PhD candidate – biodiversity & society: the Dutch home as a multispecies space – Leiden University – Leiden

  • Leiden

Leiden University

Project description

A substantial part of biodiversity is situated within private spheres of homes and this is also the biodiversity that most intimately affects humans: for example, backyard meadows can be essential for the survival of many insects in urban spaces, whereas insects in the kitchen are commonly considered as unwanted guests. Whereas urban ecology or urban planning usually considers larger spatial scales such as cities or neighborhoods, this project looks human and non-human relations in the institutional context and ecological scale of individual homes. This project considers multispecies homes in both ecological and social sense, thus the applicant should have a keen interest in both humans and more-than-humans in homes and especially in their relations. Similarly, there is an expectation that this project will map biodiversity within homes and also how it relates to humans and humans relate to it.

Do you want to understand the most intimate relations between humans and other species? We are looking for interdisciplinary minded PhD candidate who can work with humans and non-humans. The project allows for a developing specific approach suitable for the candidate’s background. PhD candidate will start the project by mapping out how Dutch homes are multispecies assemblages or communities and this will be followed up by choosing interesting and specific cases of multispecies relations, formulating research questions on them and finding and executing suitable research methods.

The PhD candidate will be supervised by Tuomas Aivelo, assistant professor of Biodiversity & Society within the Institute for Biology (IBL). Promotor and possible additional supervisors will be chosen depending on the focus of the work.

Key responsibilities

  • In this PhD, you will study the multispecies aspects of Dutch homes.
  • You will publish academic papers on your findings, present your work at academic conferences and partake in outreach.
  • You will build your own network and work in and on a new and interdisciplinary research field.
  • You will assist with student supervision and teaching and complete a PhD thesis in four years.
  • Specifications

  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • Leiden
  • Leiden University


    Selection Criteria

  • Master degree or similar in biodiversity-relevant field, such as ecology, communication research, urban planning or architecture, environmental studies, sustainability studies, human-animal studies, or other relevant disciplines;
  • Excellent social skills enabling you to work in a interdisciplinary field;
  • Excellent communication skills and fluency in English;
  • Motivation and ideas to do research on Dutch multispecies homes;
  • Preference for fluency in Dutch language due to the nature of the project;
  • Background or experience in field work with participatory approaches / citizen science is a big plus.
  • Conditions of employment

    Research at our faculty of Science
    The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

    The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,300 staff and almost 5,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

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