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 (