PhD in Human-Environment Interactions in Floodplains in the Period 500-1500 AD
University of Leuven Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences




This is one of two interdisciplinary PhD positions within a project that aims at providing a long-term reconstruction of human-environment interactions in floodplains in Flanders. During this project the various direct and indirect human interventions in three case study floodplain sites will be mapped by combining an archaeological, historic and geographical analysis. The goal of this PhD is to analyse how human societies through time have responded towards changes in the floodplain environment, whereby particular attention will be paid to agrarian societies. The time-depth analysis of past human-environment interactions in floodplains will learn us 1) how the present-day cultural palimpsest landscape came about and to which time period specific landscape features can be traced back, but also 2) how resilient the use and management floodplains has evolved through time. This should allow us to better manage and preserve our cultural heritage within floodplains and to better assess the robustness of floodplain use and sustainable management in future. Chronologically, this position will focus on the (early) medieval and post-medieval times (roughly 500-1500 AD). The PhD-researcher will make use of a wide range of archaeological inventory data, aerial photography, LIDAR elevation data, but will also collect new data through archaeological surveys, geomorphic field work (including coring) and geophysics in collaboration with other project members.


The interdisciplinary PhD in Archaeology & Geography will collaborate with an interdisciplinary PhD in History & Geography and with a postdoctoral researcher in Geography, under the supervision of the three promoters of the project (Archaeology, Geography and History).


Applicants are expected to have the following qualifications and attitudes:

  • An MA in Archaeology or MSc in Geography, with demonstrable interest for and/or experience in the other discipline.
  • Collaborative attitude; ability to work independently ; ability to contribute creatively to the project.
  • Skilled in academic writing, oral communication of research results, present research in international conferences and intermediate publications, strong analytical skills.


We offer:

  • A full-time PhD position for a period of 4 years. 
  • The fellowwill receive a salary of approximately 2000 EUR/month (after taxes). 
  • S/he wil lreceive all regular provisions for PhD fellows at KU Leuven, allocated office space, a PC or laptop and additional funding for research activities like attending conferences abroad.


The successful candidate may be asked to provide (limited) assistance with teaching, student supervision and data management.



Applications should include a cover letter, CV and the names of up to three referees. Interviews will be held with shortlisted candidates on16-17 September. A decision will be communicated before the end of September.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Gert Verstraeten, tel.: +32 16 32 64 11, mail: or Prof. dr. Bart Vanmontfort, tel.: +32 16 32 64 58, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than September 06, 2019 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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