Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)

PhD Student "Community Dynamics at Deep-sea Hydrothermal Vents Under Different Disturbance Regimes"

The department of Ocean Systems (OCS, department head prof. dr. Gert-Jan Reichart) is looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate that would like to contribute to the understanding of community dynamics at deep-sea hydrothermal vents under different disturbance regimes.


VACANCY ID: 2017-092

CLOSING DATE: January 14th, 2018


The deep sea is changing. Future stressors, in the form of mineral mining, are expected at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, since the global need for minerals is rising. Vents host unique communities that live under extreme conditions of hot and toxic vent fluid emissions and face natural disturbance events such as volcanic eruptions. Currently, our knowledge of community dynamics at and next to vents is scarce and limits our ability to predict resilience to natural and mining-related disturbances.

Recent research has shown that vent communities in the Northern East Pacific Rise undergo quick succession after the frequent volcanic eruptions. In contrast, observations in the Western Pacific Lau back-arc basin have shown that geological setting and composition of vent megafauna communities are more stable. To understand the resilience of vent communities in different geological settings, we need to study diversity, succession, and connectivity.


In this multidisciplinary research project, you will assess temporal community dynamics of meio- and macrofauna at Lau Basin vents and will compare them to the dynamics at the East Pacific Rise. You will perform genetic analyses of selected species from Lau Basin and East Pacific Rise vents to unravel connectivity and population genetics in these distinct geological settings. This fundamental knowledge will help to elaborate environmental management plans in the context of mineral mining.


You are a highly motivated young researcher with an MSc degree in marine sciences, ecology, zoology, or environmental sciences. You are open-minded and want to work across disciplines - ranging from classical taxonomical work and ecological analyses to genetic applications and population genetics analyses.

Do you already have experience with genetic methods? Do you have a keen interest in hydrothermal vent fauna, including sorting and identification of animals? Want to join research cruises at high seas? Join our research team and help us fathom community dynamics at deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

Since you will work in an international and interdisciplinary research environment it is essential that your oral and written English skills are good.


We are offering a 4-year full-time position with a pension scheme, a yearly 8% vacation allowance, a year-end bonus and flexible employment conditions. Working conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement for Research Institutes (WVOI). Cost of relocation and help with housing is provided by the Royal NIOZ.


For additional information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Sabine Gollner.

For additional information about the procedure, please contact Jolanda Evers (senior HR advisor).

Learn more about the department of Ocean Systems here.

Please note: interviews will be held on the 23rd and 24th of January, 2018.

posted: 13 December 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.