PhD position in Polar Ecology (4 years)

The Willem Barentsz Polar Institute is a national cooperation between scientific institutions with research programmes in polar regions. At the University of Groningen there is a Ph.D. position available in a project shared by the Arctic Centre and the Department of Ocean Ecosystems. The position is within the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies (CEES) of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

Within the framework of the International Polar Year (IPY: 2007-2008) the BIRDHEALTH project studies ecological immunology in arctic birds. The present position is a follow-up of BIRDHEALTH and includes regular field sampling on Spitsbergen and laboratory analyses where life history trade-offs are quantified with microbial, serological and molecular techniques. The major task of the Ph.D. student will be to develop, optimize and apply, laboratory techniques on samples of migratory birds and their environment to study the interaction between pathogens, parasites and the immune system of birds.

PhD scholarship for a period of 4 years. Objective of the 4 years position is a number of research articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, together comprising the PhD thesis leading to the granting of the PhD degree (Dr.) at the University of Groningen. After the first year there is an evaluation for feasibility of successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next 3 years. The scholarship will be a gross amount, starting with 2000 gross per month in the first year up to a maximum of 2558 gross per month in the final year. The net income depends on your tax level and is age-dependent.

You have a Masters degree in ecology, animal physiology or veterinary science with interest in life history trade-offs in wild animal populations. You have expertise in laboratory analysis, data analysis and field work. You have excellent communication skills with good command of oral and written English.

Contacts and how to apply
Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from or: Prof.Dr. Anita G.J. Buma (E-mail address: and Dr. Maarten J.J.E. Loonen (Email address:

More information can also be found at the following links:
About the research groups:
Arctic Centre:
About the institute CEES:
About the university:
About the Willem Barentsz Polar Institute:

A direct application (including a letter of motivation, a description of previous relevant research experience, CV with list of any publications and full contact information of 2 references) must be sent before 1 November 2008 to: Dr. Maarten Loonen, Arctic Centre, University of Groningen, Aweg 30, 9718 CW Groningen, The Netherlands or

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