Terra Nova PhD candidates

Explore the potential of nature restoration and rewilding in European landscapes with the newly founded Terra Nova project.


Would you like to see rewilding play a far more important role in the management of European landscapes? If so, the Terra Nova project may be the research platform you’re looking for.

Founded in early 2019 through Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam’s CLUE+ interfaculty research institute, the Terra Nova project aims to improve our understanding of European landscape histories and land use strategies during the Holocene and Anthropocene periods. With 15 new PhD positions created, the project will use historic regional and continental scale data to develop landscape and climate change models which integrate rewilding, building on major shifts in resource and energy use in the past to provide options for transitioning to a low carbon society in the future.


The main aim of this PhD position is to understand which physical, ecological and socio-economic factors are critical to the restoration of well-functioning, coherent ecosystems through rewilding. The successful PhD applicant will (in collaboration with other project researchers):

(1) Identify potential for rewilding and natural restoration in European landscapes, based on key natural processes.

(2) Model connectivity in European landscapes with regard to these key natural processes.

(3) Map potential transitions from abandoned land to rewilded ecosystems and identify areas in need of assisted rewilding.

(4) Assess rewilding progress in Terra Nova Field Laboratory areas.

These activities will help to generate a map of European rewilding potential, featuring scenarios of land-use change and land management guidelines on rewilding and assisted restoration.

Further information about this PhD position, including the supervisors and host organisations, remuneration, and details on how to apply and by when, can be found in PDF form here.

We wish you the best of luck!