PhD Candidate on Remote Sensing Based Characterization of Functional Diversity in Polar Regions

PhD Candidate on Remote Sensing Based Characterization of Functional Diversity in Polar Regions

Leiden University LogoLeiden University (founded in 1575) is one of Europe’s leading international research-intensive universities. This prominent position gives our graduates an advantage when applying for positions both within and outside the academic world.

The PhD candidate will develop a new methodology to derive traits-based functional diversity estimates, by combining remote sensing data and ecological concepts. By acquiring hyperspectral earth observation information using an unmanned octocopter and local trait measurements, the functional diversity within and between plant communities will be determined. Field evaluation and calibration will be carried out in subarctic Northern Sweden and Svalbard, regions for which -through their remoteness- it is difficult to determine biodiversity patterns through conventional inventories.

No. of Positions Available: 1


  • Master’s degree in biology, plant sciences, earth sciences or earth observation;
  • A strong quantitative view on plant or vegetation functioning;
  • Skills that allow you to quantitatively integrate environmental, earth observation and/or ecological information;
  • Ability to work at remote and potentially harsh field work conditions;
  • Proficient in spoken and written English;
  • Good communication skills;
  • A strong interest in a scientific career.


We offer a full-time, fixed-term post for a period of one year with an extension of three years after positive evaluation of capabilities and compatibility. Ultimately the appointment must lead to the completion of a PhD thesis.

Salary range from € 2.125,- in the first year up to € 2.717,- in year four gross per month, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

We aim to employ more women in areas where they are underrepresented. Women are therefore especially invited to apply.


Application Deadline: Nov. 16, 2015

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email quoting the vacancy number (15-366) to Susanna van den

Please ensure that you upload your curriculum vitae and a letter of motivation:

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