Example of a telecouplings

Join the COUPLED team

Call for PhD fellowship “Sustainable sourcing of agricultural commodities, spill-over effects and global-local relations”

Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management
University of Copenhagen

 

The Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen is offering a PhD scholarship in

Sustainable sourcing of agricultural commodities, spill-over effects and global-local relations

commencing 01.03.2019 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Apply here: https://jobportal.ku.dk/phd/?show=148464

ATC1_6_PhDfellows

Scientific environment

The successful candidate will be attached to the EU funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN):
Operationalising telecouplings for solving sustainability challenges related to land use – COUPLED
together wih 14 other PhD fellows.

The position is based in the research group
‘Environment and Society in Developing Countries’
at the Section of Geography, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management of University of Copenhagen. The group is interdisciplinary and works on a wide range of issues related to complexities of land use and land cover change, natural resource management, earth observation and societal processes. It is composed of eight permanent scientific staff and more than 25 PhD students and Post Docs.

banana_plantation_Friis

Project description

Sustainability standards for agricultural commodities are – among other things – aiming to ensure sustainable, transparent and traceable sourcing practices. Efforts to comply with EU standards (or presumed upcoming standards) are currently causing a cascade of direct and indirect land use changes in distant places with trade relations to the EU – e.g. in mainland Southeast Asia. This project will take point of departure in Thailand – one of the largest suppliers of poultry to the EU. In Thailand multinational agribusiness companies are currently shifting from mainly relying on nationally produced maize to imported maize from neighbouring countries, and on wheat from primarily Europe and Argentina in response to concerns about upcoming EU regulations on sustainable sourcing of feedstock for the poultry industry. This telecoupled food system is bringing about a series of feedbacks and spill-overs – e.g. in terms of changes in land use in Thailand and the neighbouring countries, where policies on sustainable land use are not as strict as in Thailand – and potentially in wheat producing areas overseas. Therefore, sustainable sourcing efforts may lead to the strengthening or even expansion of systems that are considered unsustainable. This project will use the telecoupling framework to explore the place-based outcomes of this complex network of different types of flows that is affected by the shift in sourcing practices. The research will apply field surveys, spatial analyses and supply chain analyses to capture the local as well as distant impacts, feedbacks and spill-overs.

The research will lead to

  • Creation of knowledge on how to analyze flows that link land systems across large distances
  • Development of new approaches that integrate place-based data-sets of a multidisciplinary nature with flow based analyses
  • Development of methodologies to attribute impacts to drivers in telecoupled land use systems

Principal supervisor is Associate Prof. Thilde Bech Bruun, Section for Geography, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, thbb@ign.ku.dk , Direct Phone: +45 3533 3412. Co-supervisor is Prof. Peter Messerli, University of Bern, Switzerland.

Formal requirements

Applicants should hold an MA/MSc (or the equivalent degree), in Geography, Development Studies, Environmental Science or related fields with good results and good English skills. We expect a strong interest in land system science, conservation and sustainability problems. Experience with both qualitative and quantitative research is an asset. Willingness to be based in Copenhagen and travel to the Global South is mandatory and experience with field based research in Southeast Asia is an asset.

In order to be eligible, each applicant must fulfil the following criteria at the time of recruitment:

  • Mobility: At the time of recruitment, the applicant must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (work, studies, etc…) in the country of the host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.
  • Qualifications and research experience: The applicant must fulfil the requirements defined for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs): ESRs are researcher who, at the time of recruitment, has NOT yet been awarded the doctorate degree and is in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent) of his/her research career.

The deadline for applications is 04.01.2019, 23:59 GMT +1. Applications received after the deadline for applications will not be considered.

Deadline

The deadline for applications is 04.01.2019, 23:59 GMT +1. Applications received after the deadline for applications will not be considered.

Questions

For the instructions on how to prepare and submit your application, go to this page.

For specific information about the PhD scholarship, please contact the principal supervisor Associate Prof. Thilde Bech Bruun, Section for Geography, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, thbb@ign.ku.dk.