Assistant/Associate Professor in Animal-Environment Interactions
University of Amsterdam Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Assistant or Associate professor position Animal-Environment Interactions

Publication date 15 April 2021

Closing date 17 May 2021

Level of education PhD

Hours 38 hours per week

Salary indication €3,746 to €6,317 gross per month

Vacancy number 21-247

Are you a scientist doing computational research at the interface of earth and environmental sciences and animal movement ecology? Then our current vacancy in Animal-Environment Interactions may be the opportunity you have been waiting for.

Research within our Department of Theoretical and Computational Ecology addresses the complexity of ecological systems in terms of processes, patterns, diversity and functioning. We are fascinated by the abiotic and biotic factors that determine how nature and life is distributed across our planet, that govern how or why animals move, and that shape the dynamics of ecological communities. We use advanced theoretical and computational approaches to pursue our fascination and increase our understanding, while at the same time addressing societal challenges related to sustainable development (e.g. wind energy development), human-wildlife interactions and biodiversity decline. For more information about us and the position please check here.

We are looking for a highly motivated scientist to join our team, someone with a background in environmental modelling and knowledge of, or an interest in, interactions between animals and their environment. With this position we aim to contribute to increased understanding about how environmental factors, including current and future anthropogenic change, influence where, when, why and how animals move (e.g. to forage, migrate, disperse), and how this influences their distributions and ecosystem functioning. We are open to candidates with diverse expertise and will consider early career scientists as well as more established scientists (at Associate Professor level).

What are you going to do?

We expect you to develop your own research line within animal movement ecology, both independently as well as in collaboration with colleagues within the department or from inside and outside the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) we belong to. We envision you to use your expertise in computational approaches such as spatially explicit, multi-scale modelling, big data analysis or remote sensing techniques to study how conditions in the atmosphere, lithosphere or hydrosphere, including human activities, influence animal movement. We would be especially excited if you use your expertise to address societal challenges such as ecological impacts of renewable energy, human-wildlife interactions, species conservation and monitoring biodiversity change. We furthermore expect you to convey your enthusiasm for your research to our students in the BSc programmes Future Planet studies and Biological Sciences and the MSc programmes Earth Sciences and Biological Sciences.

Research responsibilities:

  • conduct highquality research within the area of academic specialisation contributing to animal movement ecology and publishing results in leading academic journals;
  • foster collaboration within the department, among departments in IBED, the UvA, as well as with national and international partners;
  • acquire funding through national and international sources to finance your research;
  • contribute to scientific outreach or engagement with stakeholders outside academia.

Teaching responsibilities:

  • contribute to the BSc programmes Future Planet Studies and Biological Sciences, MSc programmes Earth Sciences and Biological Sciences;
  • develop educational material for computational methodologies or spatial data analysis, such as modelling geophysical, environmental or biological processes, big data analysis, programming or remote sensing;
  • supervise BSc and MSc research projects.

What do we require?

  • A PhD in the natural sciences and at least 2 years of postdoctoral experience;
  • internationally acknowledged research related to animal-environment interactions;
  • a capacity to acquire research funding (proven grant-acquisition capacity required for Associate Professor);
  • you use computational and modelling techniques to pursue your own research and to collaborate in inter-disciplinary projects;
  • an interest in collaborative inter-disciplinary research;
  • an affinity for teaching, have teaching experience and preferably have developed your own computational teaching material;
  • experience supervising BSc, MSc students and preferably PhD candidates (required for Associate Professor);
  • demonstrated excellent oral and written communication skills in English and are willing to learn Dutch.

Our offer

You will be offered a temporary contract for 38 hours a week, preferably starting on 1 September 2021.

At the starting level of Assistant Professor we offer you a temporary employment contract for 38 hours per week (full time) with a tenure track agreement for the duration of five years (which is part of a six-year temporary contract). Following a positive assessment after five years the appointment will become permanent, at the level of Associate Professor.

We are also happy to consider applications with a more senior profile than that of assistant professor. At the starting level of Associate Professor we offer you a temporary contract for 12 months. A permanent contract subsequently follows if we assess your performance positive.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €3,746 to €6,317 (scale 11/13) based on a fulltime contract (38 hours a week). This is exclusive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Take a look here.


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:

  • Prof. Judy Shamoun-Baranes
    T: +31 (0)20 525 7436, +31 (0)6 3927 0717

Click here for an extensive job profile description.

About the Faculty of Science and the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) is one of eight research institutes of the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam. The research at IBED aims to unravel how ecosystems function in all their complexity, and how they change due to natural processes and human activities. At its core lies an integrated systems approach to study biodiversity, ecosystems and the environment. IBED adopts this systems approach to ecosystems, addressing abiotic (soil and water quality) and biotic factors (ecology and evolution of plants, animals, and microorganisms), and the interplay between those. The IBED vision includes research encompassing experimental and theoretical approaches at a wide variety of temporal and spatial scales, i.e. from molecules and microorganisms to patterns and processes occurring at the global scale.

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application by 17 May 2021. You can apply online by using the link below.

Applications in .pdf should include:

  • a motivation letter;
  • a CV including a list of publications and grant acquisition;
  • a 2-page research statement;
  • a 1-page teaching statement;
  • the names and e-mail addresses of two references.

All documents should be combined into one pdf file. Please mention the months (not just years) in your CV when referring to your education and work experience.

We will invite potential candidates for interviews 9 and 11 June 2021.


If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Bioloxy


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