Postdoctoral researcher (Digital Environmental Sustainability)
System Earth is complex and dynamic with biotic and abiotic processes closely intertwined. These biotic and abiotic processes are central to teaching within the Master (Earth Sciences and Biological Sciences) and Bachelor (Future Planet Studies – major Future Earth) programmes at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Across our teaching we focus on the grand challenges of our time: climate change, land use change, change in biodiversity, and the sustainable use of ecosystems. In these programmes, we aim for students to gain the knowledge and tools for contributing to a more sustainable world, on a local, regional and global scale. Unique to the UvA is that these educational programmes are offered by one single interdisciplinary institute within the natural sciences, the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED).
In the past decade, more and more large and high-quality digital data sets have become available, including satellite and laser altimetry observation data sets, as well as rich climatic, geographic and biodiversity-related spatial and temporal data sets. The integration and application of these types of data sets offers unprecedented new opportunities to expand the interdisciplinary niche of our education and research. In particular we wish to combine digital data usage with novel digital learning approaches to enhance our training of interdisciplinary skilled Masters and Bachelor students so they can look beyond disciplinary boundaries to meet the grand challenges facing society.
We are seeking a skilled and motivated post-doctoral educator and researcher to contribute to the integration of digital learning approaches into the highly interdisciplinary cutting edge programmes of Earth Sciences, Biological Sciences, and Future Planet Studies.
Sixty percent of your 4-year employment contract will be dedicated to education and education development. You will develop and contribute to new education in the Master programmes of Earth Sciences and Biological Sciences, and the Bachelor programme Future Planet Studies. The new educational material produced will add to a clearer profiling of the programmes at the abiotic-biotic interdisciplinary interface, and be part of courses where big spatial environmental multivariate datasets originating from different disciplines and sources are used, integrated and analyzed. This encompasses application of advanced GIS techniques and multivariate analyses coupling the abiotic and biotic environment (such as: landscapes and ‘soilscapes’, biogeochemical cycling, plant and soil biodiversity). Education will include data analytical methods and attention to data stewardship, as well as application of these techniques in fieldwork and lab-oriented courses. You are expected to contribute to the further development of digital (distance) learning approaches, and to the development of educational tools to combine complex datasets with visualization methods, including, e.g. augmented reality techniques. These efforts will build on already existing approaches to virtual fieldwork and laboratory work, and will result in a robust and sustainable implementation of these techniques in existing and new courses.
Forty percent of your employment contract will be dedicated to research orientated tasks. Research will focus on aspects of how landscapes and soils, their spatial organization and diversity, determine the habitats for soil fauna/flora and their interaction with biogeochemical cycles. Research will be linked to the ARISE programme which aims to develop a unique worldwide infrastructure to identify and track all multicellular flora and fauna within the Netherlands. The ARISE infrastructure seeks to combine multiple types of digital data (ranging from eDNA, through image- and sound recognition, to radar data) to get a complete picture of biodiversity.
The position will be embedded in the Department of Ecosystems and Landscape Dynamics (ELD) within IBED which focusses on current and past landscape dynamics especially with regard to biogeochemical and landscape processes, soils, soil biology and climate and land use change. In particular we are looking to strengthen our capabilities within the 'Mitigation of environmental degradation and adaptation to global change' research theme. Youwill be working closely with ELD staff members but will also be expected to make connections to other IBED research departments.
You will be mentored over the 4 years of appointment with regard to education and research by a small committee in which the programme director of the master Earth Sciences and an ELD staff member will participate.
What are you going to do?
For this position we expect you to contribute to:
Education and education development (60% of total time) which includes:
- teaching advanced GIS techniques, spatio-temporal dataset and multivariate analyses;
- teaching in data analytical methods and application of these techniques in fieldwork and lab-oriented courses, as well as data stewardship;
- developing digital (distance) learning approaches, and educational tools to combine complex datasets with visualization methods, including, e.g. augmented reality technics and implementation of thesis in existing approaches to virtual field and laboratory work.
Research (40% of total time) which includes:
- research contribution to the ARISE research infrastructure programme
(additional information on request);
- research linked to the research agenda of the Department of Ecosystem and Landscape Dynamics (IBED).
What do we require?
For this position we are looking for a candidate who:
- holds a doctorate, with a background in quantitative research in Physical Geography, Environmental Sciences, Landscape Ecology or Soil Ecology;
- is able to work at the interdisciplinary interface between the biotic and abiotic environments;
- has didactic experience in the field of digital education;
- has knowledge and experience in working and analyzing large spatial and temporal data sets (Big Data) including for example advanced knowledge of GIS, modelling, synthesis (meta-analysis) and multivariate analyses. Experience in DNA-based techniques for the assessment of biodiversity is an advantage;
- has experience with, and contributes to, cross-disciplinary research;
- has hands on experience with fieldwork and / or laboratory work;
- is willing to collaborate in a research and education team;
- has good communication skills in the English language and preferably also in Dutch.
A temporary contract for 38 hours a week, preferably starting on 1 January 2021 for the duration of 12 months, that will be extended with 36 months upon a positive evaluation of your performance. An 80% part-time employment contract is an option.
The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,790 to €4,402 (scale 10) gross per month, based on a full-time contract of 38 hours a week. This is exclusive 8 % holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.
Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Then find out more about working at the Faculty of Science.
About the Faculty of Science and IBED
The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. 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 functioning of the brain.
The Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) is one of eight research institutes of the Faculty of Science. 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 (soil and water quality) and biotic factors (ecology and evolution of plants, animals, and microorganisms), 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.
Do you have questions about this vacancy? Please contact:
Dr Erik L.H. Cammeraat, Associate professor
T: +31 (0)20 525 5890
If you want to know more about the ARISE programme, please contact:
The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise 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 by 29 November 2020. You may apply online by using the link below.
Applications in .pdf should include a motivation letter and CV, including a list of publications. Your motivation should show your research interest as well as affinity and vision on teaching.
We will invite potential candidates for interviews in the first 2 weeks of December 2020.