The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) is recruiting a PhD Student for a fixed-term contract of maximum 4 years.

The PhD project focuses on acoustic seabed mapping to monitor good environmental status of marine waters within Europe’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). It is offered under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Vera Van Lancker (RBINS/Ghent University), Dr. Marc Roche (FPS Economy) and Dr. Xavier Lurton (Ifremer). To apply we require your motivation letter, two letters of reference and an extended CV (with eventual publications and thesis) before 31 May 2015. The PhD will be promoted at Ghent University, Department of Geology.

Short description

Aim of the PhD is: (1) to investigate the precision, sensitivity and repeatability of multibeam bathymetry and backscatter for the monitoring of habitat changes; (2) to examine the external sources of variance in acoustic signatures (e.g. water column processes); (3) to relate acoustic signatures to sediment properties and seafloor integrity, a key descriptor in MSFD; and (4) to design joint seabed mapping practices amongst the main players in Belgium and beyond.

The research involves data acquisition at sea for testing of different techniques and monitoring strategies.

Latest start date is 1 September 2015.

For questions and application:

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