van Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands 🇳🇱

Faculteit/Dienst:  Faculteit der Natuurw., Wiskunde & Informatica

Opleidingsniveau:  Gepromoveerd

Functie type:  Wetenschappelijk Personeel

Sluitingsdatum:  25 januari 2023

Vacaturenummer:  10951

The Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) at the University of Amsterdam is opening up several new positions to collaboratively further strengthen the research within the institute.
The research is carried out as a collaboration between the four research departments at IBED:

  1. Ecosystem and Landscape Dynamics (ELD)
  2. Evolutionary and Population Biology (EPB)
  3. Freshwater and Marine Ecology (FAME)
  4. Theoretical and Computational Ecology (TCE)

For one of the positions, embedded in the TCE department, we are looking for a new
Assistant or Associate Professor in Ecological Impacts of Climate-related Environmental Change (0.8 – 1.0 FTE) focusing on developing mathematical or computational modelling at the interface of ecological dynamics and climate related environmental change.

We wish to appoint a promising candidate that uses mathematical or computational modelling approaches at the interface of climate change and ecological dynamics to investigate how climate-related environmental change affect ecological systems, for example by changing individual behavior or the dynamics of populations or entire communities

If this matches with your scientific profile and if you are interested in working in an inter-disciplinary institute focused on biology, earth sciences, ecology, physical geography and environmental chemistry that has well-equipped lab and computational facilities, then we would welcome your application!

Profile Assistant or Associate Professor in Ecological Impacts of Climate-related Environmental Change

Although rapid increases in global temperature, climatic extremes and variability are the most prominent aspects of climate change, a multitude of other climate-related trends significantly impact ecological systems. Examples are changes in seasonality affecting the annual cycle of migratory birds, alterations in global circulation patterns modifying animal movement routines, expansion of insect populations and therefore vector-borne diseases into regions formerly unaffected by these diseases or increases in local precipitation and hence run-off into lakes leading to shifts in aquatic productivity and the demography and dynamics of fish populations. Understanding the long-term effects of such climate-related changes on the dynamics of ecological communities requires modelling approaches that span multiple levels of biological organisation, from individuals to populations and entire communities. 

Introduction to the Department of Theoretical and Computational Ecology 

This position will be embedded within IBED’s Department of Theoretical and Computational Ecology
However, it is anticipated that the successful candidate would have the potential to develop linkages to other departments within IBED and elsewhere in the university.
Research in the Department of Theoretical and Computational Ecology addresses the complexity of ecological systems in terms of processes, patterns, diversity and functioning. We strive to understand abiotic and biotic drivers of global biodiversity, animal movement and dynamics of ecological communities using advanced theoretical and computational approaches. We address how organisms cope with changing environmental conditions and how nature and life is distributed across our planet. Our research also addresses societal challenges related to sustainable development (e.g. wind energy development), human-wildlife interactions and biodiversity decline. 

Our research is organized along three main areas: 

  1. Theoretical ecology and evolution where we advance ecological theory through mathematical developments, conceptual structures, and theoretical syntheses 
  2. Animal movement and behavioral ecology where we advance understanding of intrinsic and external causes and consequences of animal movement and apply our knowledge to address human wildlife conflicts 
  3. Biogeography & macroecology where we quantify how biodiversity and abiotic components of the Earth system interact and vary across space and time, and how responses of species and ecosystems can be predicted and forecasted.  

We conduct computationally intensive research through mathematical modelling, spatial explicit modelling, big data analysis, machine learning, development of e-science infrastructure and virtual labs. Our research directly and indirectly contributes to scientifically informed policies. We have been instrumental in developing new methods and analytical approaches for bio-logging, combining GPS and accelerometry (, as well as radar monitoring of animal movement. Our facilities include the UvA Bird Tracking System, two BirdScan radars (bird/insect radars), an operational weather radar data pipeline for ecological research, virtual laboratories for ecological research including centralized databases, a GIS studio, biodiversity monitoring infrastructure NIEBA ARISE and UvA-FNWI high performance computing facilities. Furthermore, IBED has a computational support team.

Research profile (~50% of the time)

We are looking for a scientist at the level of Assistant or Associate Professor (senior scientist) that is capable to develop this research field. Assistant Professors (or similar level) that are ready to make the next step in their career are also invited. The Associate Professor position is a tenured position following a standard probation period.
The candidate is expected to develop their own research line and to contribute to collaborative research within the institute and with (inter)national partners. The ideal candidate models climate-related impacts on ecological dynamics and preferably links multiple scales of biological organisation, in particular connecting individual-level processes to population or community dynamics. The ideal candidate should also have an affinity with at least one of our current areas of research in the department and preferably connect these research areas. Examples of potential lines of research of the successful candidate are modelling the annual cycle of migratory birds in relation to climate-induced changes in seasonality, modelling animal movement in relation to changes in global circulation patterns or impacts of climate-induced changes in aquatic productivity on fish community dynamics. We are interested in candidates who have a strong background in mathematical or computational modelling in the natural sciences, have knowledge of ecological dynamics in relation to impacts of climate change and preferably combine research and methodologies from different disciplines. 

Key research responsibilities include:

  • Conduct and develop high-quality research within the area of academic specialisation resulting in publications in leading academic journals.
  • Supervise research of PhD candidates and postdocs
  • Acquire funding through national and international research grants, governmental or private sectors.
  • Collaborate with colleagues in the department and in other departments in IBED (e.g. on modelling techniques, ecological dynamics, climate change impacts) 
  • Engage in and foster collaboration within the UvA, elsewhere in the Netherlands and abroad to build a national and international network.
  • Contribute to scientific outreach or societal engagement through diverse media channels, public events or interactions with stakeholders outside academia


On average, IBED staff contribute ~40% of their time to education, including lecturing, coordinating courses, developing course material and supervising of BSc and MSc students in one or more of the core programs we are involved in: BSc Future Planet studies, BSc Biological Sciences, MSc Earth Sciences, MSc Biological Sciences. Depending on the expertise there are possibilities for contributing to education in other programs in FNWI such as Science Technology and Innovation. We are searching for educational expertise in ecological and biodiversity dynamics, climate change, computational modelling or statistics. Examples of courses to contribute to include: Biodiversiteit en EcologieDynamische systemen in de BiologieToekomstperspectief voor de AardeBiodiversity and Global ChangeAnalysis and Modelling Lab and Digital Earth

Staff members are also expected to contribute approximately 10% to organisational tasks at the institute or faculty level, such as involvement in educational programs (e.g. serve as committee member or in examination boards). The overall balance of the work load for this position will be approximately 50% research, 40% education, and 10% administration. 


  • PhD in natural sciences, including candidates with mixed undergraduate and graduate degrees (e.g. BSc Biology, MSc Earth Science)
  • Proven theoretical & modelling skills
  • Demonstrated capacity to lead academic research, as shown through peer-reviewed publications
  • Experienced team player with and interest in collaborative (inter-disciplinary) research
  • Proven ability to acquire research funding 
  • Experience in teaching and preferably development of computational teaching material 
  • Experience supervising BSc and MSc students and PhD candidates
  • Coordination experience in the field of education and research
  • A qualification in university education (equivalent to the Dutch “University Teaching Qualification” BKO); or willing to obtain the BKO within the first 1-2 years of appointment. 
  • Fluency in English and in Dutch; or ability to learn Dutch to a level appropriate for communication within the institute and education program (B2 level).


  • Familiarity with funding mechanisms in the Netherlands
  • Extensive network in the field
  • Experience with public outreach and societal engagement 
  • Scientific creativity and innovative analysis, i.e., the extra spark that is needed to work at the forefront of scientific research

Our offer

A temporary contract for 30-38 hours a week, preferably starting early in 2023 for the duration of 18 months. The position will be permanent, subject to a positive evaluation of your performance during this initial 18-month temporary appointment.
The position will be at the Assistant Professor (Universitair Docent) or Associate Professor (Universitair Hoofddocent) level.
Your salary, depending on your relevant experience on commencement of the employment contract, ranges between €3.974 to €6.181 gross per month if appointed on Assistant Professor level or €5.506 to €7.362 gross per month if appointed as Associate Professor, on the basis of a full working week of 38 hours. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8.3% year-end allowance. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands is applicable.

Career perspectives & support

IBED offers opportunities for further career development, from Assistant to Associate Professor and from Associate Professor to Full Professor. The position is accompanied by a start-up package.

About us

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.
The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Together, we create a vibrant, challenging and well-equipped research environment at Amsterdam Science Park. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the systems underlying biological processes.  
The Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics is one of eight research institutes of the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam. The research at IBED aims to unravel how ecosystems function in all their complexity, and how they change due to natural processes and human activities. At its core lies an integrated systems approach to study biodiversity, ecosystems and the environment. IBED adopts this systems approach to ecosystems, addressing abiotic and biotic factors, and the interplay between those. The IBED vision includes research encompassing experimental and theoretical approaches at a wide variety of temporal and spatial scales, i.e. from molecules and microorganisms to patterns and processes occurring at the global scale. The University of Amsterdam has excellent high performance computing facilities. Furthermore, IBED has a dedicated computational support team with specialized knowledge of bioinformatics, (geo)database management and scientific programming. IBED also works with non-academic partners to deliver transdisciplinary science for society.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:  Prof. dr. Judy Shamoun-Baranes (, Head of the Department of Theoretical and Computational Ecology.  

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity. 
Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application, including a motivation letter, a CV, a short teaching statement (<750 words), a short research statement (<750 words), and a list of publications.  
The interview will include an example lecture (30-minutes) given to a general audience, including students, and a panel interview. At the start of the panel interview you will be asked to give a 10-minute presentation outlining your key scientific interests and your fit to IBED and TCE.  

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

No agencies please.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development