PhD Project: Climatic Events, Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), Belgium

Postdoctoral Fellow in Belgium

PhD Project: Climatic Events: The Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) is seeking a PhD candidate for a project focusing on the impact of changing environmental conditions and extreme climatic events on plankton communities in the Belgian part of the North Sea (BPNS). This research will utilize high-throughput observation approaches, including novel imaging technologies and genetic methods, to analyze plankton dynamics and gene expression changes under stress conditions such as marine heatwaves. The successful candidate will be based in Ostend, Belgium, and will collaborate with several university research groups.

PhD Project: Understanding Plankton Community Responses to Changing Environmental Conditions and Extreme Climatic Events

Summary Table:

Study AreaPlankton Climate
LocationOstend, Belgium
EligibilityMaster’s in relevant field, knowledge of R/Python, etc.
Contract4-year PhD project
ApplicationCover letter and CV by 9th June 2024
Start DateIdeally by 1st October 2024
ContactCarlota Muñiz:

Study Area: Plankton Climate – Understanding plankton community responses to changing environmental conditions and extreme climatic events using high-throughput observation approaches.

Location: Ostend, Belgium


  • Postgraduate degree (Master’s) in marine or lacustrine sciences, ecology, biology, bio-science engineering, or a related field.
  • Knowledge and experience with R or Python.
  • Interest in statistical modelling and genetic data approaches; machine learning/AI knowledge is a plus.
  • Enthusiastic about fieldwork and laboratory work, with willingness to spend time at sea.
  • Self-motivated, proactive, able to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Strong problem-solving skills and good written and oral English communication skills.

Description: The PhD project will investigate the effects of environmental changes and extreme climatic events on plankton communities in the BPNS. Using long-term data series, imaging technologies, and genetic approaches, the research will address key questions about plankton dynamics, gene expression changes during heatwaves, and the impact of marine heatwaves on the plankton community. The candidate will perform sampling campaigns, data analysis, and experimental work, collaborating with colleagues at VLIZ and other research institutions.

How to Apply: Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and CV by 9th June 2024. Applications can be sent by post to Jan Mees, General Director, InnovOcean Campus, Jacobsenstraat 1, 8400 Oostende, or by email to with the subject “Vacancy 2024_013_PhD Plankton Climate”. For inquiries, contact Carlota Muñiz at or +32 (0)59 33 60 00.

Last Date: 9th June 2024

Additional Information: VLIZ promotes equality and diversity in the workplace and encourages applicants from all backgrounds. Interviews will be held on 24th June 2024, with the possibility of online interviews if necessary. Employment can start immediately after the selection procedure, ideally no later than 1st October 2024.



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