Would you like to become part of a new generation of landscape managers? Would you like to be employed and trained as a PhD researcher and to work, with a prestigious European fellowship, in an international and multidisciplinary team of researchers, professionals and entrepreneurs in the field of landscape history and management? Then, the TERRANOVA partners would like to hear from you.
Apply for the position of PhD in one of our 15 research and training projects in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
WP 2: RECONSTRUCTING – past environments and energy regimes
To inform current nature conservation and restoration, it is crucial to improve our understanding our natural baselines for European ecosystems. This is especially true for developing landscape management approaches centered on rewilding, i.e., reduced or no ongoing human management. Trophic interactions and disturbances play key roles in maintaining biodiversity in natural ecosystems, but their roles in European ecosystems remain poorly understood. Hence, there is a strong need to improve our understanding of natural disturbance regimes (e.g. fire and herbivory) and their interactions with the landscape in Europe. To set near-natural baselines the nearest relevant past time period is early to mid-Holocene just prior to the spread of agriculture across the region. Key issues to address for that time is the historical distribution of land covers and disturbance agents in landscapes of Europe on continental and field laboratory scale, with the balance between open and closed habitats a key issue.
Against this background, this PhD position will: 1) Map and database the Early-Mid Holocene natural disturbance regimes and land cover; 2) Conduct a comprehensive analysis of the dynamics between disturbances and land-covers; 3) Construct an Early-Mid Holocene land cover map of Europe (using output from 1 & 2). This will be addressed via paleo- and macroecological modelling, based on integration of existing large databases on pollen, charcoal, megafauna, culture, as well as topography and other physical features, estimating disturbance regimes and their ecological impacts.
The PhD student will be jointly supervised by Prof. Jens-Christian Svenning (Center for Biodiversity Dynamics in a Changing World (BIOCHANGE) and Section for Ecoinformatics & Biodiversity, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University), Prof. Dr. Henrique Miguel Pereira (Biodiversity Conservation group, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg), and Dr. Ms. Chantal van Ham (The IUCN Regional Office for Europe).
Three secondments will take place at the Department for Environmental Geography, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS, France; Biodiversity Conservation group, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg; International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN.
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This PhD will investigate detailed archaeological reconstructions and analyses of human occupation history, settlement patterns and land use systems of prehistoric and early historic societies, located in parts of The Netherlands, Germany and Sweden, with special focus on the long-term impact of human land-use on fluvial systems in central Sweden. As a PhD student you will conceptualise, investigate and model river valley landscapes as systemic links between upland and lowland areas and reconstruct the long-term impact of human land use in relation to variable ecological conditions over the Holocene and into the Anthropocene.
The PhD will identify the most significant drivers of change in regional human-environmental interactions in the northern European fluvial landscape and deliver a synthesis.
This PhD project will be jointly supervised by three supervisors. Three secondments will take place: at University of Leiden and Freie Universitaet, Berlin and to Landscape Research & Management.
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The PhD-candidate for this position will develop dynamic models for understanding human-environment interactions during early landscape changes in Europe, focusing on crucial transitions in five regions (Terra Nova Field Laboratories). The research will focus on the influence of human-induced fire ecologies, and more particularly the intentional use of fire as a landscaping tool, during the earliest energy regimes covering the human ecosystems of Late Pleistocene and Holocene hunter-gatherers and (the transition to) the earliest farming communities. Specific attention will be paid to the impact of human activities and fire ecologies on vegetation cover, wildlife and human livelihood (including mobility) at different spatial and temporal scales, from local habitats to the scale of biomes, and from short-term effects to long-term changes covering millennia.
As a PhD-candidate you will combine archaeological datasets with populations models, palaeogeographical models (soils, water systems and land cover) and models of climate change, in order to reconstruct the impact of early human land use systems on the natural environment and the long-term development of human niche construction during the earliest human energy regimes. Use will be made of different methods for geospatial analysis, dynamic modelling and –where possible- agent-based modelling (ABM).
This PhD project will be jointly supervised by three supervisors. Secondments will take place to the University of Uppsala and other research institutes in Europe.
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This PhD will investigate detailed archaeological reconstructions and analyses of human occupation history, settlement patterns and land use systems of prehistoric and early historic societies, located in parts of Spain and Portugal. There will be special focus on the long-term impact of human land-use in this highland area that is dissected by floodplains and has a Temperate-Atlantic/ Mediterranean Atlantic climate. As a PhD student you will reconstruct the long-term impact of human land use considering variable ecological conditions, periodicity of tree cover reduction and desertification. The PhD will identify energy regimes and their transitions in human-environment reconstructions in SW Europe and will deliver a synthesis.
This PhD project will be jointly supervised by three supervisors.
Three secondments will take place: to the University of Uppsala, to the Spanish Association for the Quaternary Study, and to the University of Evora.
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This PhD will investigate detailed archaeological reconstructions and analyses of human occupation history, settlement patterns and land use systems of prehistoric and early historic societies, located in Romania, with special focus on the long-term impact of human land-use on fluvial systems. As a PhD student you will conceptualise, investigate and model river valley landscapes as systemic links between upland and lowland areas and reconstruct the long-term impact of human land use in relation to variable ecological conditions over the Holocene and into the Anthropocene. The PhD will identify the most significant drivers of change in regional human-environmental interactions in the southeast European fluvial landscape and deliver a synthesis.
This PhD project will be jointly supervised by three supervisors. Three secondments will take place: at WWF, to ARFI, Iasi, Romania and to University of Plymouth, UK.
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This PhD will quantify past natural and anthropogenic landscape openness using pollen and archaeological data from Terra Nova Field Laboratories in Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands, Romania, Spain and Portugal.
A second objective will be to produce maps of regional landscape openness and types of forest cover in Europe over the Holocene, as a background to the local reconstructions for the Field Laboratories. This will be addressed by a) using pollen databases and the landscape reconstruction algorithm (REVEALS and LOVE models) to estimate regional and sub-regional/local past vegetation cover; b) using the pollen-based reconstructions, LPJ-GUESS simulated natural vegetation and Anthropogenic Land-Cover Change scenarios (ALCCs) with spatial statistical modelling to achieve continuous maps of vegetation cover.
As a final result this project will deliver: 1) 12 Maps of natural and anthropogenic landscape openness and types of forest cover in Europe over the transition periods of the Holocene studied in TerraNova (1°x1° spatial scale; 2) 40 Holocene trajectories of regional landscape openness and forest cover at a 250 years’ time resolution 11 500-0 calibrated years BP for selected areas of Europe; 3) 12 Sub-regional maps of detailed land-cover (5km x 5km) over the TERRANOVA transition periods for the Field laboratories.
The ESR will be jointly supervised by Dr. Florence Mazier (Palaeoecological research group, Department of Environmental Geography, University of Toulouse, France), Prof. Dr. Marie-Jose Gaillard (Palaeoecological research group, Department of Biology and Environmental Science, Linnaeus University, Sweden), and Dr. Gabriela Florescu (Department of Geography, Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava (USV), Romania).
Three secondments will take place to VUA (Earth Sciences), to LNU (Environmental Geography) and to GCT (NGO; Association of Applied Geography)
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WP 3: RETHINKING – human-environment interaction
Modeling land cover change in Europe over the current and previous energy regimes: The combined effects of climate and anthropogenic activities on the development of European landscapes. The main objective of this ESR project is to provide a better understanding of the landscape settings during the Energy Regimes 1 & 2 of the TerraNova ITN in the pre-industrial period (early to mid-Holocene) and provide other collaborators of the project with a digital Atlas of land-cover change throughout the selected time periods. Even if the general evolution of human pressure on the environment is clear, there is considerable uncertainty in the understanding of the climate and land-cover variability (at century timescales) and its spatial variability (across the European continent).
The ESR will make use of a recently developed spatial downscaling technique within an Earth System model (iLOVECLIM) to perform climate and land-cover evolution simulations (with the CARAIB land surface model) at high resolution over continental Europe. The ability of this technique to zoom into one region though retaining the global physical coherency of the climate system is a major new step forward that will allow the ESR to progress rapidly into new ground.
This PhD project will be jointly supervised by three supervisors. Three secondments will take place: to University of South- Eastern Norway (prof Renssen) to the climate modelling group, to University Leiden (NL, prof Kolen), to relate human subsistence strategies to climate history, and to Landscape Research & Management (UK, dr Howard) to understand the relationship between applied consultancy and research dealing with landscape and archaeology.
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It is increasingly clear that wild-living megafauna can have strong effects on ecosystems and there is similarly increasing interest in their restoration to provide biodiversity in unmanaged ecosystems. Furthermore, large mammals are rebounding more or less spontaneously in many parts of Europe. At the same time, we have limited overview of the potential future megafauna dynamics and their ecosystem impacts, a key knowledge gap for informing European environmental policy. Hence, there is a strong need for improving our understanding of realized and potential future megafauna structure across Europe, impacts on vegetation structure and ecosystem functioning such as biogeochemical cycles (carbon, phosphorous etc.), as well as links to local and landscape-scale characteristics such as climate, topography, and vegetation.
To contribute to this aim, this PhD position will: 1.build a geospatial database of megafauna structure across Energy Regimes (ER) 1-4 across Europe, with data on date, location, climate, habitat structure, and topography; 2.assess the determinants of megafauna structure and their patterns across Europe in the complete absence of human activities and under different past, present and future ER; 3.map the past, present and potential future megafauna structures across Europe and examine how they relate to cultural values, socioeconomics, and landscape structure and development.
This will be addressed by building a geospatial database on existing separate data sources, of species occurrences and ranges and environmental data (incl. topography and vegetation) across ERs, coupled with data on functional traits and phylogeny, followed by macroecological analyses of megafauna structure and modelling of impacts on vegetation and ecosystem functioning. Both explanatory modelling of past and present ERs and forecast modelling for future scenarios will be implemented.
The PhD student will be jointly supervised by ≥Prof. Jens-Christian Svenning (Center for Biodiversity Dynamics in a Changing World (BIOCHANGE) and Section for Ecoinformatics & Biodiversity, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University), ≥Ms. Ana Rocha (European Landowners Organisation), ≥Dr. S.J. Kluiving (Humanities/ Archaeology; Environmental Geography (IVM), Stichting VU).
Three secondments will take place at WWF, European Landowners Organisation and Humanities/ Archaeology; Environmental Geography (IVM), Stichting VU.
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During the past 12 thousand years, the climate and environment in Europe has changed markedly due to both natural and anthropogenic factors. In the four energy regimes (ERs) that are central within the TerraNova project, the relative contributions of these two types of factors changed drastically. In the early Holocene (1st ER), the human population was relatively small, and natural factors most probably dominated over the human impacts in most places. The anthropogenic factors, however, increased in importance in the mid and late Holocene (2nd ER), and after the industrial revolution (3rd and 4th ER) the human impact became the dominant forcing factor. The extent of this dominance in the future depends on the scenario selected. Although this general trend is clear, considerable variations in time and space can be expected throughout Europe, making the manifestation of changes in climate and environment uncertain at the European scale.
Against this background, the overall aims of this PhD project are to: (1) perform spatial and temporal analyses and modelling of transient changes in climate and vegetation during the four energy regimes at the European scale, (2) identify and understand similarities and differences between and within ERs at the European scale, and (3) provide detailed climate information for the four ERs at the scale of TerraNova’s fieldwork regions. This PhD project is part of Work Package (WP) 3: “Rethinking human-environment interaction”. The main data will be obtained from numerical simulations of past, present and future using the iLOVECLIM earth system model and appropriate natural and anthropogenic forcings. The temporal and spatial variability in the obtained model results will be analyzed thoroughly and statistical downscaling methods will be applied to derive information at the regional scale. The PhD project will create model-based maps and time series of past, present and future climate change that are essential for understanding of the variability at the regional scale. This information is crucial for other parts of the TerraNova project, working at selected fieldwork sites. In particular, this position will collaborate with project colleagues at selected sites in Sweden and Romania. In addition, the scenario-based simulations will provide a link to potential changes in the future.
This PhD project will be jointly supervised by Prof. Hans Renssen (University of South-Eastern Norway), Prof. Marie-José Gaillard (Linnaeus University, Sweden) and Dr. Ionut Cristea (GEOCONCEPT, Romania). Three secondments will take place: to Linnaeus University and Uppsala University to perform climate analysis on the Swedish TerraNova site, and to intersectoral partner GEOCONCEPT to analyse the climate of the Romanian TerraNova site.
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This PhD will investigate changing human-environment interactions through time and how these impact on landscape management. Landscapes in Europe are valued for their cultural values, reflected in landscape elements such as hedgerows, stonewalls and the overall structure of the landscape. However, in the urbanizing societies of Europe tradeoffs occur between conservation of cultural heritage and novel functions and uses of landscape, i.e., for generating renewable energy.
The ESR will identify in which areas of Europe such tradeoffs occur by using spatial analysis and modelling of future scenarios of landscape development. Novel management strategies for navigating these tradeoffs will be proposed and evaluated. The study will address Europe as a whole while more detailed analysis will be made in the TerraNova case studies.
Supervision will be provided by 3 supervisors from partners in the project while ample opportunities for exciting secondments will be offered.
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WP4: DESIGNING – Land management tools for policy
The overall aim of this Early Stage Researcher PhD project (ESR) is to develop and apply a framework to assess the relationship between rewilding and ecosystem services. At least three research publications are expected as an output. Specific tasks include: ⦁ develop a framework to compare socio-economic costs and benefits, risks and opportunities provided by ecosystems before and after rewilding; ⦁ apply the framework by comparing stocks and flows of natural capital in selected TerraNova FL areas with varying degrees of ‘ecological intactness’ in order to define conservation management priorities (e.g. using methods such as InVest, the Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-Based Assessment, and the Natural Capital Protocol). ⦁ develop an auditing approach based on natural capital stocks and flows usable by practitioners;
Three secondments will take place to Aarhus University to develop expertise in geospatial analyses and ecoinformatics at (Month 21-23), to Rewilding Europe Foundation to develop expertise in rewilding and land management practice at (Month 15-17), and to Wild Business to develop marketable skills in landscape management (Month 26).
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The main aim of this PhD project is to understand which physical, ecological and socio-economic factors determine the chances of success for the recovery and rewilding of well-functioning, coherent ecosystems. This PhD position will, in collaboration with other researchers in this project: (1) Identify potential for rewilding and natural restoration in European landscapes, based on key natural processes; (2) Model connectivity in European landscapes with regard to these key natural processes; (3) Map potential transitions from abandoned land to rewilded ecosystems and identify areas in need of assisted rewilding, using the scenarios developed by PhD13; (4) Assess rewilding progress (see Torres et al. 2018. Phil Trans R Soc B http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2017.0433) to on-going or planned interventions for Terra Nova Field Laboratory areas.
As a result this PhD position will create a map of rewilding potential in Europe, with scenarios of land-use change in Europe (for 2050) and land-management guidelines on rewilding and assisted restoration.
The PhD will be jointly supervised by Dr. Alexandros Karamanlidis (Rewilding Europe, Netherlands), Prof. Henrique Pereira (Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) at the Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany) and Chantal van Ham (IUCN, Brussels). Three secondments will take place: one at the Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg for training in ecology and rewilding (2 months), one at IUCN Brussels on nature governance (3 months), and one at Aarhus University, Denmark to learn geospatial analyses and advanced eco-informatics (3 months).
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The overall aim of this Early Stage Researcher PhD project (ESR) is to develop scenarios for rewilding European landscapes. At least three research publications are expected as an output. More specifically, this ESR will: ⦁ develop participatory scenarios with multiple stakeholders for future rewilding in Europe, accounting for European level developments in climate and societal demand for land-based commodities that can be derived from previous modelling studies and from ESR10; ⦁ use biodiversity and ecosystem service models to assess the implications of the different scenarios; ⦁ analyze, together with stakeholders, biodiversity and ecosystem services outcomes of the scenarios to identify tensions between rewilding and the maintenance of landscape heritage;
Three secondments will take place: to VU University Amsterdam (Month 22-23) to learn land-system analysis, at Aarhus University (Month 15-16) in order to learn geospatial analyses and advanced ecoinformatics, and to Rewilding Europe Foundation (Month 26-28) to develop marketable skills in landscape management.
This PhD project will be jointly supervised by Dr. Nestor Fernandéz (iDiv Halle-Jena-Leipzig/ Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany), Prof. Henrique Pereira (iDiv Halle-Jena-Leipzig/ Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany), Prof. Jens-Christian Svenning (Arhus University, Denmark) and Prof. Peter Verburg (VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands).
The workplace will be the Biodiversity Conservation Research Group at iDiv Halle-Jena-Leipzig, which is located at the BioCity Leipzig. The Biodiversity Conservation Group research aims at understanding the patterns and processes of global biodiversity change, with the goal of informing environmental policy and management of ecosystems (http://biocon.idiv.de).
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The objectives of this ESR position are to: (1) identify the geographic distribution and rewilding potential of abandoned agricultural land across Europe; (2) analyse the potential and constraints to alternative development trajectories of these areas particularly in relation to high risk cultural heritage or agro-biodiversity values; (3) conduct agent-based model analysis of abandonment areas at EU scale and of archaeological data generated by other researchers in the Terranova research project at regional scale to understand how changing human-environment interactions lead to alternative development pathways.
As a result, this ESR position will create an inventory of the costs of land abandonment for agro-biodiversity and cultural heritage, scientific papers documenting the drivers of alternative abandonment trajectories, an operational agent-based model to assess the human-environment interactions that lead to abandonment, and evaluated instruments and policies to guide the transition in directions that minimise negative trade-offs.
The ESR will be jointly supervised by Chantal van Ham (IUCN, Brussels), Marie-Alice Budniok (ELO, Brussels) and Prof. Peter Verburg (VU Amsterdam, Netherlands). Three secondments will take place: one at the European Landowners’ Organisation (ELO) on decision making and planning (3 months), one at the Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg for training in ecology and rewilding (2 months), and one at VU Amsterdam, Netherlands, for experience in land system analysis (3 months). The candidate will be enrolled at VU Amsterdam for the doctoral degree.
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This PhD position will evaluate the effect of knowledge on long-term landscape changes (over the past and the future) on the decision making process. It will analyze the added-value and drawbacks of such a dynamic and systemic understanding of landscape changes at various scales on decision making and policy making. It will use a comparative approach using (1) existing studies from others ESRs, research projects and the literature, (2) experimentations on participatory studies aiming at building scenarios of land uses management in the context of the Anthropocene.
Envisioning possible futures of landscape may have various influence on the perception of land users, decision makers or policy makers. This position will contribute to develop protocols and decision support tools (crowdsourcing and choice experiments; testing research outputs from the ESR 10-11-13 with an engaged group of stakeholders and policy makers) for considering long-term landscape change in decision making.
ESR15 will be applied on FL1a (i.e. North European landscapes), with a special focus on intensively used landscapes in temperate-Atlantic area (in The Netherlands and France) facing the diverging challenge of a sustainable human / nature development under a low carbon future context.
This PhD position will be jointly supervised by Dr. Thomas Houet (National Center of Scientific Research, Geography, University of Rennes, France), Dr. Peter Verburg (Environmental Spatial Analysis, Institute for Environmental Studies, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and Dr. Welter Helmer (Dept. of Landscape Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, University of Leiden).
Two secondments will take place at VU University Amsterdam (Verburg, Months 21-23) in order to learn land system analysis, at IUCN (Van Ham, Months 15-17) for the nonacademic setting of nature governance, and to Rewilding Europe (Helmer, M27) to develop marketable skills in landscape management and rewilding.
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The salary of the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks Fellowship (MSC-ITN) follows the regulations set by the European Commission. The salary will include social security and will be composed of living, mobility and family allowances, where appropriate, as outlined in the Marie-Curie Grant Agreement and Horizon 2020- Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Actions Work-Programme, please see here:
All researchers recruited in a Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN must be Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs).
A ESR shall, at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree. The four years start to count from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him/her to embark on a doctorate.
Researchers are required to undertake transnational mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up their appointment. One general rule applies to the appointment of researchers: At the time of recruitment by the host beneficiary, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. Note that the mobility rule applies to the beneficiary where the researcher is recruited, and not to beneficiaries to which the researcher is sent or seconded.
For all recruitment, the eligibility and mobility of the researcher will be determined at the time of their (first) recruitment in the project. The status of the researcher will not evolve over the life-time of a contract.
Please provide evidence that you meet the above mentioned eligibility requirements as an annex of your CV.
Candidates provide all requested information including a detailed CV and cover letter. During the registration, applicants will need to prove that they are eligible (cf. ESR definition, mobility criteria, and English language proficiency).
Evaluation, interviews and selection process: 16 April 2019-20 June 2019*
Successful candidates informed: 21 June 2019
ESRs are employed and ready to start: 1 October 2019
*An assessment event at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam can be part of the selection process.