PhD vacancy: Studying forest fires and sustainable land use in Amsterdam


VU University Amsterdam


Monday, March 1, 2021

Start Date

Thursday, April 1, 2021

The Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at VU University Amsterdam is looking for a PhD student that will be looking for synergies between sustainable land use strategies and reducing forest fire risks in Europe. Exciting position, crossing scales, aiming at excellent research for future sustainable land use futures!

The PhD student will work in the EU funded project FirEUrisk aimed at developing a holistic, risk-wise strategy for European Wildfire Management. Within this project the PhD student will work with other partners across Europe to fulfill the project task, both within selected pilot areas, as well as at the pan-European scale.

Within this project the PhD student will assess the range of potential land-use management strategies that can reduce fire risk. These strategies aim to change the vegetation and landscape structure, and include: a) prescribed burnings; b) silvo-pastoralism; c) mechanical brush-clearing; d) bio economy development and e) vegetation replacement by less flammable species. We will assess the applicability and the performance of various options to reduce the fire risk in different landscapes and socio-economic contexts, considering the socio-economic challenges and opportunities of adopting a management option, and by assessing the environmental impacts of the management strategies on other landscape uses to identify synergies and potential conflicts.

The PhD student will make an assessment of experience across Europe with different management options aiming to identify good practices, successful stories and potential opportunities, including a literature inventory combined with an expert-based assessment. The findings will be confronted with the situation in the FirEUrisk pilot studies and spatial data describing the socio-economic and environmental context across the EU.

Finally, an important task is to include and evaluate the proposed land use management approaches within land use change scenarios up to 2050 to help assess future fire risk and evaluate the potential impact of adopting these land use management approaches.

Contact Name

Peter Verburg

Contact Email