Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

PhD position, Footprint of Colonialism - Utrecht, Netherlands

PhD position, Footprint of Colonialism - Utrecht, Netherlands

Utrecht, Netherlands
PhD on the Footprint of Colonialism: Attributing Biodiversity Loss and GHG Emissions from Colonial Land Change Processes

You will be offered a temporary position (0.8 - 1.0 FTE), initially for one year with an extension to a total of four years upon a successful assessment in the first year, and with the specific intent that it results in a doctorate within this period. The gross salary ranges between €2,541 in the first year and €3,247 in the fourth year of employment (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.3% per year.

In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions external link (multiple choice model). For more information, please visit working at Utrecht University
Quantifying the cumulative attribution of countries to biodiversity loss and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from land change is of critical importance to achieve global environmental justice. Attribution of individual countries to past land change in an objective manner gives clear information for negotiations around loss and damage finances as recently debated at United Nations conference on climate Change (COP27) and biodiversity (COP15).

The aim of this project is to quantify the relative attribution of different countries to biodiversity loss and GHG emissions arising from land change since the colonial period using footprint analysis. This will illustrate to what extent the burden of resource extraction has shifted over time and how colonial legacies impact environmental footprints in present day. We will use an approach that integrates the HYDE database external link of landcover change with reconstructions of resource flows based on historical data and footprint modelling techniques.
The PhD candidate will work within two of the main research sections of the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development external link: Innovation Studies and Environmental Sciences at the core of Copernicus themes’ Integrated Modelling, Transitions, Sustainable Land and Sustainable Food.
We are looking for an outstanding and highly motivated candidate with a deep interest in land use and history. We are especially interested in interdisciplinary scholars with strong modelling and quantitative data analysis skills. We gladly receive applications from candidates who:

- have an MSc in Environmental Sciences, (Economic) History, Digital Humanities or a related field;
- have strong affinity with sustainability, land use and history;
- have strong quantitative and data analysis skills;
- have excellent communication skills;
- have proficiency in English;
- enjoy working in an interdisciplinary and international environment;
- are willing to travel to case study countries and collaborate with local experts.
- the candidate is expected to contribute to the teaching programme of Copernicus (up to 10%).
Application deadline
Further information
For more information about this position, please contact C.G.M. Klein Goldewijk external link (Assistant Professor) via or +31 6 27132148 or Brian Dermody external link (Assistant Professor) via
Contact email
Click here to see the email address