Tailored opportunities: PhD position, Wildlife Ecotoxicology – at the University of Antwerpen, Belgium


A position is vacant for a researcher (Ph.D.-scholarship) to investigate the relationship between internal concentrations of micro pollutants in aquatic organisms and the ecological quality of water courses.

For the monitoring of pollutants in the aquatic environment and the prediction of their ecological effects on aquatic organisms, most of the time only water, sediment or suspended matter is ,measured. However, with this approach the results only reflect the situation at the moment of sampling while concentrations might fluctuate with time. Moreover, this approach does not take into account the bio-availability, which is influenced by factors such as acidity, water hardness and temperature and that may differ substantially among sites. Therefore it makes more sense to measure toxic compounds in organisms that are resistant to pollution and that easily accumulate them. In this way fluctuations in time and differences in accumulation are integrated in the measurement.
The aim of this study is to look for species (invertebrates and fish) that can be collected from natural waters (rivers, lakes, canals) or introduced in cages and in which accumulation of micro pollutants is assessed. The accumulated levels of pollutants (metals and perfluorinated pollutants) and internal distribution will be related to the invertebrate and fish community structure. In order to confirm field results, also laboratory and mesocosm (artificial ponds) experiments will be performed in which invertebrates are exposed to the pollutants and effects on physiology, reproduction and behavior will be assessed. In this way it will be investigate if this approach is suitable to derive biota quality standards that are protective of ecological damage.

As a result, the successful candidate will have to combine field work (observations and experiments) with laboratory work and analytical measurements.


Profile and requirements

  • You have a Master degree in Biology or an equivalent degree in Life Sciences (i.e. Biomedical Sciences or Bio-engineering Sciences).
  • You are an enthusiastic and motivated student with a strong interest in Ecotoxicology and Ecology, who likes working both in the field and in the lab.
  • You have good organizational, writing and presentation skills and should be able to work well both independently and in a team environment.
  • You have a driver license (B).
  • The candidate is expected to prepare a Ph.D. and to participate in the organisation of practical courses and seminars. Your research and teaching capabilities are in line with the management goals of the university.


Candidates can apply until September 15th, 2019


Please send all application material including 1) your curriculum vitae 2) a brief (250 words) summary of your reasons for applying and 3) contact information of max. 2 referees) as single PDF-file to: lieven.bervoets@uantwerpen.be.

For more information, contact Prof. Lieven Bervoets (lieven.bervoets@uantwerpen.be).

If you need help in making this application, please write your question in the comment box below.

If you need to receive similar opportunities like this one, please follow this blog by pressing the follow button in the upper right corner of this page.

Published by

African Academic/Researcher

Science and Research by Africans for Africa

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.