PhD Scholarship in Marine Fisheries and Habitat Restoration

DTU Aqua
Friday 24 Nov 17

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Apply no later than 3 January 2018
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A PhD Scholarship in marine fisheries and habitat restoration is available at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua), starting in March 2018. The scholarship is financed by various sources, including the Danish Recreational Fisheries Program and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

Project description
In many parts of the world, marine coastal habitats are degraded by anthropogenic activities. This is a problem, because healthy coastal habitats are important for many resident species, but also for species utilizing coastal areas as nursery grounds during the juvenile stages. Marine coastal habitats are therefore increasingly restored using various tools. The PhD project will test the effects of restoring a range of different coastal reefs made from boulders and cobble. In particular, the PhD project will survey abundances and diversities of various fish species associated with the restored reefs. Data on the abundance of harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) in relation to reef restoration will also be examined. The studies are based on replicated before-after control-impact (BACI) designs. The PhD project reflects ongoing studies and most of the “before” data have been collected. The data collection relies on baited and unbaited cameras to survey fish in addition to continuous detectors (PODs) to estimate the abundance of harbor porpoise. Collection of the “after” data will involve substantial field work during 2018 in a remote part of Denmark. The successful candidate will analyze the underwater footage and the POD recordings to document the effects of the reef restorations. The experimental reef designs cover differences in reef density and reef height. Studies are likely to be supported by laboratory experiments and fish telemetry work in the field. Moreover, studies will be carried out in collaboration with bachelor and master students and reported in peer-reviewed journals.  

The preferred candidate has the following qualifications:

  • Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in aquatic science or similar.
  • Experience in marine ecological, behavioural or physiological research.
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English.
  • Experience in planning and conducting experimental field work.
  • Keen interest in research and in the field of aquatic sciences.
  • Experience in statistical analyses (e.g. using R).
  • Ability to work in teams and alone.
  • Experience in publishing in peer-reviewed journals.
Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by researchers Jon C. Svendsen, Josianne G. Støttrup and Henrik Baktoft of DTU Aqua.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and an academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students at DTU. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

For further information about the project, please contact Jon C. Svendsen: / +45 93 51 16 63.

General information may be obtained from Rikke Hansen,

Do not send applications via email, instead apply online as described below.

The project will be carried out at the Section for ecosystem-based management, which is located in Lyngby, 15 km north of Copenhagen in Denmark.

Please submit your online application no later than 3 January 2018.

Applications must be submitted as one single pdf file containing all materials for consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include:
  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)
  • Brief research proposal (1-2 pages) presenting novel ideas on how to address and expand the research topics described in the PhD project above.

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The purpose of DTU Aqua is to provide research, advice and education at the highest international level within the sustainable exploitation of living marine and freshwater resources, the biology of aquatic organisms and the dynamics of ecosystems as well as their integration in ecosystem-based management. DTU Aqua has 260 employees, of whom a third are scientific staff. The other employees are assistant biologists, laboratory technicians, IT employees, administrative staff, ship’s crew, student assistants etc. The institute is organized into eight scientific sections which carry out the research, educational and advisory activities. In addition, the institute has a number of scientific and administrative support functions, including the research vessel DANA. DTU Aqua has employees in Lyngby, Silkeborg, Nykøbing Mors and Hirtshals as well as on Dana. You can read more about DTU Aqua here.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.