PhD student is available in computer science engineering at Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

  • Last application date: Jul 01, 2015 10:10
  • Department: LA09 – Department of Applied ecology and environmental biology
  • Contract: Limited duration
  • Degree: • Master degree in Computer Sciences Engineering (or similar Civil Engineering degree)
  • Occupancy rate: 100%
  • Vacancy Type: Research staff

Job description

Project Tropical forests play an essential role in the global carbon cycle and climate system. Lianas are key components of these forests and recent observations have revealed that lianas have been increasing in abundance and biomass over the last two decades. Liana proliferation might be a key adaptation mechanism of tropical forests to climate change, with large impacts on the long term tropical forest carbon balance. However, no single terrestrial ecosystem model currently includes lianas.

The TREECLIMBERS project therefore aims

(1) to understand how lianas influence tropical forest functioning and

(2) to assess for the first time the impact of lianas on the carbon balance of tropical forests, by building the first vegetation model that accounts for lianas. Available and new data on liana functioning will be integrated with innovative terrestrial LiDAR observations of the 3D structure of the forest canopy.

Your tasks

• Perform terrestrial LiDAR observations in tropical forests in Panama and French Guiana

• Develop terrestrial LiDAR observation protocols

• Develop algorithms to make 3D reconstructions of individual trees and lianas in 3D point clouds

• Perform wave form analysis to distinguish leaves versus wood in LIDAR observations

• Co- develop the first vegetation model that accounts for lianas

• Perform methodological and applied ecological research based on the above described tasks

Our offer

• A contract as full-time PhD student

Starting date: as soon as possible, preferably summer 2015

• The successful candidate will have the opportunity to attend training courses and workshops on LiDAR observation and data processing (London) and on vegetation modelling (US).

• Collaboration in a newly established and dynamic international scientific team


• Master degree in Computer Sciences Engineering (or similar Civil Engineering degree)

• Fluent in scientific computer programming

• Interest in 3D data processing, vegetation modelling and ecosystem science

• Motivated to do a PhD and write scientific publications

• Good knowledge of English

• Team player with good communication skills

• Motivated to join field campaigns in tropical forests

How to apply

For applications (send CV and application letter) or more information:

Prof. dr. ir. Hans Verbeeck | | +32 (0)9 264 61 13

L: 1 July 2015