University of Twente

PhD opening: Functioning and dynamics of biodiverse salt marshes.

2024-06-30 (Europe/Amsterdam)
Save job

About the employer

Looking for a job that matters? Join the university of technology that puts people first – and shape new opportunities both for yourself and for ou...

Visit the employer page

Job description

This research position is part of the joint German-Dutch-Danish SALTGARDEN project: Sustainable Adaptive Landscapes through Transdisciplinary Gardening to Advance the Resilience and Dynamics of our Ecological Natural?heritage. The project is part of the trilateral research program ‘Understanding complex pressures on the Wadden Sea and options for action’.

The SALTGARDEN project will investigate the dynamics and resilience of the Wadden Sea salt marshes and their contribution to ecosystem functions and services at all levels. To enable adaptive landscapes with biodiverse and dynamic salt marshes, the researchers aim to develop Nature-based Gardening strategies that balance human interventions and ecological self-regulation. The interdisciplinary research team (consisting of 4 PhDs, 3 Postdocs and their supervisors) will combine engineering, ecological and socio-economic experiments and models to quantify and predict future salt marsh developments, including the impacts on the Wadden Sea communities.

Within SALTGARDEN, you will develop and apply small-scale hydrodynamic models as well as large-scale biogeomorpological models. In collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark you will develop a detailed Computational Fluid Dynamics (OpenFOAM) model to simulate and quantify the trapping of microplastics in salt marsh vegetation. Next, you will integrate the vegetation development and interactions of biodiverse salt marshes (investigated by another PhD within the SALTGARDEN project) in a landscape-scale biogeomorphological model (Delft3D) to predict the landscape development of dynamic salt marshes towards the 21st century. Your findings will help to quantify the temporal evolution of the contribution of biodiverse, dynamic salt marshes to pollution filtering and coastal protection in the Wadden Sea.

The SALTGARDEN consortium is a collaboration between 6 universities, 3 research institutes, a landscape architect, area managers and NGOs. As a member of the SALTGARDEN team you will closely interact with your UT supervisors as well as fellow researchers within the consortium. Regular consortium meetings will accommodate knowledge exchange with our partners, increasing the relevance and impact of your research. Furthermore, you will present your work at (inter)national conferences and publish your findings in journal papers and a PhD thesis.

Your profile

  • MSc in Coastal Engineering, Physical Geography or related discipline.
  • You are experienced in hydraulic modelling (e.g. Delft3D, OpenFOAM).
  • You have sound programming skills (e.g Python, Matlab).
  • You have experience with data collection in the lab/field and data analysis.
  • Your organizational skills are good.
  • You are enthusiastic, independent and have a problem solving attitude
  • You are willing to contribute to the Civil Engineering teaching program and to supervise MSc thesis projects.
  • You are fluent in English, both spoken and written (IELTS >= 6.5 or equivalent).

Our offer

  • Challenging work in an inspiring multidisciplinary environment with enthusiastic colleagues.
  • Four-year fulltime PhD position, with a qualifier exam after 6-9 months
  • Full status as an employee at the UT, including pension and health care benefits
  • Tailor-made educational/development program of at least 6 months (30 EC), including visits to conferences.
  • A starting salary of €2.770,- gross per month in the first year and increasing to €3.539,- gross per month in the fourth year.
  • An annual holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, and an annual year-end bonus of 8.3%.
  • Minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of fulltime employment.
  • You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Enschede. A relocation allowance or temporary housing allowance may be part of the offer.
  • The University of Twente is situated on a green and lively campus with lots of facilities for sports and other activities.
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment to accelerate your further professional and personal growth.

Your first responsibility is to carry out the research, but you also will acquire teaching experience (about 10% of your time). We support you to broaden your knowledge by joining international exchange programs, by participating in national and international conferences and workshops and by visiting industrial companies, research institutes, and universities worldwide.

Information and application

For more information about the position, you can contact Dr. ir. Erik Horstman (

Please upload your application via the ‘Apply now’ button before 30 June 2024.
Your application should include a cover letter (emphasizing your specific interest, motivation and qualifications), a detailed CV, an academic transcript of BS. and MSc education, result of an English test (if you attended a non-English taught MSc program), a publication list (if applicable) and contact details of two referees.
Since only three documents can be uploaded per application, please combine documents if needed. An interview and a scientific presentation will be part of the selection procedure.

The first selection interviews are scheduled for 9 July 2024, preferably in person for those living within day-trip distance from Enschede. If needed, a second round of interviews will be scheduled for 16 July 2024.

We aim for this project to start November 1st 2024.
We also welcome students to apply who expect to have finished their MSc thesis by this time.

About the organisation

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) engages in education and research of Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. We enable society and industry to innovate and create value using efficient, solid and sustainable technology. We are part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, taking our place as an internationally leading center for smart production, processes and devices in five domains: Health Technology, Maintenance, Smart Regions, Smart Industry and Sustainable Resources. Our faculty is home to about 2,900 Bachelor's and Master's students, 550 employees and 150 PhD candidates. Our educational and research programmes are closely connected with UT research institutes Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Center and Digital Society Institute.

Job details

PhD opening: Functioning and dynamics of biodiverse salt marshes.
Drienerlolaan 5 Enschede, Netherlands
Application deadline
2024-06-30 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam)
2024-06-30 23:59 (CET)
Job type
Save job

More jobs from this employer

About the employer

Looking for a job that matters? Join the university of technology that puts people first – and shape new opportunities both for yourself and for ou...

Visit the employer page

This might interest you

Control Systems: The Key to Our Automated Future? Max Planck Institute for Software Systems (MPI-SWS) 5 min read
Lighting the Way in the Search for Distant Exoplanets SRON - Netherlands Institute for Space Research 4 min read
3D Printing for Better Healthcare Medical University of Vienna 4 min read
More stories