Job Details PhD-project Benchmarking animal production in farming systems in diverse agri-ecological environments Vacancy number ASG-DW-APS-0004 Location Gelderland Department Wageningen University Function type Phd positions Scientific field Agriculture and Natural Environment Closing date for applications 27 July 2012 We are looking for a PhD candidate for the project Benchmarking animal production in farming systems in diverse agri-ecological environments This PhD project is a collaboration between two chairs groups of Wageningen University: the Animal Production Systems group and the Plant Production Systems group. The project is part of the strategic research theme Sustainable and Smart Food Supply of Wageningen University and Research centre, which aims to develop a Benchmarking Atlas for agricultural systems. Job description This PhD-project will develop a conceptual framework to explore the potential of sustainable intensification strategies for diverse animal production systems across the world. Intensification of livestock production (e.g. increasing production per animal and/or per unit of land) is widely advocated to meet the growing demand for livestock products and to contribute to efficient use of resources. Currently, the analysis of constraints to intensification of livestock production systems is based on empirical comparisons. Such studies compare performance parameters of bestperforming farms with others, and deduce feasible improvement options. This approach gives a restricted view on development opportunities. An approach with a wider scope is the quantification and analysis of differences between the actual and the theoretically achievable production levels, i.e. making use of so-called theoretical benchmarking. This is based on “the production-ecological concepts” of potential, limited and actual production as originally developed for crop production. The PhD-project will develop and apply these production-ecological concepts to meat production in order to identify options for sustainable intensification of diverse livestock systems. This requires combining modelling, analysis of secondary data and data from field studies in The Netherlands, France, Ethiopia and Vietnam. The project is for a period of 4 years and research will be carried out at the Animal Production Systems Group in close cooperation with the Plant Production Systems group. We ask For this interdisciplinary project we look for an enthusiastic person with an appropriate MSc degree in animal science, plant science or biology with interest in quantitative modelling of animal and crop production. The candidate should have the competence to combine relatively broad system aspects with more detailed aspects of crops and livestock. Excellent research skills and analytical abilities are required. Good communication skills and proficiency in English (both oral and written) are a prerequisite. We offer Employment basis: temporary for specified period; duration of the contract: 1.5 + 2.5 years, maximum hours per week: 38. Additional conditions of employment: To begin with, a PhD appointment for a period of 18 months. Continuation of the appointment with another 30 months will be based on performance evaluation. Gross salary per month € 2042 in the first year rising to € 2612 per month in the fourth year, based on a full time appointment We are The Animal Production Systems (APS) Group of Wageningen University uses systems analysis to understand complex livestock systems in order to explore and design a sustainable future. Similarly, the Plant Production Systems (PPS) group uses systems analysis to understand the soil-crop interactions with the aim to achieve sustainable food production. APS and PPS are embedded in the Wageningen Centre for Agroecology and Systems Analysis (WaCASA), a cluster of three chair groups in plant and animal sciences. Clustering systems research in plant and animal sciences allows WaCASA members to strengthen and further develop the domain of systems analysis in agricultural production and help solve complex sustainability problems global food security, climate change, water scarcity, depletion of fossil fuels and phosphorus, and achieving respectful animal production - we are facing today. Further information A detailed research proposal and additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from: dr ir Simon J. Oosting, Animal Production Systems Group, phone +31 317 484594 [email protected] Information about the hosting chair group Animal Production Systems can be found at the website of APS (www.aps.wur.nl). Application You can apply till July 27th 2012 and use the website http://www.wur.nl/UK/work/Vacancies+New/ For further information about working at Wageningen UR, take a look at www.jobsat.wur.nl. Acquisition regarding this vacancy is not appreciated.