2012 PhD Position in Global Land Use Change Modeling at VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands

The central role of land use in global change and integrated environmental assessment makes an adequate representation of land use change processes in global scale assessment models necessary. The focus of current land use models is on simulating changes in land cover (e.g., deforestation) while also more subtle changes in land management can also have large environmental impacts and affect Earth system processes. In this PhD project innovative methods for land use modelling at global scale will be developed. The PhD student is expected to design and apply methods for incorporating variation in human responses to environmental change. While most models are based on either economic rationale or biophysical processes, variation in human behaviour plays a major role in land change. Such variation can originate from differences in cultural traditions, land use history or the demographic conditions. Novel approaches for incorporating the human dimensions of land change processes in integrated assessments will be implemented and tested, e.g., by linking actor-based and spatial models. The PhD student will collaborate intensively with other PhD students and staff and publish the results in peer-reviewed journals.

• A completed Msc degree in the field of geography, environmental sciences or ecology; • Experience with quantitative analysis, including the application or development of simulation models; • Experience with spatial analysis and GIS software; • Affinity with an interdisciplinary working environment; • Excellent research and publication skills, proven by past accomplishments;

Scholarship Deadline: 23 April 2012

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