Post Doc in Co-design European Biodiversity Monitoring
University of Amsterdam Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Postdoc Co-design European Biodiversity Monitoring

Publication date 5 July 2021

Closing date 1 September 2021

Level of education PhD

Hours 38 hours per week

Salary indication €2,790 to €4,402 gross per month

Vacancy number 21-562

Biodiversity loss has severe impacts on ecosystem services and humans. Many EU-level policies and initiatives demand unbiased, integrated and regularly updated biodiversity and ecosystem service data. However, efforts to monitor biodiversity are spatially and temporally fragmented, taxonomically biased, and lack integration. The advertised position will be part of the international consortium Europa Biodiversity Observation Network (EuropaBON) which aims to bridge these gaps by designing an EU-wide framework for monitoring biodiversity and ecosystem services to support biodiversity policies in Europe. Are you interested in co-designing this future framework for biodiversity monitoring in Europe? Do you have experience with sampling designs of monitoring schemes, coordination of citizen science projects, or calibrating remote sensing data with in-situ observations? Then we may be looking for you.

Designing an EU biodiversity monitoring framework:

To co-design a cost-efficient framework for the future monitoring of biodiversity across Europe, we need to identify the core variables to be measured (i.e. Essential Biodiversity Variables, EBVs), the statistical sampling design for deriving robust trends, and a feasible and cost-efficient way for implementation. EuropaBON is built around a diverse set of stakeholders to identify user and policy needs for biodiversity monitoring aligned with the new European Green Deal. Together with the stakeholders, EuropaBON assesses current monitoring efforts to identify gaps, data and workflow bottlenecks, and analyses the cost-effectiveness of different schemes. This will be used to co-design an improved biodiversity monitoring system across Europe, building on a good statistical design, and making use of remote sensing, novel technologies and citizen science to become more representative temporally, spatially and taxonomically.

EuropaBON project:

EuropaBON is a H2020 coordination and support action. It started in December 2020 and it will finish in November 2023. It consists of 15 partner organisations across Europe covering universities and research institutes, governmental or public institutions, private companies and NGOs. All partners in EuropaBON have high-level and complementary expertise in the different areas of the project, ranging from networking and cost-effectiveness analysis, biodiversity monitoring, modelling and analysis, to stakeholder engagement, policy support and dissemination. The project is structured into five work packages. WP1 oversees the coordination and management of the project. WP2 is the hub of the project and focuses on stakeholder engagement. WP3 centers on the assessment of existing monitoring capability in Europe whereas WP4 will co-design a cost-efficient framework for the future monitoring of biodiversity across Europe. WP5 will demonstrate in a set of showcases how workflows tailored to the European biodiversity directives and cross-cutting policies can be implemented. The current EuropaBON network includes >350 members from >200 organisations and 44 countries. The outputs of EuropaBON will contribute to design and investigate the feasibility of setting up a center to coordinate monitoring activities across Europe. 


The position is based at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) of the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. You will be part of the Biogeography & Macroecology (BIOMAC) lab which is embedded in the Department Theoretical and Computational Ecology (TCE) of IBED.

What are you going to do?

You will:

  • Develop designs for a robust sampling of Essential Biodiversity Variables across Europe.
  • Produce a synthesis report with suggestions for improving existing (and suggesting new) data flows in the context of reporting to the European biodiversity policies.
  • Interact with project partners to identify workflow bottlenecks, to specify essential biodiversity and ecosystem service variables, to analyze the cost-effectiveness of monitoring schemes, and to describe the potential of novel technologies for filling existing biodiversity monitoring gaps.
  • Engage with stakeholders to identify improvements for data sharing, biodiversity monitoring workflows, and standardized data collection methods. 
  • Participate in international EuropaBON stakeholder workshops and in regular EuropaBON meetings and networking events.
  • Produce high quality scientific outputs in the form of journal publications and contribute to relevant high-level policy and practice reports.

What do we require

  • PhD in a relevant field (e.g. ecology, biodiversity science, statistics, physical geography, data science, remote sensing).
  • Interest and experience in biodiversity policy and monitoring of biodiversity.
  • Understanding of existing biodiversity data flows in the context of European policies, e.g. Habitats Directive, Water Framework Directive, Birds Directive, Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
  • Experience with biodiversity sampling designs, citizen science coordination, and/or the calibration of remote sensing data with in-situ measurements.
  • Familiarity with novel technologies for biodiversity monitoring.
  • Good people and management skills.
  • Capability of working in interdisciplinary teams and willingness to interact with a diverse set of partners and stakeholders.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English (and willingness to learn Dutch).
  • Proven track record in scientific publications.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours a week, for the duration of 24 months.

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2790 to €4,402 (scale 10) gross per month, 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.

About us

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. The position is embedded in the Department Theoretical and Computational Ecology (TCE) of IBED which focuses on understanding the complexity of ecological systems by using theoretical and advanced computational approaches. A key research focus is to address how organisms cope with changing environmental conditions and how nature and life is distributed across our planet. Within TCE, the position is embedded in the Biogeography & Macroecology (BIOMAC) lab, a research group which aims to quantify how biodiversity and abiotic components of the Earth system vary across space and time, how they interact, and how responses of species and ecosystems to changing environmental conditions can be predicted and forecasted. The group covers a wide variety of scientific backgrounds, including ecology, data science, conservation science, physical geography, Earth science, and global change biology.


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

  • Dr. W. Daniel Kissling Associate Professor of Quantitative Biodiversity Science
  • T. + 31 (0)20 525 8423 

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize 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 1 September 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

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 soon after the closing date.

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


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