Naturalis – PhD Fellowship Logging forensics: mining ebony wood collections as references

Naturalis Biodiversity Center in collaboration with Leiden University announces an opening for a fully funded PhD fellowship under the Plant.ID Horizon2020 European Training Network, starting April 2018.

Plant.ID is recruiting 15 PhD fellows
The EU H2020-ITN-ETN project Plant.ID on molecular identification of plants is a European training network aimed at providing 15 PhD fellows across nine European host institutions with excellent training through a network of leading academic experts, museums, governmental and industry partners in the field, using an intensive program with network-wide training events, intra-network supervision and secondments.

Project description
Acoustic string instruments are made of several hardwood species including ebony (Diospyros). Many species of ebony are nowadays over-exploited in the wild. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) placed all species of ebony from Madagascar on Appendix II in 2014 but other species are not legally protected. Computational microscopic phenotyping based on wood anatomical sections, chemical profiling and DNA barcoding are increasingly used to recognize wood traded under Forest Stewardschip Council (FSC) labels. Therefore, anatomy data, DNA barcodes and DART-TOF MS will be collected from reference specimens. Metabarcodes will be generated from ebony wood used in (parts of) instruments supplied by violon and bow builders and compared with microscopy, DART-TOF MS and bomb peak calibrated C14-dates to distinguish antique wood from wood harvested after 2013. Objective:Species-level identification of ebony wood for control of trade in legally protected species.
Primary supervisors: Barbara Gravendeel and Frederic Lens from Naturalis Biodiversity Center, and promotor Fons Verbeek, Leiden University, Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS). Planned secondments to Leiden University and Copenhagen University and short visits to the Dutch association of violin and bow makers and World Justice Commission.

Who are we looking for?
Marie Curie Training Networks offer a unique opportunity to get cutting-edge training in a multidisciplinary environment with a focus on academic and personal development of the PhD fellows. The supervisors in the network each provide specific competences and as part of the network you develop your skills and carry out research both independently and as part of a network of 15 PhD fellows. The consortium ensures cross-pollination and exchange of ideas through network-wide training events, summer schools and intersectoral secondments. As a PhD fellow in the Plant.ID network, you need to have good social skills and be willing to conduct the planned secondments and importantly be innovative and goal-oriented. Specific requirements for areas of previous degrees, planned secondments, and other expectations related to individual positions are listed in the detailed posting of each position. All candidates must be fluent in spoken and written English.

Job description
Your key tasks as a PhD fellow in Plant.ID are:

  • Manage and carry through your research project
  • Take PhD courses within the Plant.ID network
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Participate in international congresses and Plant.ID network meetings
  • Stay at a research institution abroad for the secondment(s)
  • Teach and disseminate your research

Read more