Date Posted
21 Feb 2024

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PhD Project
German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

Early stage researcher (TerraNova ESR 13)

21 Feb 2024

NOTE: this position listing has expired and may no longer be relevant!

Position Description

Job Announcement, Reference Nr.: 4-1767/19-D

The Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, in cooperation with the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, offers the following position, starting from 1 October 2019 and limited for 36 months:

Early stage researcher (TerraNova ESR 13)
on the Marie Curie ITN funded project:
“Defining a framework for Rewilding European landscapes in the Anthropocene”
full time employment, work place: iDiv Leipzig

The position is offered within the EU Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks in the project “The European Landscape Learning Initiative: Past and Future Environments and Energy Regimes shaping Policy Tools- TerraNova”. The salary of the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks Fellowship (MSC-ITN) follows the regulations set by the European Commission. The salary will include social security and will be composed of living, mobility and family allowances, where appropriate, as outlined in the Marie-Curie Grant Agreement and Horizon 2020- Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Actions Work-Programme, please see here:


Terra Nova aims at improving our understanding of landscape histories and land use strategies in Europe in the Holocene and Anthropocene. Previously identified socio-cultural transitions and the effects of natural forcings will be critically assessed in a new intellectual interdisciplinary arena created by the TerraNova project in 15 new PhD positions. Regional and continental syntheses will be used to anchor landscape and climate change models, which include the effects of past human actions and generate scenarios for landscape management and rewilding. Ultimately, this project will contribute to identifying major previous shifts in resource use and energy regimes and provide options for the future transition to a low carbon society.
This PhD project will be jointly supervised by Dr. Nestor Fernandéz (iDiv Halle-Jena-Leipzig/ Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany), Prof. Henrique Pereira (iDiv Halle-Jena-Leipzig/ Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany), Prof. Jens-Christian Svenning (Arhus University, Denmark) and Prof. Peter Verburg (VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands). The workplace will be the Biodiversity Conservation Research Group at iDiv Halle-Jena-Leipzig, which is located at the BioCity Leipzig. The Biodiversity Conservation Group research aims at understanding the patterns and processes of global biodiversity change, with the goal of informing environmental policy and management of ecosystems (


• MSc in Ecology, Environmental Science, or related fields is preferred (all backgrounds are
welcome to apply).
• Knowledge of Geographic Information Systems and R programming is highly desirable.
• Experience in scenarios development is desirable.
• High standard of spoken and written English.
• Qualification as an „Early stage researcher“, i.e. at the time of appointment no PhD and less
than 4 years of research experience (full-time equivalent) after obtaining a degree that formally
allows you to embark for a PhD.
• Mobility requirement: at the time of appointment an “Early stage researcher” may not have
resided or carried out his/her main activity in Germany for more than 12 months in the 3 years
immediately prior to her/his appointment.
• For more details please see here:


The overall aim of this Early Stage Researcher PhD project (ESR) is to develop scenarios for rewilding European landscapes. At least three research publications are expected as an output. More specifically, this ESR will:

• develop participatory scenarios with multiple stakeholders for future rewilding in Europe,
accounting for European level developments in climate and societal demand for land-based
commodities that can be derived from previous modelling studies and from ESR10;
• use biodiversity and ecosystem service models to assess the implications of the different
• analyze, together with stakeholders, biodiversity and ecosystem services outcomes of the
scenarios to identify tensions between rewilding and the maintenance of landscape heritage

Three secondments will take place: to VU University Amsterdam (Month 22-23) to learn land-system analysis, at Aarhus University (Month 15-16) in order to learn geospatial analyses and advanced ecoinformatics, and to Rewilding Europe Foundation (Month 26-28) to develop marketable skills in landscape management.

Severely disabled persons are encouraged to apply and will be given preference in the case of equal suitability. Women are strongly urged to apply. Mobility requirements as outlined above are mandatory. All requirements will be evaluated prior appointment.

How to Apply

Please submit your full application dossier only in English with registration number 4-1767/19-D until 15 April 2019. Applications should be submitted on the website Applications should include motivation letter tailored to the research project, curriculum vitae, the digital copy of the highest academic degree (e.g. master) and the recommendation letters from two scientific references. For queries about the research project please contact Dr. Nestor Fernandéz, Email: The position is offered with reservation of possible budgetary restrictions. Application portfolios will not be returned, application costs will not be reimbursed.

Position Category: Medical & Biological Sciences. Position Type: PhD Project.