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Stanford-led study says China’s aquaculture sector can tip the balance in world fish supplies

SAMUDRA News Alerts

Today’s Headlines : 12 January 2015, 5:00 pm IST

Stanford-led study says China’s aquaculture sector can tip the balance in world fish supplies

In a new paper in Science a research team led by Stanford postdoctoral scholar Ling Cao and Professor Rosamond Naylor offers the clearest picture to date of China’s enormous impact on wild fisheries. The study also presents a more sustainable alternative to the current practice of using wild-caught fish to feed farm-raised fish.

China is the world’s leading producer, consumer and processor of fish, contributing one-third of the global supply. China’s fish production has tripled in the past 20 years, and about three-quarters of its supply now comes from fish farms. Yet the industry still places huge pressure on wild fisheries through its demand for fishmeal and fish oil made from wild-caught species. How China develops its aquaculture and aquafeeds sector can thus tip the balance of global seafood availability.

“There is a clear opportunity for positive change, but the economic and regulatory incentives for such change are not yet in place,” said Naylor, the William Wrigley Professor in the School of Earth Sciences and director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford.

Fishing in the coastal waters of China is poorly regulated and often indiscriminate. The result is large volumes of assorted “trash fish” – species that are unfit for human consumption – that end up in animal feeds, including in fishmeal that is fed to farm-raised fish. Many of the species of wild fish used for feeds have been fully exploited or overexploited, and reducing the demand for them can help protect fragile ocean ecosystems.

One promising solution is to recycle the waste by-products from seafood processing plants across China. This waste, which can be 30 to 70 percent of the incoming volume of fish, is often discarded or discharged into nearby waters.

The team’s analysis shows that these processing wastes could satisfy between half and two-thirds of the current volume of fishmeal used by Chinese fish farmers, replacing much of the wild fish currently used in feeds.

Quality and food safety are two potential barriers to replacing wild-caught fish with fish processing wastes. The waste is lower in protein that wild-caught fish, but this can be overcome by adding plant-based protein sources to the fishmeal, like algae or ethanol yeast. The use of processing waste also raises concerns about contamination and disease transmission, which the researchers say can be addressed through better research on the safety risks and through tighter regulations.

“It’s time to make serious decisions about managing and protecting ocean fisheries, and China will play a pivotal role in this process,” said Naylor. “Collecting good data from China is an important starting point. But we also need a clear path toward more sustainable fisheries and aquaculture management, and that’s what we present in this paper.”

“This is a critical juncture for China,” said lead author Ling Cao, a postdoctoral scholar at the Center on Food Security and the Environment. “If the country makes proactive reforms to its aquaculture sector, like using fish-processing wastes instead of wild fish, and generally reducing the amount of fishmeal in aquafeeds, it can greatly improve the sustainability of the industry. If not, the consequences for the entire global seafood supply chain are going to be really serious.”

The team’s research was supported by funding from the Lenfest Ocean Program.

The Coral Triangle is Earth’s single greatest repository of marine life

When it comes to abundance of species, nowhere else comes close to the waters between the Pacific and Indian oceans.

Nestled between the Pacific and Indian oceans is a marine region deemed to be the richest biologically, in the world. Home to three-quarters of the world’s coral species and over a third of its coral reef fish species, it is the underwater equivalent of the Amazon jungle.

It is half the size of the United States and bordered by six countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and East Timor – to form a triangular shape that gives it the name, Coral Triangle.

A new book, The Coral Triangle, by Ken Kassem and Eric Madeja, captures the rich life found above and beneath the water. Published in association with WWF-Malaysia, the book describes the uniqueness of the marine biodiversity, its conservation importance and the effort to keep it intact.

The waters there harbour more marine species than anywhere else on the planet – there are single reefs that contain more species than the entire Caribbean.

Various factors come together to create this biodiversity hotspot: equatorial sunshine; warm, shallow waters; geological features such as deep sea basins and shallow continental shelves; varied habitats; and strong, nutrient-rich currents from the collision of the Pacific and Indian oceans.

This rich habitat, however, is under threat by over-fishing, destructive fishing methods (such as bottom trawling and use of explosives and cyanide), land development, pollution, poaching and climate change. As over 120 million people are dependent on the abundant natural resources of the region, there is reason to protect it.

In 2009, the governments of the region agreed to collaborate on conservation and management measures under the Coral Triangle Initiative. They will conserve the seascape, conduct sustainable fishing, set up more marine protected areas and better manage existing ones, adapt to climate change and address the threats to threatened species.

The efforts of the six countries are highlighted in the book. Malaysia is setting up its largest marine park, the Tun Mustapha Park in northern Sabah. The marine reserve sprawls over 1.02 million ha and encompasses 50 islands. Malaysia will also improve management and stocks of tuna, as well as introduce a certification system for best practices in the live-fish trade.



Four reasons why India’s shrimp exports are booming

By James Wright, Senior Editor

Published on 15 January, 2015

India Shrimp

For years it seemed nearly impossible for another country to outpace Thailand’s shrimp exports to the United States, the world’s biggest market for shrimp.

Early mortality syndrome (EMS) saw an end to that. The disease, which attacks the shrimp’s hepatopancreas, an organ crucial to digestion, proved to be a major setback for Thailand and other producing nations in Southeast Asia starting in 2009. The stunning downturn in production, estimated at more than 30 percent in the region, opened the door for India to assume a position of greater influence in the global shrimp trade, and it has capitalized.

An equally significant consideration was shrimp producers’ 2009 adoption of Pacific white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) as the most prominent species produced by India’s growing aquaculture industry. Long known as a leader in black tiger (Penaeus monodon) farming, India’s shrimp industry lobbied to have SPF (specific pathogen free) vannamei broodstock imported from the United States for cultivation. Pacific white shrimp takes less time to grow to market size, is more resistant to disease than black tigers, and is more affordable. Black tiger prices are currently about 25 to 30 percent higher than Pacific whites.

Mangala Babu, a seafood exporter in Kochi, told the Times of India this week that the transition was a “huge success” and the main reason behind India’s increasing shrimp exports.

A third reason is the devaluation of India’s Rupee (INR 100 equals USD 1.60; EUR 1.36), which has made its seafood products more attractive. U.S. buyers have obviously taken notice: According to the (U.S.) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shrimp imports (all product forms) from India through the first 11 months of 2014 exceeded 219 million pounds, about 16 percent more than the same period in 2013. The Indian Rupee has significantly decreased in value over the past quarter century, from about 6 US cents to less than 2 cents today.

The final factor is reliability. An importer I spoke with recently said most exporters from India and Indonesia could be counted on to ship product on time (Indonesia’s shrimp exports to the United States through November 2014 were up 27 percent year-on-year from the same period in 2013). When purchasing shrimp 20,000- to 30,000-pound container at a time, promptness is as important as price. A delay of just 48 hours can create a ripple effect of displeasure throughout a buyer’s supply chain, particularly during the run-up to the holiday season, a peak time for shrimp sales.

This confluence of circumstances has put India in a strong position as a global leader in farmed shrimp. According to India’s Marine Export Development Authority (MPEDA), overall marine product exports reached an all-time high in fiscal year 2013-14, topping USD 5 billion (EUR 4.24 billion), with 62.12 percent of that value coming from its burgeoning shrimp sector.


Alfredo Quarto,
Executive Director
Mangrove Action Project (MAP)
PO Box 1854
Port Angeles, WA 98362-0279  USA
tel. (360) 452-5866
www.mangroveactionproject.orgCheck Out MAP’s Question Your Shrimp Video:


Geospatial Analysis – 5th Edition, 2015 – de Smith, Goodchild, Longley

In this Guide we address the full spectrum of spatial analysis and associated modeling techniques that are provided within currently available and widely used geographic information systems (GIS) and associated software. Collectively such techniques and tools are often now described as geospatial analysis, although we use the more common form, spatial analysis, in most of our discussions.

The term ‘GIS’ is widely attributed to Roger Tomlinson and colleagues, who used it in 1963 to describe their activities in building a digital natural resource inventory system for Canada (Tomlinson 1967, 1970). The history of the field has been charted in an edited volume by Foresman (1998) containing contributions by many of its early protagonists. A timeline of many of the formative influences upon the field up to the year 2000 is available via:; and is provided by Longley et al. (2010). Useful background information may be found at the GIS History Project website (NCGIA):  Each of these sources makes the unassailable point that the success of GIS as an area of activity has fundamentally been driven by the success of its applications in solving real world problems. Many applications are illustrated in Longley et al. (Chapter 2, “A gallery of applications”). In a similar vein the web site for this Guide provides companion material focusing on applications. Amongst these are a series of sector‑specific case studies drawing on recent work in and around London (UK), together with a number of international case studies.

In order to cover such a wide range of topics, this Guide has been divided into a number of main sections or chapters. These are then further subdivided, in part to identify distinct topics as closely as possible, facilitating the creation of a web site from the text of the Guide. Hyperlinks embedded within the document enable users of the web and PDF versions of this document to navigate around the Guide and to external sources of information, data, software, maps, and reading materials.

Chapter 2 provides an introduction to spatial thinking, recently described by some as “spatial literacy”, and addresses the central issues and problems associated with spatial data that need to be considered in any analytical exercise. In practice, real-world applications are likely to be governed by the organizational practices and procedures that prevail with respect to particular places. Not only are there wide differences in the volume and remit of data that the public sector collects about population characteristics in different parts of the world, but there are differences in the ways in which data are collected, assembled and disseminated (e.g. general purpose censuses versus statistical modeling of social surveys, property registers and tax payments). There are also differences in the ways in which different data holdings can legally be merged and the purposes for which data may be used — particularly with regard to health and law enforcement data. Finally, there are geographical differences in the cost of geographically referenced data. Some organizations, such as the US Geological Survey, are bound by statute to limit charges for data to sundry costs such as media used for delivering data while others, such as most national mapping organizations in Europe, are required to exact much heavier charges in order to recoup much or all of the cost of data creation. Analysts may already be aware of these contextual considerations through local knowledge, and other considerations may become apparent through browsing metadata catalogs. GIS applications must by definition be sensitive to context, since they represent unique locations on the Earth’s surface.

This initial discussion is followed in Chapter 3 by an examination of the methodological background to GIS analysis. Initially we examine a number of formal methodologies and then apply ideas drawn from these to the specific case of spatial analysis. A process known by its initials, PPDAC (Problem, Plan, Data, Analysis, Conclusions) is described as a methodological framework that may be applied to a very wide range of spatial analysis problems and projects. We conclude Chapter 3 with a discussion on model-building, with particular reference to the various types of model that can be constructed to address geospatial problems.

Subsequent Chapters present the various analytical methods supported within widely available software tools. The majority of the methods described in Chapter 4 Building blocks of spatial analysis) and many of those in Chapter 6 (Surface and field analysis) are implemented as standard facilities in modern commercial GIS packages such as ArcGIS, MapInfo, Manifold, TNTMips and Geomedia. Many are also provided in more specialized GIS products such as Idrisi, GRASS, QGIS (with SEXTANTE Plugin) Terraseer and ENVI. Note that GRASS and QGIS (which includes GRASS in its download kit) are OpenSource.

In addition we discuss a number of more specialized tools, designed to address the needs of specific sectors or technical problems that are otherwise not well-supported within the core GIS packages at present. Chapter 5, which focuses on statistical methods, and Chapter 7 and Chapter 8 which address Network and Location Analysis, and Geocomputation, are much less commonly supported in GIS packages, but may provide loose- or close-coupling with such systems, depending upon the application area. In all instances we provide detailed examples and commentary on software tools that are readily available.

As noted above, throughout this Guide examples are drawn from and refer to specific products — these have been selected purely as examples and are not intended as recommendations. Extensive use has also been made of tabulated information, providing abbreviated summaries of techniques and formulas for reasons of both compactness and coverage. These tables are designed to provide a quick reference to the various topics covered and are, therefore, not intended as a substitute for fuller details on the various items covered. We provide limited discussion of novel 2D and 3D mapping facilities, and the support for digital globe formats (e.g. KML and KMZ), which is increasingly being embedded into general-purpose and specialized data analysis toolsets. These developments confirm the trend towards integration of geospatial data and presentation layers into mainstream software systems and services, both terrestrial and planetary (see, for example, the KML images of Mars DEMs at the end of this Guide).

Just as all datasets and software packages contain errors, known and unknown, so too do all books and websites, and the authors of this Guide expect that there will be errors despite our best efforts to remove these! Some may be genuine errors or misprints, whilst others may reflect our use of specific versions of software packages and their documentation. Inevitably with respect to the latter, new versions of the packages that we have used to illustrate this Guide will have appeared even before publication, so specific examples, illustrations and comments on scope or restrictions may have been superseded. In all cases the user should review the documentation provided with the software version they plan to use, check release notes for changes and known bugs, and look at any relevant online services (e.g. user/developer forums and blogs on the web) for additional materials and insights.

The web version of this Guide may be accessed via the associated Internet site: The contents and sample sections of the PDF version may also be accessed from this site. In both cases the information is regularly updated. The Internet is now well established as society’s principal mode of information exchange and most GIS users are accustomed to searching for material that can easily be customized to specific needs. Our objective for such users is to provide an independent, reliable and authoritative first port of call for conceptual, technical, software and applications material that addresses the panoply of new user requirements.


XI Congreso Venezolano de Ecología

El Comité Organizador del XI Congreso Venezolano de Ecología informa que el período de inscripciones está abierto a partir del 12 de enero. Las tarifas de inscripción se encuentran disponibles en la página web del congreso Les recordamos que deben registrarse en dicha página antes de realizar el proceso de inscripción.

También queremos informarles que la convocatoria para las propuestas de simposios y cursos pre-congreso estará abierta desde el 12 de enero hasta el 28 de febrero de 2015 a través de la página web. Regístrate, ingresa en “Mi Congreso” y allí mismo encontrarás los requisitos que deben cumplir los postulantes.

Para dudas, preguntas, comentarios ingresa en la página web y usa la forma de “Contacto”. ¡Los esperamos en Margarita!

Comité Organizador XI CVE



Location : Monteria con cubrimiento Región de la Depresión Momposina; municipios de Ayapel, San Marcos, San Benito Abad – Colombia, COLOMBIA
Application Deadline : 07-Jan-15
Additional Category Environment and Energy
Type of Contract : Service Contract
Post Level : SB-3
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
El Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo es el organismo de las Naciones Unidas que promueve el cambio y conecta a los países con los conocimientos, la experiencia y los recursos necesarios para ayudar a los pueblos a forjar una vida mejor. Está presente en 177 países y territorios, trabajando con los gobiernos y las personas para ayudarles a encontrar sus propias soluciones a los retos mundiales y nacionales del desarrollo. Mientras que fortalecen su capacidad local, los países aprovechan los conocimientos del personal del PNUD y de su amplio círculo de asociados para obtener resultados concretos.

El PNUD contribuye con el Estado y la sociedad colombiana a la búsqueda de la paz, el desarrollo y el bienestar colectivo a través de acciones, programas, iniciativas y proyectos en torno a: Desarrollo, paz y reconciliación; Fortalecimiento de la gobernabilidad democrática; Cumplimiento de los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio; Lucha contra la pobreza y por la equidad; Energía y protección del medio ambiente. En sus intervenciones el PNUD incorpora los enfoques de desarrollo humano, género y derechos.

El 29 de Junio de 2012, fue aprobado por la junta directiva del Fondo de Adaptación del Protocolo de Kioto (AF – Adaptation Fund), el proyecto “Reducción de Riesgo y Vulnerabilidad al Cambio Climático en la Región de la Depresión Momposina de Colombia”. El proyecto será Coordinado por el Ministerio de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible y contará con el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (PNUD) como la entidad multilateral implementadora.

El proyecto, tiene como objetivo reducir la vulnerabilidad de las comunidades y aumentar la resiliencia de los ecosistemas en esta región, que enfrenta riesgos de inundación y de sequía asociados con el cambio climático y la variabilidad climática. El proyecto operará principalmente en los municipios de Ayapel, San Marcos y San Benito Abad.

Éste, consta de cuatro componentes:

Sistema de información sobre los patrones hidrológicos y climáticos a nivel regional. Escenarios climáticos y las tendencias de la variabilidad hidrológica y climática, para la toma de medidas preventivas que reduzcan la vulnerabilidad y la generación de riesgo.

Acciones de restauración de humedales con el fin de contribuir en el  mejoramiento de la dinámica del agua como una medida de reducción de riesgos y protección de la población en el mediano plazo.

El objetivo del tercer componente es el fortalecimiento de las medidas agro-ecológicas y de adaptación que contribuyen a reducir la vulnerabilidad de las comunidades frente al cambio climático.


Por último, el cuarto componente del proyecto tiene como objetivo fortalecer las capacidades locales para enfrentar los desafíos que el cambio climático trae a los gobiernos locales, sociedad civil y a las organizaciones de productores

Duties and Responsibilities

Coordinar y administrar la ejecución del Proyecto “Reducción de Riesgo y Vulnerabilidad al Cambio Climático en la Región de la Depresión Momposina de Colombia” bajo la orientación del Comité Directivo.


De conformidad con los lineamientos de la Dirección de Cambio Climático del Ministerio de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible y bajo la supervisión del Director Nacional, el/la profesional desempeña las siguientes funciones:

Gestión de proyecto:

  • Trabajar de manera concertada con el Comité Directivo y las instituciones y coordinadores de cada uno de los componentes del proyecto con el fin de asegurar la óptima implementación del proyecto, así como su integralidad y coherencia.
  • Gestionar las actividades necesarias para la consolidación de los productos del proyecto.
  • Coordinar el diálogo con los actores regionales y locales involucrados en el proyecto, en especial con las comunidades y representantes de la sociedad civil.
  • Identificar los vacíos y necesidades no identificados previamente para la implementación del proyecto y gestionar los apoyos y contrataciones requeridas
  • Mantener actualizados a los actores implicados en el  proyecto acerca del progreso del mismo.
  • Organizar y convocar las reuniones del Comité Directivo y del Comité Técnico.

Administración de proyecto:

  • Ser el punto focal con los proveedores de bienes y servicios del proyecto.
  • Garantizar la ejecución del plan de trabajo anual y los recursos aprobados para el mismo. Hacer las alertas y tomar a tiempo las medidas necesarias con el fin de ajustar los presupuestos y planes de trabajo, en los casos en que se requiera.
  • Planear las actividades del proyecto y monitorear su progreso de acuerdo a los criterios de calidad establecidos inicialmente.
  • Apoyar en la gestión de bienes y servicios para el desarrollo de las actividades descritas en el Plan de Acción Anual, incluyendo la redacción de Términos de Referencia.
  • Desarrollar y mantener actualizado el plan de monitoreo del proyecto.
  • Supervisar los recursos financieros y la contabilidad para asegurar la veracidad de los informes financieros.
  • Administrar y monitorear los riesgos del proyecto tal y como fueron inicialmente definidos en el documento del proyecto. Identificar nuevos riesgos y comunicarlos al Comité Directivo para su consideración y toma de decisiones pertinentes. Actualizar el status de riesgo en la Matriz de Análisis de Riesgo del proyecto.
  • Reportar el Avance Mensual del proyecto al Director Nacional y al oficial de desarrollo sostenible del PNUD.
  • Ser responsable de gerenciar temas emergentes y solicitudes de modificación manteniendo actualizada una bitácora de temas emergentes.
  • Preparar el Reporte Trimestral del proyecto (progreso versus actividades planeadas, reporte de riesgos y gastos) y presentarlo al Director Nacional del Proyecto y al Comité Directivo con base en las discusiones sostenidas con el comité tecnico
  • Preparar el Reporte Anual y presentarloante el Comité Directivo.
  • Preparar el Plan Anual de Trabajo del siguiente año así como los Planes Trimestrales de acuerdo a las recomendaciones del Reporte Anual  y presentarlo ante el Comité Directivo.
  • Preparar los Informes Finales de Reporte para su aprobación por parte del Comité Directivo.
  • Identificar acciones de seguimiento y monitoreo y presentarlas al Comité Directivo para aprobación.
  • Gestionar la transferencia de productos, documentos, archivos y equipos inmateriales a los beneficiarios nacionales.
  • Preparar los procesos administrativos para la firma del Ministerio de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible y el PNUD, bajo las normas y procedimientos establecidos

Impacto de Resultados

Los principales resultados tienen un impacto en la adecuada ejecución del proyecto, el logro de los resultados esperados, su programación y el desarrollo de actividades, para reducir la vulnerabilidad de las comunidades y los humedales de la región de La Depresión Momposina a riesgos de inundaciones y sequías asociados con la variabilidad y el cambio climático

Competencias Corporativas:

Demuestra compromiso con la misión, la visión y los valores de Naciones Unidas y del MADS.

  • Muestra sensibilidad y adaptabilidad para trabajar con enfoque diferencial.
  • Capacidad de establecer y mantener buenas relaciones de trabajo con personas en distintos niveles de diferentes culturas.
  • Habilidad para trabajar en equipo,y colaboración en su área de responsabilidades.
  • Buen entendimiento de las modalidades de programación del PNUD, en particular en contextos de crisis y post-conflicto.

Competencias Funcionales:

Gestión del Conocimiento y Aprendizaje

  • Demuestra interés en continuar su aprendizaje profesional y en aplicar nuevas habilidades y mejores practicas identificadas dentro y fuera del MADS y el PNUD.
  • Habilidades analíticas y metodológicas sólidas para organizar ideas, estructurar textos y presentaciones y redactar documentos.
  • Promueve la gestión del conocimiento en el MADS y el  PNUD un ambiente de aprendizaje en la oficina a través de liderazgo y ejemplo personal.

Liderazgo y Auto Gestión

  • Se centra en los resultados y responde positivamente a la retroalimentación.
  • Demuestra una actitud positiva y constructiva.
  • Capacidad de adaptación y de trabajo bajo condiciones de presión y riesgos.
  • Demostra apertura al cambio y habilidad para manejar situaciones complejas.
  • Excelentes habilidades de comunicación oral y escrita.
  • Fija metas y estandares claros, y ejecutanda sus responsabilidades acorde con esto

Orientacion a Resultado y Eficacia Operacional

  • Demuestra capacidad para realizar una variedad de tareas especializadas relacionadas con la gestión de conocimientos.
  • Capacidad de programación, planificación y trabajo por resultados.
  • Habilidad para recopilar información de monitoreo, elaborar informes y documentos técnicos
  • Utiliza las tecnologías de información efectivamente como herramienta y recurso, en particular Excel, Word y PowerPoint. Conocimientos en el manejo de paquetes estadísticos es una ventaja

Required Skills and Experience


  • Profesional en áreas de Ingenierías, Ciencias Ambientales, Naturales o  Sociales.
  • Postgrado en áreas Ambientales, Desarrollo o Ordenamiento Territorial o Ciencias Económicas


  • Mínimo 6 años de experiencia técnica y trabajo en Proyectos de Gestión Ambiental. Dentro de estos años de experiencia, 2 años deben ser específicos en procesos de Gestión Ambiental en temas de gestión del recurso hídrico y/o hidrología de cuencas, análisis de riesgo,  planificación y ordenamiento territorial, cambio climático, trabajo con comunidades

Requisitos complementarios

  • Haber coordinado equipos de trabajo durante al menos 3 años.
  • Experiencia profesional de trabajo con instituciones públicas, comunidades, y organizaciones sociales


  • Conocimiento de la Gestión Integral Ambiental
  • Gestión Integral del Riesgo (planificación y ordenamiento territorial.)
  • Conocimiento y entendimiento de los procesos de adaptación al cambio climático.
  • Conocimiento y entendimiento del enfoque de género y el enfoque de derechos, particularmente en relación con las dinámicas de conflicto.
  • Conocimiento de la región “La Depresion Momposina”.
  • El conocimiento del Plan Nacional de Adaptación al Cambio Climático y del Sistema de Cambio Clima se valorará positivamente.
  • Se valorará positivamente conocimientos en ingles


Solo se considerarán las aplicaciones que contengan el Formato P11 firmado. Pueden encontrar el formato P11 en

Naciones Unidas está comprometida en lograr la diversidad laboral al interior de su oficina en términos de género, nacionalidad y cultura. Individuos de grupos sociales minoritarios, grupos indígenas y personas con discapacidad están por igual alentados a aplicar. Todas las aplicaciones laborales serán tratadas con la más estricta confidencialidad

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact

PhD fellowship: “The signature of Mid-Pliocene warmth in the ocean

PhD fellowship: “The signature of Mid-Pliocene warmth in the ocean”

Utrecht University – Holanda

Utrecht University’s Faculty of Geosciences offers education and research concerning the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and anthroposphere. With a population of 2,600 students (BSc and MSc) and 600 staff, the faculty is a strong and dynamic organisation. The faculty embodies four departments: Earth Sciences, Physical Geography, Innovation, Environmental & Energy Sciences, and Human Geography & Urban & Regional Planning. The Utrecht Department of Earth Sciences is the largest academic Earth Sciences institute in The Netherlands. The department conducts teaching and research across the full range of the solid Earth and environmental Earth sciences, with activities in almost all areas of geology, geochemistry, geophysics, biogeology and hydrogeology. The department hosts an international tenured staff of over 45 scientists and more than 100 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. It and houses a wide variety of world-class laboratories. The Marine Palynology and Paleoceanography group of the Department of Earth Sciences is looking for a motivated PhD researcher on ‘The signature of Mid-Pliocene warmth in the ocean’ (4 years) The mid-Pliocene warm period (~3.5 Ma) with pCO2 levels around 400 ppm is the nearest past analogue of a warmer future climate and temperatures as well as sea level were higher on a global scale. Significant progress has been achieved in characterizing Pliocene climate from paleoclimate proxies and modeling. However, we still lack accurate data to determine and explain the apparently weakened equator-to-pole temperature gradients, the preferential warming of the Polar Regions and upwelling areas. Crucially, sea level might have been as much as twenty meters higher than at present, although this estimate still yields large error bars. Moreover, it remains unclear how much sea level rise during the Pliocene warm period resulted from the contribution of northern- and southern hemisphere ice caps. This project aims to investigate temperature and sea level trends to ultimately better constrain climate sensitivity during this warm interval. Selected ocean cores including high-latitude polar and upwelling locations will help assessing the role and the response of polar areas in global climate. This highly multidisciplinary project is primarily based on marine palynological (dinoflagellate cysts; potentially pollen and spores) and organic geochemical analyses (e.g., TEX86). This position connects to two other PhD projects on the Pliocene. One aims to reconstruct terrestrial temperatures based on biomarker proxies (MBT/CBT) and the other is focused on the modeling of regional sea level change in response to ice sheet dynamics and climate change. It is therefore expected that the candidate collaborate with these students and their advisors. This project will run within the Netherlands Earth System Science Centre. The NESSC is a virtual research center funded by the Dutch ministry of Education, Culture and Science. It focuses on (paleo)climate sensitivity and tipping points in the climate system and comprises experts from several Dutch universities and research institutes. The paleoclimate aspects are dominantly carried out at the Departments of Earth Sciences and Physics at Utrecht University and at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ). Up to 10% of your time will be devoted to teaching assistance of BSc and MSc courses. Qualifications: As a succesful candidate you should have a MSc degree in a relevant field such as Geology/Earth Sciences, Biology, Environmental Sciences, Paleoceanography. Experience in palynology or micropaleontology and organic geochemistry is desirable. A broad interest in geosciences, and the willingness and capacity to work indepently as well as to interact in a multidisciplinary team, as well as the willingness to travel is essential. You should be fluent in oral and written English, since the host group is highly international in composition and publication aims. Terms of employment: You will be offered a full-time PhD position at Utrecht University, at first for one year. Depending on a satisfactory performance this may be extended to a total period of four years, with the specific intent that it results in a doctorate within this period. The first evaluation will take place approximately after six months of employment, the second after nine months. After the nine month evaluation the decision will be made whether an extension of the contract to the maximum period of four years will be offered to the employee. Employment conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities. The gross monthly salary starts at € 2,083.- in the first year and increases to € 2,664.- in the fourth year, and is supplemented by a holiday allowance of 8% per year and a year-end bonus of 8.3% (salary level 1-9-2013). We also offer a pension scheme, a health insurance allowance and flexible employment conditions. Facilities for sports and child care are available on our main campus (where the Department of Earth Sciences is situated), which is located only fiveteen minutes away from the historical city center of Utrecht. Further details: Informal enquiries may be sent to Prof. Appy Sluijs: e-mail You may also wish to visit the website of the Utrecht Institute of Earth Sciences: How to apply: Visit, find the equivalent of this advertisement and fill in the application form. Please, attach your motivation for the position, a statement of your research interests, a curriculum vitae, and the names, positions and e-mail contact addresses of at least two referees. Applications are accepted until the position is filled, but we intend to conduct a first evaluation by February 15, 2015. We aim for a quick review of applicants and seek to appoint as soon as possible thereafter, ulrimately in early summer 2015. (publicado em a 09-01-15) [Se desejar manter-se informado sobre as oportunidades de emprego que surgem diariamente na área do Ambiente e Gestão de Recursos Naturais, siga a página “NaturJobs” que a Naturlink criou no Facebook em e no Twitter em]