The Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
(NIOZ) is the Dutch national marine science institute and among the most
renowned internationally. NIOZ acquires and communicates scientific knowledge on
seas and oceans through research and education. Our research covers all
disciplines pertinent to marine science and our strength is in the
multidisciplinary approach. Currently, we employ some 350 scientists, lab
assistants, technicians, ship’s crew and auxiliary staff. NIOZ has two
locations, one situated in the south along the Oosterschelde
estuary (NIOZ Yerseke), and one in the north on the
barrier island of Texel (NIOZ Texel). The open position is located at NIOZ
Texel. For more information about our institutes, please visit www.nioz.nl
The WaLTER project, which is
funded by the Waddenfonds, is a research project that
aims to set up an integrated monitoring network for issues that are important
to the Wadden Sea area in the form of a Long-term
ecological research site (LTER). These include sea level rise, fishery,
recreation and the establishment of new industries. This monitoring network is
not just meant to be used for making policy decisions, but it should also enable
sound interpretation of research data. NIOZ and the institute IMARES are
working closely together on this project.
For this research project the Royal NIOZ invites
applications for a full-time position as a
Scientist with an interest in statistical ecology
Statistical design of a Wadden
Sea monitoring program.
Vacancy number: 2012-003
We invite Postdocs
as well as PhD students to apply.
Designing a monitoring program for the Wadden Sea ecosystem requires clear goals to be set. Not
just variables of interest should be defined, but also the temporal frequency,
spatial coverage and accuracy at which the estimates should be obtained have to
be set. This project focuses on various statistical and methodological aspects
of the monitoring program. It is embedded in a larger research project where
goals are set in cooperation with other researchers who merely emphasize
ecological and socio-economical aspects of the
The project is split up in three sub-projects.
The first subproject aims to develop a
tool that enables the selection of system variables on the basis of expected
variability in system behavior as a result of foreseeable changes in the system
resulting from changing management strategies or changes in other external forcing’s.
Expected behavior can only be quantitatively assessed by using dynamical system
models. An example may be helpful to appreciate this objective. Suppose that
climate change leads to an increase in irradiation, resulting in model predictions
of increasing primary productivity, but with no predicted effects on algal
biomass. Yet both secondary production and zoobenthic
biomass are expected to increase. Then it might be wise to spend the limited
resources of a monitoring program on measuring primary production and zoobenhtic biomass, taking also in mind that productivity
measurements are much more expensive than biomass measures. Hence this
subproject focuses on system variables for which dynamical models are
available. One dynamical Wadden Sea model that is
available is EMOWAD and its successor ECOWASP.
The second subproject focuses on the
spatial aspects of the monitoring program. LTERs usually select a smaller
geographical part of the entire system of interest in which monitoring takes
place. This smaller part should then serve as a 'representative' part of the
entire system. For example, the Balgzand area may act
as the LTER site for the entire Wadden Sea. The
question to be answered is whether this approach makes sense, and if so what
the minimum area should be for an LTER in the Wadden
Sea. The pros and cons of this classical approach should be derived in relation
to alternative approaches of for example selecting multiple tidal basins or no
selection at all, but area-wide coverage of the monitoring efforts. One
important element in this subproject is thus the choice between an entirely
design-based approach or partly a model-based approach needed to generalize the
results for a non-randomly selected part to the entire system.
The third subproject will focus on the
temporal aspects of the monitoring program and explore whether adaptive
monitoring schemes in which the frequency of measurement depends upon the rate
of change of the variables of interest is a promising and cost-effective
Alternative subprojects may be formulated depending
upon the interests and skills of the researcher.
We are looking for an enthusiastic scientist, holding a
PhD or master’s degree in quantitative science. Particularly, applicants with a
background in statistics, quantitative ecology, quantitative earth sciences or
similar fields of study are encouraged to apply. In addition they will have
knowledge of (geo)statistics and sampling theory and an interest in applying
their expertise in ecological research. Other skills required for this research
project include team-working and writing skills.
We offer a Postdoc for 2 years or a PhD
position for 4 years. We offer a pension scheme, an annual 8% vacation
allowance, year-end bonus and flexible employment conditions. Conditions are
based on the Collective Employment Agreement for Research Institutes.
and further information:
The scientist will be supervised by Prof. J. van der
Meer and by a group of experts in the field of statistics and geostatistics, Dr E.E. van Loon (UvA), Dr D.J. Brus
(Alterra) and Dr G.M. Aarts
(IMARES). For more information, please contact Jaap van der Meer (firstname.lastname@example.org,
tel. 00 +31 222369357).
The closing date for applications is 25 May 2012.
Selection will start immediately. Applications will be reviewed until the
position is filled. Please apply by sending your CV and covering letter. You
can send your covering letter, including reference number 2012-003, CV,
relevant publications, and contact details of two references who are familiar
with your work to NIOZ, HR Department, Sigrid Moerbeek, PO Box 59, 1790 AB Den
Burg, Texel, The Netherlands or by email (preferred) to email@example.com