PhD candidate to Investigate the biodiversity of epiphytic bryophytes and lichens in Dutch cities

Organization: Leiden University
Location: Leiden
Duration: 4 years
Pay/Volunteer: Salary ranges from € 2.443 gross per month in the first year to € 3.122 gross per month in the fourth year based on a full-time position. Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), training and career development and sabbatical leave.
Deadline: 5 June 2022
Description: The Hortus botanicus Leiden is a source of knowledge and research. Do you have inspiring and a future-oriented view on sustainability and environmental issues? Are you looking for a challenging environment where you’ll work together with various other PhD students, scientists and Citizens scientists in a large project? You might be our new PhD student to investigate the biodiversity of epiphytic bryophytes and lichens in Dutch cities.

The Faculty of Science Leiden and The Hortus botanicus Leiden are looking for a PhD candidate to investigate the biodiversity of epiphytic bryophytes and lichens in Dutch cities

Trees are a central element of the urban green infrastructure. They increase the quality of the urban living environment by providing diverse ecosystem services to city dwellers. Trees also serve as a habitat for a variety of other organisms, such as epiphytic bryophytes and lichens. Air pollution and the urban climate, however, pose challenges to epiphyte growth in cities. While epiphyte diversity in Dutch cities has increased during the last decades due to generally cleaner air, patterns of diversity under contemporary urban conditions remain incompletely known and understood.

This PhD project will investigate the role of trees as habitat for epiphytic bryophytes and lichens in Dutch cities, focusing on Amsterdam, Leiden and Rotterdam. Epiphyte diversity and abundance will be studied along different spatial and temporal axes: 1) young to old trees, 2) trunk versus crown (in relation to urban tree management practices), and 3) “green oases’’ (Vondelpark Amsterdam, Hortus botanicus Leiden, Arboretum Trompenburg Rotterdam) versus streets with less favorable conditions. The obtained biodiversity data will be analyzed statistically, including analysis of temperature and precipitation from data loggers.
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