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The Marine Science Job & Candidate Finder

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Vacancy Details

Job/Stage details
Vacancy Title PhD position
Country of employment Netherlands
Job description The Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) is the leading research institute in the
Netherlands for the basic marine sciences. Five departments (Physical Oceanography, Marine Geology, Marine Organic Biogeochemistry, Biological Oceanography and Marine Ecology) carry out the multidisciplinary research of the institute. Approximately 250 persons are currently appointed at the NIOZ. NIOZ has a large variety of instrumentation and is operating modernly equipped research vessels for coastal and ocean studies. The institute is associated with the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO); it is located on the Wadden Island of Texel, close to the mainland.

The department of Marine Ecology (department chair: Dr. Henk van der Veer), aims to obtain a
mechanistic understanding of the structure and dynamical behaviour of marine macrobenthos
populations, ranging from the shelf margin to the intertidal. The general approach that is followed and which is also one of the great challenges in modern ecology, is to try to understand the properties of populations and communities on the basis of characteristics of individual organisms. The department focuses both on the role of bottom-up (food input and competition for food and other resources) and top-down (predation) processes in structuring benthic communities.

The department has a vacancy for a PhD student
Vacancy number 2010-072
“Biodiversity and disease risk in marine ecosystems”

Project description:
This project will explore a novel aspect of the role of biodiversity in marine ecosystem functioning by linking the study of diseases with community ecology and studies on macroparasites with those on microparasites. Ambient organisms can interfere with pathogen transmission (e.g. by consuming infective stages) and thus reduce infection levels and disease outbreaks in hosts (‘dilution effect’). The main objective of this project is to explore dilution effects in marine ecosystems, using two well established and representative pathogen-host model systems, trematodes in benthic invertebrates and viruses in phytoplankton. Laboratory experiments will investigate the extent to which ambient organisms interfere with pathogen transmission and if specific diversity effects (instead of simple density effects) on disease risk exist. The obtained results will be integrated into existing population models and food webs to investigate how dilution effects alter disease dynamics in their hosts relative to other known factors and how strongly dilution links are embedded in food webs.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and creative person who is interested in working within the
multidisciplinary framework of the project. The candidate should have a degree in Ecology, Parasitology and/or Microbial Ecology. Ideally, the successful candidate has experience in one or more of the following areas: laboratory experiments, parasitology, viral ecology, plankton culturing and/or plankton grazing experiments. Fluency in English is a prerequisite.

We offer a full-time PhD position for 4 years, a pension scheme, a yearly 8% vacation allowance, yearend bonus and flexible employment conditions. Conditions are based on the Collective Employment Agreement of the Research Institutes. Cost of relocation and help with housing is provided by NIOZ.

Further information on the project and the position can be obtained from Dr. David Thieltges (tel. 0222-369508, e-mail:,and otherwise from Jolanda Evers, Human Resources (, phone +31-222-369371). General information about NIOZ can be found at:

Applicants should sent a cover letter with motivation for this project, CV, a statement of research
interest and the name and email address of two referees, to the Human Resources Department (Ms. Jolanda Evers, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), P.O. Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg, Texel, The Netherlands or preferably by e-mail to:
Please quote the vacancy number in your application

Closing Date: October 31st 2010 or until a qualified candidate is identified.
Vacancy URL
Contract type
Daily basis
Gross salary
Duration of contract  
CV submission deadline  -10-31
Last updated on 2010-10-04 by
Contact Details
Contact person Thieltges, David
Institute Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)
Address P.O. Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg, Texel, The Netherlands

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