Research professor (Aquatic Ecosystem Functioning and Global Change) via EGU

University of Antwerp

Antwerp, , BE

Job description

The hosting research group for Ecosystem Management (ECOBE) is part of the Center of Excellence on Global Change Ecology of the University of Antwerp ( The group performs research on ecological interactions and global change within freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems. Research activities are focused on how aquatic ecosystems are impacted by ongoing global change, but also how these ecosystems offer nature-based solutions to mitigation and adaption of global change.

Job description

The assignment involves scientific research, teaching, and academic service to society. During an initial period of five years (duration of the temporary appointment in tenure track), scientific research will be the main activity.


You will conduct, lead and coordinate scientific research on the impacts of global and local changes on aquatic ecosystem functioning (with a preferred focus on estuaries, rivers and their associated wetlands and floodplains), and how these ecosystems can contribute to societal adaptation to and mitigation of environmental change. Potential research lines can tackle various aspects of global and local environmental change, including changes in climatic-hydrologic conditions (such as increasing extremes in precipitation, river discharge, flood and drought risks, sea level rise, tidal changes, storm surges), anthropogenic pressures on water quality (altered loads of nutrients, sediments, pollutants) and impacts on structural ecosystem quality and connectivity (affected by human actions such as engineering of estuaries and rivers, regulation of discharges, land use changes in river catchments, etc.). In terms of the impacts on ecosystem functioning, focus is on biogeochemical fluxes and processes (carbon, silica, nutrients, pollutants) through the water column and/or sediments of aquatic ecosystems (e.g. rivers, wetlands, estuaries), and the interactions with organisms, populations and communities. Research can include fundamental investigations into ecological mechanisms (e.g. ecosystem resistance and resilience to change, dynamic systems theory, tipping points, etc.) as well as applied studies such as on nature-based adaptation and mitigation to global and local environmental change (i.e. studying ecosystem functions and services that support societal adaptation and mitigation of global change, such as atmospheric CO2 capture and carbon sequestration, nature-based mitigation of flood and drought risks, water quality regulation).
You will acquire and manage external research funding at the national (e.g. FWO, Belspo) and international level (e.g. ERC, EU H2020) that fits with (inter)national research agendas on climate change, biodiversity, as well as future health and welfare (Sustainable Development Goals). Research aims for scientific excellence at the international stage, and research findings will be published in high-quality scientific journals, aiming at major scientific advancements in this research domain.
You will develop, supervise and manage a dynamic research team of doctoral students, post-doctoral researchers and technical assistants.


You will participate in the teaching activities within the Department of Biology, providing high-quality education to both bachelor and master students in the field of aquatic ecology. Your teaching assignment is determined in consultation and based on your specific profile, and in accordance with the tenure-track TTZAPBOF teaching regulations of the university.
You will contribute to the educational program of the university through the supervision of bachelor and master’s theses and as a promoter of PhD students.
You will continuously develop your teaching skills and make use of the possibilities for the professionalisation offered by the faculty and university.


You will invest in public outreach, and engage with societal actors, to translate, exploit and valorize your basic knowledge in aquatic ecology with the objective to contribute the sustainable management of natural ecosystems.
You play an active part in promoting the Department of Biology and Faculty of Sciences towards new students and the wider professional field by participating in open days, networking events etc.
You contribute to academic working groups and other activities (e.g. Science days) in the Department of Biology and the Faculty of Sciences.

Profile and requirements

You hold a doctorate degree (PhD) in Biology, Applied Biological Sciences, or a related discipline in the Natural Sciences.
You have a minimum of 2 years of experience at the Postdoctoral level at the closing date of the vacancy.
You have a strong research track record, evidenced by high-quality publications and research experience. International experience is an important bonus.
You have verifiable qualities related to academic education that comply with the requirements stipulated in the university’s policy. Teaching experience is an advantage.
You are creative, possess excellent organisational skills and have a cooperative attitude. Leadership competencies are needed to lead a research team in an academic context.
The official administrative language used at UAntwerpen is Dutch. If you do not master Dutch (or not well enough) at the start of your employment, the University of Antwerp will provide language training, and you are required to reach the CEFR B2 level of proficiency in Dutch within five years after your appointment. A good command of English is required as some MSc courses are provided in academic English. When taking on teaching duties, you will be able to demonstrate a CEFR C1 level of proficiency in the instruction language. The University of Antwerp supports international staff members on an integration trajectory and offers tailor-made language coaching in compliance with Flanders’ statutory language regulations.

We offer

a dynamic, vibrant and stimulating work environment within the Centre of Excellence on Global Change Ecology at UAntwerpen;
a full-time position as a lecturer in a temporary appointment in tenure track for a term of five years. After this term, this position will lead to an immediate permanent appointment as a senior lecturer if the performance is assessed favourably on the basis of previously fixed and publicly announced evaluation criteria. After the permanent appointment another period of five years is given with limited lecturing duties in order to strengthen the research curriculum;
a selection procedure accounting for equal opportunities. In case of equal qualifications, priority will be given to candidates of the underrepresented gender within the domain of science. This priority is not automatically and unconditionally, as the evaluation will always take into account the personal situation of every candidate;
a position starting the 1st of October 2020 or soon thereafter;
a full time gross monthly salary ranging from € 4.255,06 – € 6.272,13;
an attractive starting package consisting of a four-year PhD project and €50 000 of consumables.

How to apply

Applications may only be submitted via this link:
Applications should be submitted before the closing date of 22 March 2020. The application form must be completed, including a detailed research proposal (mandatory) for the next five years (approx. 5.000 words; including a concise description (1 page) of the intended PhD research (see starter package)) and a report of your previous scientific research activities (max. 5 000 words). In addition, you add two abstracts of the scientific content of the research plan – a scientific abstract and an abstract in layman’s terms – maximum 500 words (or max. 4000 characters). All documents must be submitted in English.
A pre-selection will be made from amongst the submitted applications. The remainder of the selection procedure is specific to the position and will be determined by the selection panel.
More information about the application form can be obtained from [email protected].
For questions about the profile and the description of duties, please contact Prof. Dr. Stijn Temmerman, [email protected], Tel. +32 3 2652313.
Further information regarding the special research status can be obtained from Dr. Tim Engels, Head of the Department of Research Affairs & Innovation Tel. +32 (0)3 265 30 12).





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development