PhD position in radar aeroecology

University of Amsterdam
October 05 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

A new PhD position is currently open in the Theoretical and Computational Ecology Department within the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) at the University of Amsterdam.

As humans expand their activities into the aerial environment of birds, through aviation and infrastructure such as wind turbines, conflicts between humans and birds are increasing. Increasing our understanding of flight behaviour and the external and internal factors that influence flight behaviour can be applied to find novel solutions to reduce such conflicts. This PhD project will contribute to a long-term mission to understand how birds adapt their movement strategies to environmental conditions, what the costs, benefits and constraints of different movement strategies are, and whether diversity is important for population persistence. This project will focus on the migratory behaviour of birds over the North Sea in the context of offshore windfarms. As wind energy development is expected to increase in the coming years in the North Sea, so to the need to find solutions to reduce the impact large scale wind farms may have on migratory birds. This project will be conducted in collaboration with Rijkswaterstaat (Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment) and the main aim is to develop a predictive model of bird migration to provide the wind energy industry advance warnings of intense migration and enable efficient adaptation of the turbine activity to reduce collision risk for migratory birds.

Within the project the following objectives will be addressed by the PhD candidate:

  1. synthesize current knowledge and identify major gaps in our understanding about migration over the North Sea in terms of species composition, timing, numbers, source areas of departure, flight behaviour, spatial distribution;

  2. identify large scale spatial and temporal patterns of migration over the North Sea for at least two consecutive autumn and spring seasons;

  3. assess data quality of local bird detection radars for monitoring migration at se;

  4. determine how external factors influence the timing and 3D spatial distribution of migration over the North Sea;

  5. develop a statistical predictive model framework of migration over the North Sea with an emphasis on the air layer relevant for wind parks;

  6. explore the use of a mechanistic model of bird migration over the North Sea, with an emphasis on the air layer relevant for wind parks.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess