PhD position: Biodiversity conservation in times of climate change


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


Monday, August 24, 2020

Start Date

Thursday, October 1, 2020


The year 2020 could be critical for the future of nature and people. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will establish new global targets, and the coming decade is going to be crucial if the worldwide decline of nature and its contributions to people (NCP or Ecosystem Services) around the world is to be stemmed. Meeting high-level biodiversity targets needs to be aligned with climate action: there are strong synergies between climate and biodiversity targets, but also tradeoffs and combined risks. The challenge of preserving nature and its NCP in the 21th century has been approached from many different framings,  encompassing the governance, economic and ecological aspects. An integrated, spatial, perspective is needed towards addressing the policy, planning and implementation of action towards safeguarding biodiversity. Where are what implementation actions most efficient?

The PhD student will perform an interdisciplinary study how biodiversity targets can be aligned to climate targets: where are synergies found and where do potential conflicts occur? How and where can resources (financial, political and natural (land/water)) be used most efficiently to optimize outcomes for climate, biodiversity and the well-being of people through NCP? What trade-offs exist between effective biodiversity and climate actions? What unintended side-effects exists and how can these be mitigated?

Your duties

The PhD student will bring together knowledge and data across disciplines in an integrated, (spatial) approach to identify on a global level: 1) where potential for synergies in reaching biodiversity, NCP and climate objectives is found; 2) where potential (policy) conflict between individual goals may occur; 3) what would be most resource efficient targeting of climate and biodiversity action. Next to a global assessment there is a possibility for a regional in-depth case-study. Research will have a highly integrative character with a strong component on data analysis and modelling, building on existing assessments and scenario studies while using and developing novel integrative approaches focused on the interactions and competition for resources.

Contact Name

Prof. Dr. Peter H. Verburg

Contact Email