PhD Scholarship in Ecosystem Effects of Fishing at DTU

A PhD Scholarship in Ecosystem Effects of Fishing is available at the National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua) with starting date December 1st 2016. The scholarship is financed by the European Marine and Fisheries Fund, the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food and DTU Aqua.The project will be carried out in affiliation to the Section for Ecosystem based Marine Management, which is situated in Charlottenlund, Denmark.DTU Aqua is an institute at the Technical University of Denmark. 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 development of ecosystems as well as their integration in ecosystem-based management. The institute has an international research staff comprising approx. 120 academic employees.

Project description
There is a growing concern over substantial bycatches of seabirds in gillnet fisheries in Europe, which among other things has resulted in the EU adopting the “Action Plan for reducing incidental catches of seabirds in fishing gears/COM/2012/0665”. This calls upon member states to reduce this bycatch as much as possible and furthermore requires member states to estimate the total level of seabird bycatch, assess the population level effects and develop and implement mitigation methods. The PhD project will include:

  • reviewing information on i) distribution and abundance of seabirds in Danish waters, ii) the population structure and affinity of these seabird species, iii) statistical methods used for predicting areas and seasons of high probability of bycatch, iv) approaches used for assessing the effects of bycatch, v) bycatch risk assessment, vi) relevant bycatch mitigation methods.
  • estimating the total bycatch of seabirds in Danish gillnet fisheries based on data collected through Remote Electronic Monitoring, including identifying the environmental and operational factors that are important in determining the risk of bycatch.
  • assessing the population level effects of the estimated total bycatch for each of the most important seabird species.
  • conducting a series of field trials of mitigation methods and evaluate their efficacy in reducing seabird bycatch.

We are looking for a candidate who has:

  • Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree, or equivalent in biology, ecology, statistics or similar.
  • Keen interest in research and for working within the field of marine and aquatic sciences
  • Innovative skills and the ability to generate new ideas
  • Ability to work independently and conscientiously as well as in teams
  • Previous experience in marine, aquatic or ecological research
  • Experience with coding in R, and with spatial and mixed effect models
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English
  • Good communication and writing skills aiming at both scientists and non-experts
  • Possession of a driver’s license

Approval and Enrolment
Scholarships for a PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the successful candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at 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 Senior Scientist Finn Larsen and Postdoc Lotte Kindt-Larsen, DTU Aqua. 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.

Further information
For further information about the project, please contact Senior Scientist Finn Larsen; fl or Postdoc Lotte Kindt-Larsen; lol.

General information may be obtained from Laura Mundus Nielsen, launie

Please submit your online application no later than 1 October 2016.

Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given 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 ideas on how to address the research topics given in the short description of 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 Charlottenlund, Silkeborg, Nykøbing Mors and Hirtshals as well as on Dana.You can read more about DTU Aqua on

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and public service. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 10,300 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.

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PhD Scholarship in Ecosystem Effects of Fishing

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