The envi­ron­men­tal con­di­tion of the fish farm sites are impor­tant since they are the basic val­ues for the deter­mi­na­tion of the bal­ance between fish farm­ing activ­i­ties and its recip­i­ent envi­ron­ment. Pro­duc­ing fish in a sus­tain­able way is chal­leng­ing, as low effi­cien­cies increase the envi­ron­men­tal bur­den of aqua­cul­ture as well as reduces prof­itabil­i­ty. By improv­ing both effi­cien­cy and yield the sec­tor could grow with­out increas­ing its envi­ron­men­tal impact. Today deci­sions are main­ly based on empiri­cism rather than accu­rate data. Incor­po­ra­tion of SMART tech­nolo­gies for con­trol­ling the basic para­me­ters aims to pro­vide fish farm­ers with clear­er insight in their fish pro­duc­tion for exam­ple by data on oxy­gen and tem­per­a­ture, feed demand and fish behav­iour. Sen­sors can pro­vide infor­ma­tion that facil­i­tates con­tin­u­ous pro­duc­tion and envi­ron­men­tal improve­ment.

SMART fish farm­ing tech­nolo­gies have the poten­tial to improve the effi­cien­cy, reduce ener­gy use and green­house gas­es emis­sion, labour costs, and fish dis­eases, and can stim­u­late the under­stand­ing of the pro­duc­tion process as well as pro­tect­ing the envi­ron­ment. Although the intro­duc­tion of tech­nolo­gies gen­er­al­ly sup­port mod­ern­iza­tion, the devel­op­ment and use of smart tech­nol­o­gy in Indone­sian aqua­cul­ture is still under­de­vel­oped. At present, we do not have a clear view of the tech­nolo­gies imple­ment­ed, the effect on Indone­sian fish farm­ing sys­tems, and the poten­tial of new tech­nolo­gies.

PhD top­ic
One of the key chal­lenges of imple­ment­ing new tech­nolo­gies is to prove the val­ue of imple­men­ta­tion. In this PhD project, the eco­nom­ic, envi­ron­men­tal and social effects of SMART tech­nolo­gies, already imple­ment­ed as well as new­ly avail­able tech­nolo­gies, will be stud­ied. Under­stand­ing the simul­ta­ne­ous objec­tive among eco­nom­ics, envi­ron­men­tal and social aspects of the farm­ing tech­nolo­gies is the key. In this project first, an inven­to­ry is need­ed of which SMART farm­ing tech­nolo­gies are cur­rent­ly applied in pond and sea cage fish farm­ing sys­tems. Next, dynam­ic sto­chas­tic sim­u­la­tion mod­el­ling will be used to study the impact of SMART farm­ing tech­nolo­gies in sea cages and land-based ponds on the envi­ron­ment car­ry­ing capac­i­ty, ani­mal health and ani­mal wel­fare. The mod­els will be extend­ed to include the eco­nom­ic impact of the imple­men­ta­tion of SMART farm­ing tech­nolo­gies in both sys­tems. The expect­ed out­come is an advise on which tech­nolo­gies are of envi­ron­men­tal and eco­nom­ic inter­est to Indone­sian dairy farm­ers and four pub­li­ca­tions for sci­en­tif­ic inter­na­tion­al jour­nals.

Required back­ground

  • An MSc degree in agri­cul­tur­al eco­nom­ics, aqua­cul­ture or any oth­er relat­ed dis­ci­pline.
  • Proven expe­ri­ence with or inter­est in bio-eco­nom­ic mod­el­ling and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment.
  • Excel­lent oral and writ­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills in Eng­lish.
  • Pas­sion for doing research with farm­ers and oth­er stake­hold­ers.
  • Enthu­si­asm in work­ing in an inter­na­tion­al and inter­dis­ci­pli­nary team and in two coun­tries (Indone­sia and the Nether­lands).

Fur­ther infor­ma­tion
The PhD will be obtained from Wagenin­gen Uni­ver­si­ty, the Nether­lands. The research will be divid­ed between Indone­sia (30 months) and Wagenin­gen Uni­ver­si­ty, the Nether­lands (18 months). Research costs includ­ing visa, trav­el costs for trav­el­ling with­in the project, and costs asso­ci­at­ed with data col­lec­tion are cov­ered by the project. For the peri­od in Wagenin­gen, a grant is avail­able to cov­er salary costs. Salary costs in Indone­sia are not cov­ered in the project, so we have a strong pref­er­ence for can­di­dates that can sup­port them­selves or are sup­port­ed by their employ­er. How­ev­er, in the cir­cum­stance where a can­di­date is unable to find this sup­port but has out­stand­ing cre­den­tials, the project team will con­sid­er sup­port­ing him or her dur­ing their research time in Indone­sia.

In order to be admit­ted to the Wagenin­gen Uni­ver­si­ty PhD pro­gramme, select­ed can­di­dates will have to go through the admis­sion pro­ce­dure. A proven suf­fi­cient lev­el of Eng­lish pro­fi­cien­cy as indi­cat­ed by an IELTS score of 6.5 (with a min­i­mum of 6.0 for speak­ing) is required.

Next to this posi­tion, four oth­er PhD posi­tions (with dif­fer­ent top­ics) are open in the project. Of these five posi­tions, three will be sup­port­ed by an LPDP schol­ar­ship. The LPDP schol­ar­ship is a per­son­al grant that will cov­er all salary costs, both in Indone­sia and in The Nether­lands. Select­ed can­di­dates are encour­aged to enrol in the LPDP schol­ar­ship appli­ca­tion. They will have to go through an addi­tion­al pro­ce­dure to com­pete for the LPDP grant.

For more infor­ma­tion please con­tact dr Mariska van der Voort ( or Prof. Dr Nunung Nur­yartono (

To show your inter­est, please sub­mit your CV and a let­ter of moti­va­tion before August 23, 2020, to Dr Mar­jolein Derks (