[Coral-List] PhD position Phytoplankton Ecology

Visser, P.M. P.M.Visser at uva.nl
Wed Jan 20 10:21:21 EST 2010

Within the EU-funded project FORCE (Future Of Reefs in a Changing Environment), the research group Aquatic Microbiology of the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) of the University of Amsterdam has a vacancy for a:

PhD student in Phytoplankton Ecology

1.0 FTE (38hrs per week), 4 years

vacancy number 10-1000


The FORCE project aims to understand the ultimate and proximate causes of change in Caribbean coral reef ecosystems. Eutrophication through runoff of terrestrial nutrients into coastal waters may cause a shift from coral dominance to macroalgae. However, the role of phytoplankton in absorbing nutrients has largely been under-appreciated. Phytoplankton often responds rapidly to changes in nutrient availability and may utilise much of the terrestrial nutrients, rendering them unavailable to corals and macroalgae. To date, nutrient thresholds indicating problematic levels of eutrophication of coral reefs have been proposed, but their relevance is questionable. Our study will investigate how the nutrient influx is allocated over phytoplankton, macroalgae and corals to obtain a better understanding of the impacts of eutrophication on coral reefs.

Fieldwork will consist of water sampling, chemical and biological analyses, underwater surveys, and aquarium experiments. The fieldwork (18-24 months) will be primarily conducted at the Carmabi Institute on Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles, and at some other Caribbean locations. Preparation for field work, laboratory and statistical analyses, and writing of manuscripts will be done at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.


The successful candidate has: an MSc in marine biology, aquatic ecology, or related biological field; experience with fieldwork; experience in (scientific) teamwork; proven writing ability in English; preference will be given to applicants who have experience with the ecology of phytoplankton, or macroalgae, or coral reefs; a valid driver's license and open water SCUBA certificate.

Further information

More information can be obtained from: Dr. Petra Visser, +31 20 525 7073, P.M.Visser at uva.nl, Aquatic Microbiology, UvA.



Applications should include a detailed CV including a list of publications, a motivation letter, and the names and contact addresses of two references from which information can be obtained. Applications should be e-mailed to application-science at uva.nl before February 15, 2010. Please quote the vacancy number in the subject field. Interviews will be held on March 8, 2010.


Dr. Petra M. Visser
Aquatic Microbiology/IBED
University of Amsterdam
Nieuwe Achtergracht 127
1018 WS Amsterdam
Tel. 00 31 20 5257073

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