New PhD opportunity on the resource flow analysis of social-ecological systems

Deadline for applications: 31 January 2023.

View of Sagalassos
Sagalassos. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

KU Leuven has opened a PhD position for doing interdisciplinary research within the Sagalassos project with a full-time scholarship for four years.


In this interdisciplinary PhD research the environmental impact of urban and rural structures and activities during past and present times of accelerated growth will be explored using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). LCA is a methodological approach to assess environmental impacts in a quantitative, systematic way considering all input- and output-related impacts along the complete life cycle of a process or product. The objectives of this study are to make a life cycle inventory (LCI) of daily life in the Sagalassos/Ağlasun territory (South-West of Anatolia) in both past and present, and to assess the environmental impact of these human settlements for relevant impact categories.

The PhD position will take place in an internationally reputed scientific environment with a competitive 48 month full-time grant. The PhD candidate will be coached by a multidisciplinary team of experts (prof. Bart Muys from the Division Forest, Nature and Landscape; prof. Dirk Saelens from the Unit Building physics and Sustainable Design, and prof. Jeroen Poblome from the Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project).

The position implies the following responsibilities and tasks:

  • Perform the PhD research along the objectives of the Sagalassos C1 project on “The urban-rural systems of Late Hellenistic to Roman Imperial Sagalassos and present-day Ağlasun. Sustainability of urbanization in times of accelerated growth”, more specifically within the project’s WP2 on Resource Flows;
  • Participate actively in the Sagalassos Project by attending team meetings and providing input for progress reports and deliverables;
  • Follow the programme of doctoral training according to the rules of the KU Leuven Arenberg Doctoral School (through journal publications, conference participation, and coursework);
  • Supervise MSc and BSc dissertations in the framework of the project;
  • Give limited support to the BSc or MSc training in Bioscience Engineering.


The candidate holds an MSc in Bioscience engineering; MSc in Engineering: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Energy; Sustainable Development; Environmental Sciences; Urban planning, or equivalent, preferably with some background in life cycle thinking, thermodynamics, energy and material flows. We are looking for a candidate with excellent study results and a strong quantitative background, familiar with database management and modelling techniques. The candidate is communicative, proficient in written and spoken English, and eager to work in a team.

Apply by 31 January 2023 via the online application tool

Read all the details about this opportunity

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EFIMED is the Mediterranean Facility of the European Forest Institute. Based in Barcelona, Spain, it was launched in 2007.