The Forest, Nature and Landscape division at KU Leuven has a 4-year PhD position (advisor: Prof. Ben Somers) focused on “Unlocking the climate change mitigation and adaptation potential of domestic gardens” is open at the division Forest, Nature & Landscape, department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. The group works on forests, natural habitats, agricultural land and urban green and their ecosystem services, as well as on the development of methodological tools needed to analyse and quantify science in these fields, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Decision Support Systems (DSS), multi-criteria analysis, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and remote sensing.

About the position:

The main objective of this PhD is to help in realizing this potential through:

  • obtaining timely and reliable data on garden composition, configuration, use and management through an integrated use of novel data acquisition and analysis approaches like remote sensing, deep learning, and citizen science;
  • strengthening the empirical knowledge base on the link between these garden characteristics and urban climate, by combining remote sensing and autonomous sensor networks;
  • modeling and analyzing the actual and potential climate mitigation and adaptation impact of the Flemish garden complex;
  • based on your analysis provide recommendations to the Flemish government and other stakeholders on climate proof gardening practices and initiatives.


  • Applicant must hold a master’s degree (or about to finish) in a relevant discipline (e.g., Bio-Science Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Biology, Geography, Geo-ICT);
  • Applicant must have experience with GIS and remote sensing data processing and related software packages
  • Knowledge of, or interest in, citizen science, sensor technology, urban ecology, and statistics, as well as programming skills, are a plus;
  • Applicant must have obtained good study results and have good written and oral communication skills in English;
  • Applicant must be responsible, can work both independently and in a team, show initiative and seize opportunities


Apply online

—————–Quick Overview————-
Organization KU Leuven
Country Belgium
Fellowship Level Doctoral
Subject areas Bioscience Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Biology, Geography
Fellowship amount Varies
Eligibility Open to all nationalities
Deadline October 04, 2021

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