PhD position in Effects of Pollution at the Ecosystem Level

The Faculty of Science and the Institute of Environmental Sciences at the University of Leiden are looking for a PhD candidate to work on ‘Environmental impact assessment of pollution at the ecosystem level’.


Researchers from Leiden University experiment in outdoor freshwater experimental systems with natural food webs such as the “Living Lab”, to identify how biodiversity responds to the impacts of pesticides, fertilizers, invasive species and nanomaterials.

The key challenge for the PhD candidate is to test these different forms of experimental and statistical analytical methods to identify stressor-ecosystem function relationships. The research will entail measuring different forms of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem functionality, followed by statistical modelling to infer the causality of stressor impacts and their propagation through the ecosystem. The candidate will use new analytical methods and develop models and interpretation scenarios to identify how pollution impacts species and their role in ecosystem functionality.

Key tasks

  1. Perform mesocosm pollution experiments in the ‘Living Lab’ facility of Leiden University
  2. Develop and test different types of statistical analyses at the community to ecosystem level
  3. Advance ecological theory by identifying the anthropological and natural drivers of species and their roles in ecosystems

Selection criteria

  • You should have an M.Sc. in a relevant field (environmental science, biology, ecology and/or ecotoxicology).
  • Experience with experimental field and laboratory skills and (aquatic) organism identifications are highly valued
  • Strong background and interest in statistical analyses, data management, visualization and coding skills are highly valued.
  • You must be proficient in spoken and written English.
  • You are a team player and have a collaborative attitude.

Terms and conditions

The offer is a 1-year position with the possibility of extension to 4 years based on performance. The salary ranges from 2,770€ gross per month in the first year to 3,539€ gross per month in the fourth year.


For further questions you can contact Dr. S. Henrik Barmentlo (
The application deadline is 18th August 2024 and interviews will be conducted in September 2024. Please submit your application via the online recruitment system