PhD in industrial ecology

The successful candidate will work in a multi-disciplinary research team of the project URBAG funded by the ERC Horizon 2020, under the supervision of Gara Villalba  (PI) and a postdoctoral fellow. The candidate is expected to perform research towards the completion of the various tasks assigned and work cooperatively with the rest of the team

. The main objective of this PhD thesis is to answer the research question: what is the potential of urban food production in terms of the resources available in cities? To answer this question, the candidate will assess the potential of optimizing urban/peri urban agriculture and vegetation in terms of nutrient, water, and energy, considering urban morphology and weather as well as life cycle impacts using the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona as the case study.


- Perform a city-wide metabolism characterization with a focus on the energy, water, food and waste nexus. Develop a dynamic material flow analysis of recovered nutrients and collected rainwater for local food optimization. Determine the life cycle carbon footprint of the city.                                                                     

- Help design scenarios based on results of environmental impact assessment and urban atmosphere implications, the city’s greening policies and social implications of the green infrastructures, that best build on existing plans, policies, and practices, and are socially- and politically-acceptable.                                                                     

- Establish a research-policy translation pathway useful for/in cooperation with city’s departmental managers in urban sustainability and biodiversity, urban planners, and other stakeholders. Use this pathway to describe the environmental and social benefits and policy impact of the scenarios defined in URBAG.                                                                                                         

- Examine the political and social feasibility of replication and upscaling of expanded urban/peri-urban agriculture and green spaces, paying particular attention to constraints to further develop green space

Job position requirements (skills/languages/required experience):

  • Bachelor in science (compulsory)
  • High level of english (compulsory)
  • Master in urbanism, social science, industrial ecology or similar will be positively evaluated
  • Knowledge of Python and R will be positively evaluated
  • Experience with GIS tools (ArcGIS or QGIS) will be positively evaluated
  •  Knowledge of LCA with simapro, openLCA or similar, as well as databases will be positively evaluated.
  • Proficiency level of Spanish, Catalan woud be helpful but no obligatory
  • Benefits: up to 4 year-long, full time PhD contract, Access to UAB campus services
  • Eligibility criteria: Academic record (45%), Relevant research experience (45%), motivation letter (10%)
  • Selection process: CV evaluation and Interviews

A motivation letter must be included and submitted with the CV, a sample of written work (8,000 words) and two letters of recommendation to If no candidate reaches the mínimum qualification of 70%, the position will be left deserted.

Application deadline: 1st september.

  • Application deadline: Sep 01, 2019
  • Barcelona
  • PhD and Postdoc Positions
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