We offer 3 PhD and 2 Postdoc positions for the ERC-Synergy project RESILIENCE!

For our ERC-Synergy project RESILIENCE, we offer 3 PhD (4 years) and 2 Postdoc (3 years) positions. We are looking for self-motivated candidates with a strong scientific background in the fields relevant to the individual projects described below and with excellent English language skills.

The aim of our ERC-Synergy project, Pathways of resilience and evasion of tipping in ecosystems (RESILIENCE), is to fundamentally advance our understanding and predictions of tipping points and critical transitions in ecosystems and reveal how these can be evaded and even reversed through spatial pattern formation. RESILIENCE will develop a new theory for emerging resilience through spatial pattern formation and link this with real tipping-prone biomes undergoing accelerating global change: savanna and tundra. Central to our theoretical approach is the novel mathematical connection between the origin of spatial pattern formation and their emerging resilience. Our empirical approach will include the analysis of existing and new data from in situ observations and drone and satellite-based remote sensing. Our research aims to reveal which conditions and spatial patterns lead to the evasion and even reversal of tipping. Identifying these conditions and patterns will also expose how human interventions can prevent or reverse tipping.

The RESILIENCE core team consists of 4 Principal Investigators (PIs) at 4 different universities: Max Rietkerk at Utrecht Universitycoordinating the project, Isla Meyers-Smith at the University of British Columbia, Arjen Doelman at Leiden University, and Ehud Meron at Ben-Gurion University. Together the core team will address all aspects of this overarching project, linking theory and observation, spanning the fields of ecology, physics, and mathematics.

The titles of the individual projects are listed below; for more information about the project and the application procedure, please visit the project website:

Please spread the announcement to interested candidates.

Please note: It is possible to apply for more than one position at the same time. The given dates in the job descriptions mark the start of the evaluation procedure followed by the selection procedure. Eligible applications will be considered until the positions are filled, after which the vacancies will be closed. In case of interest but closed vacancy portals, please contact the responsible PI for more information about the status of individual vacancies.

Kind regards from the RESILIENCE consortium,

Max Rietkerk (UU), Isla Meyers-Smith (UBC), Arjen Doelman (UL), and Ehud Meron (BGU)

Offered PhD positions (each 4 year):

1. Utrecht University: Unified spatial ecosystem models – the ecological angle

2. Leiden University: Unified spatial ecosystem models – the mathematical angle

3. Leiden University: Turing before tipping

Offered Postdoc positions (each 3 year):

1. Ben-Gurion University: Dynamics of fronts and coexistence states

2. Ben-Gurion University: Community assembly and spatial pattern formation