PhD position: Development and application of photonics sensors to support marine restoration and research – Deadline 26 May 2023
Applicants are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Ecoscience programme. The position is available from 15 August 2023 or later.
PhD in the development and application of photonics sensors to support marine restoration and research
Research area and project description
A suite of sensors is being developed, including hyperspectral cameras, a laser-based fluorescence imaging seabed system in high resolution and a novel confocal multi-modal LiDAR system. The sensor suite is designed for data processing by artificial intelligence (AI), in an automated fashion, that returns critical biological information such as the classification of the image content (e.g. presence of eelgrass and other floral) faunistic elements) and its abundance. A string of laboratory and field studies are anticipated to facilitate training sets for AI algorithms and find the best usage. The research will focus on the biome associated with five habitats: restoring boulder reefs, eelgrass meadows, mussel beds, soft-bottom habitats, and the pelagic habitat of Danish waters. This will provide accurate integrated, holistic information about marine ecosystem health and offer unprecedented sea floor restoration information, as no similar initiative exists today. To that end, the confocal multi-modal LiDAR system is aimed at particles as small as 100 μm in the water column, leading to the hypothesis that we may be able to count, characterise and size particles such as zooplankton. This will further provide information on the thin layer chlorophyll structure and the presence of zooplankton, gauging critical elements of the pelagic biological community.
Research topics include the application of calibrated optical instrumentations to quantify benthic fauna and flora’s composition and abundances and compare them with conventional diver-based observations, as well as information on species composition obtained using environmental DNA. The PhD candidate will contribute to characterising the trophic compositions of different seafloor habitats across gradients (e.g. depth, salinity) to develop biodiversity indices with higher taxonomical resolution and larger spatial coverage, enabling improved environmental status assessments relevant to marine restoration and protection.
The successful candidate will work with the development, testing and validation of the instrumentations with the current methods employed in environmental monitoring and research to ground-truth the instruments. The work will contribute to other ongoing projects on marine restoration and the application of novel marine monitoring techniques.
We are seeking an open-minded, curious person interested in marine ecosystem research. The student will join a multi-disciplinary team of researchers at different levels of their education in an international environment where commitment, helpfulness, flexibility, and close collaboration are core values.
The study is part of a collaborative research project funded by the VELUX Foundation and a collaboration between Aarhus University and DTU.
Project description. For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. Please simply copy the project description above and upload it as a PDF in the application.
Qualifications and specific competences:
Applicants must have a relevant Master’s degree in Biotechnology, Biology, Ocean Engineering or similar training. Experience in habitat assessment, taxonomical knowledge, a commercial divers license, and certification for handling small boats, are considered an advantage. Furthermore, the project emphasises working with programming or scripting in tools like MatLab, Phyton, R or the like. Knowledge or demonstrated willingness to acquire these skills is emphasised in the candidate assessment. Oral and written communication skills in English are required, and the applicant must be able to present results at international conferences and publish them in international peer-reviewed journals. The applicant should be enthusiastic about working in an international and interdisciplinary academic environment.
Place of employment and place of work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University’s department of Ecoscience, and the work location is Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark.
Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:
- Senior researcher Hans Jakobsen, email@example.com
- Head of section, Karsten Dahl, firstname.lastname@example.org
How to apply:
Please follow this link to submit your application.
- Application deadline is 26 May 2023 at 23:59 CEST.
- Preferred starting date is 1 September 2023.
For information about application requirements and mandatory attachments, please see our application guide.
- The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
- Shortlisting will be used, which means that the evaluation committee only will evaluate the most relevant applications.