The focus of Naturalis is biodiversity. Naturalis curates a collection of 37 million specimens; this is one of the world’s largest natural history collections. We present the history of our planet and the diversity of life on Earth with permanent and temporary exhibitions, educational programmes and websites. Our research and education are maintained at a high academic level.

Naturalis Biodiversity Center is searching for two

PhD students to study pteropods and the impact of ocean acidification
as member of the research team Marine Biodiversity

Two PhD positions are available within the Vidi project of dr Katja Peijnenburg to study planktonic gastropods in the Marine Biodiversity group at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Leiden, the Netherlands).

PhD project 1 will focus on assessing the adaptive potential of pteropods using a population genomics approach.
PhD project 2 will focus on quantifying calcification and vulnerability to ocean acidification of shelled pteropods using 3D morphometric techniques and field experiments.
The oceans are becoming more acidic as they absorb rising levels of CO2 from the atmosphere at geologically unprecedented rates. Understanding the impact of these changes on marine biodiversity is top priority for scientists, managers and policy makers. Planktonic gastropods, and more specifically pteropods, have been the subject of intense research into the effects of ocean acidification (OA) and are proposed as bioindicators to monitor the impacts of global change on open ocean ecosystems. However, as most research has focused on ecological responses of these organisms to OA on very short time scales, we know little about their evolutionary potential. If planktonic gastropods can adaptively respond to changes in their environment, they may be more resilient to changes in ocean chemistry than currently thought.


Successful candidates should have a Master’s degree with an interest in ecology, evolution, oceanography, marine biology, or a related field
Excellent command of the English language (written and verbal) is required
The ideal candidates will be highly motivated and organised, with a demonstrated capacity for multidisciplinary research
For PhD project 1, experience with next generation sequencing and data analyses is a distinct advantage
For PhD project 2, knowledge of morphometric methods and advanced statistics is a distinct advantage

What we offer

A contract (36 hours per week) for a period of one year, to be extended with three years after successful first year evaluation.
A salary of circa € 2.670,- gross per month, circa €35.000 gross per year.
The successful candidate will be employed by Naturalis in Leiden, and the PhD theses will be defended at the University of Amsterdam.
Naturalis Biodiversity Center promotes gender equality and wants to enhance the diversity of staff members.
Feel free to contact Dr. Katja Peijnenburg with questions about the position,


Applicants are invited to submit their application, including a cover letter and CV, and the names and e-mail addresses of at least two persons that can be contacted for reference before 16 March 2017 using the ‘Go to application page’ button.

Keywords: Vacancy, PhD students, Leiden, Zuid-Holland, wetenschap, biodiversity, planktonic gastropods, research, marine, ocean research

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