PhD Micro- and nanoplastics in the marine environment

We are looking for

We are looking for a successful candidate who performs the PhD project ‘Micro- and nanoplastics in the marine environment’. Pollution with plastics is one of the major water quality problems for the marine environment. To date, many studies regarding ecological effects of plastics in the marine environment address effects on fish or birds. Especially larger plastic items are studied, as well as microplastics with a size of < 0.5 mm. This projects aims to systematically investigate pollution with micro- and nanoplastics in the marine benthic habitat, bioaccumulation of plastic and associated chemicals by benthic organisms, development of models for bioaccumulation of plastic and plastic associated POPs, and assessment of risks of food web transfer of accumulated plastic into benthivorous fish and birds. Focus is on shallow near-coastal seas close to densely inhabited regions, such as the North Sea & Wadden Sea. The project will be a combination of field work, controlled laboratory experiments, analytical chemistry and modeling. The project is a collaboration between IMARES and Wageningen University. Primary location for the PhD will be IJmuiden but the work will be performed at different laboratories and stations of IMARES and Wageningen University.

We ask

We ask for an enthusiastic candidate with the following background:  • Master degree in Environmental Sciences, Environmental Chemistry or Marine Ecology, with experience in system modelling.  • Proven experience in research on pollutant behaviour and marine eco(toxico)logy.  • Experience with nanomaterial science will be an advantage  • Initiative, perseverance and organisation skills  • Fluent English speaking and writing skills  • Well-developed communication skills  • Team-player   The PhD research will lead to a PhD degree of Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Further information can be obtained by Prof. Dr. A.A. (Bart) Koelmans (   We offer   We offer a PhD position for a period of 18 months, extended with another 30 months upon favourable evaluation. Gross salary will increase from € 2042 per month in the first year up to € 2612 per month in the last year based on a full-time appointment (38 hours a week).

We are

The department of Environmental Sciences of Wageningen University provides fundamental research and academic education on our living environment: nature, landscape, land usage, adaptation to climate change, water and ocean management, and the various competing claims on space. This also includes biodiversity and the sustainability of management and production. Wageningen University is part of the Wageningen University and Research Centre concern.   Wageningen University and Research centre  Delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That’s our focus – each and every day. Within our domain, healthy food and living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society – such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don’t do this alone. Every day, 6,500 people work on ‘the quality of life’, turning ideas into reality, on a global scale.

Could you be one of these people? We give you the space you need.   For further information about working at Wageningen UR, take a look at Vacancy number:ESG CWK-0208

Closing date for applications: 16 June 2012



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