PhD Position on ‘Tracking Predators and Prey using Drones’

Wageningen University & Research seeks a PhD candidate who is keen to perform state-of-the-art research on tracking and studying the movement of predators and prey using drones.

Recent advances in technology have paved new avenues for more accurate and large-scale interventions to prevent wildlife population decline. The overarching aim of the EU-funded Doctoral Network “WildDrone” is to revolutionize wildlife conservation practices by integrating the fields of aerial robotics, computer vision, and wildlife ecology, using autonomous drone technology as a unifying platform. WildDrone will develop new autonomous systems (innovation in drone technology), expand current software (innovation in machine learning and computer vision), and combine these advances to create practical tools for visual inspection and monitoring of wildlife populations, movement, behavior, and habitats in complex field settings (innovation in ecology).

Duration: a temporary contract for 18 months with the possibility of extension


The PhD candidate will

  • analyze data from collared predators to identify movement signatures indicative of hunting,
  • use drones to study the long-term responses of free-ranging zebras after an encounter with predators or humans, and
  • analyze movement data to identify individual and collective behaviors that can differentiate between predator attacks and encounters with humans.
  • The candidate will also be involved in the supervision of MSc students who perform their thesis research within the framework of the project.


  • The gross salary for the first year is € 2.434,- per month rising to € 3.111.
  • paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.
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Job Requirements

Applicants for the PhD Position on ‘Tracking Predators and Prey using Drones’, should have the following qualifications:

  • MSc in ecology, environmental sciences, or a related field;
  • quantitative skills for analyzing spatial and temporal data;
  • experience in data science and statistical modeling;
  • team player;
  • good organizational and communication skills;
  • excellent command of English (C1 level).

Application Process

  • a CV, including the names of two references at the end of the CV,
  • a cover letter summarizing their motivation to apply and explaining why they are the ideal candidate for this position.

To apply for the PhD Position on ‘Tracking Predators and Prey using Drones’, click here

Interested applicants can apply and ensure that they attach the following:

Application Deadline: September 15, 2022.

For more information, visit the official site.