Best Poster award for Sifan Koriche

Best poster award for PRIDE researcher Sifan Koriche at the INQUA ECR 2016 conference in Reading. Climate Change Impact on Hydrological Processes of the Ponto-Caspian Basin, by S. Koriche, J. Singarayer, D. Lunt, S. Nandini, M. Prange.

Second best poster award for PRIDE researcher Diksha Bista at the INQUA ECR 2016 conference in Reading: Reconstructing the hydrological evolution of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea during the last 2 Ma using strontium isotopes, by D. Bista, R. Flecker, D.A. Richards.

Caucasus Mountain Forum 2016, November 27-30

Proposals are invited on topics broadly related to sustainable mountain development: Climate change, Biodiversity, Forest Resources, Water resources and management, Land use and land cover change, Desertification, Mineral resources, Natural hazards and risks, Population, Cultural diversity, Tourism and Recreation, Landscape planning, Urban and rural development, Regional development policy, Socio-economic development, as well as cross-cutting topics including soils, Air pollution, New and renewable energy resources, Ecosystem services and The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), Landscape ecology, Transboundary cooperation, Infrastructure < >

Job opening: Early Stage Researcher in the field of micropalaeontology

Job Opening: Early Stage Researcher within the PRIDE project

For PRIDE we are seeking an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) in the field of micropalaeontology. The PRIDE program combines climate-, geo- and bio-sciences and is conducted by 15 ESRs. From 2015 to 2019 we investigate the evolution and demise of lake systems and biota in the Black Sea, Caspian Sea and surroundings. Due to the leave of one of the ESRs we are seeking a new ESR for the period of 29 months.

You will be working on the project B2: palaeoenvironmental drivers of ostracod biodiversity change. You will be hosted at the University of Bucharest in Bucharest, Romania, for a period of 29 months. Your job will be to perform the research project and to participate in an extensive training programme that includes six network training events (NTE’s), paid for by the program. During your project you will also be performing one or two secondment(s), a period where you will work in one of the cooperating institutes. You will enrol in the post-graduate programs of the respective or associated universities. 

You will be employed as a Geologist and will be enrolled as PhD student and will have a contract period of 29 months. You will assess palaeoenvironmental drivers of ostracod biodiversity change in Pontocaspian Basins (Black Sea, Caspian Sea) in the past 3 Ma. Ostracods are very sensitive to environmental (e.g. salinity) change. Major salinity changes occurred in successive lake phases during the Quaternary and faunal exchange occurred in episodic connections between basins. This project will focus on environmental drivers of ostracod turnover at the onset of the modern Pontocaspian system, the last glacial cycle and the Holocene of the Caspian‐Black Sea basins. For each period the composition and diversity of faunas will be assessed from a number of sections and boreholes and compared to the sedimentary record and to mollusk fauna changes in the same sections in order to identify drivers of turnover, including anthropogenic drivers. Also, ostracod successions in satellite basins in Anatolia and the Balkans will be studied to elucidate the role of these regions as source/sinks of Pontocaspian biota. Obtained time series will be used to explore  the environmental context and drivers of faunal change. This project will include a secondment at Utrecht University (NL) for biostratigraphic application of the ostracod data. 

The PRIDE program will offer you a very unique opportunity to deeply engage into a multidisciplinary network where climate, geo- and biosciences will come together and that involves excellent institutes in the EU as well as in the Pontocaspian Region (Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkey). 


Anyone is invited to apply under two conditions. (1) You should not have resided in the Romania for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date (and not have carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Romania) and (2) you should have an MSc diploma and be - at the date of recruitment - an ‘early stage researcher’ (i.e. in the first four years of your research career and not have a doctoral degree).

Excellent written and spoken English (English language assessment certificate, e.g. TOEFL, Cambridge).

We are looking for candidates that are available on a short notice.


According to the MSCA-ITN rules; c. € 2124/month + € 600/month Mobility + € 500/month Family Allowance (if applicable)

Information about the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) is available at:

Type of contract

Fixed term contract. First for 12 months, and this will be extended for the next 17 months upon positive evaluation.

The contract is for 40 hrs/week.


Deadline for your application is August 12, 2016. Your application letter (max 2 pages), CV and mail addresses of two referents should be submitted to Please indicate Application PRIDE B2 and your name in the subject line. For your motivation please think about the projects you have been working in, relevant expertise in the general subject, your ability to work in teams and in different countries/settings, lab, modelling, fieldwork experience if applicable and your social skills. 

We intent to interview the selected candidates on 22 August in Bucharest.

Work permit

For EU citizens the work permit will take one month after submission of all required documents. For non_EU citizens, please check the procedure to obtain the residence permit at the address

Further information

You may wish to contact us for further information. As we are now in the summer period response times may be a bit slow. For further information regarding the position, please send an email to Prof. Marius Stoica  and the PRIDE team:




Network Training Event 4, Azerbaijan, Baku. April 25 - May 1, 2016.

Beginning on April 25 and lasting until May 1, 2016 the PRIDE follow-up meeting took place in Baku for the Network Training Event (NTE) 4. During NTE 4, Early Stage Researchers (ESRs), together with local students from Azerbaijan State University of Oil and Industry learned about Advanced Geological Field techniques in the Caspian Region. The theme of the week was “Pontocaspian Rise in the Caspian Sea”. With the guidance provided by the PRIDE supervisors and the assistance of partners from Azerbaijan National Academy of Science, ESRs gained understanding on how, when and why the Pontocaspian speceis entered the Caspian Sea and how the fauna evolved through time. ESRs and students from the local institutions did the hands-on geological exercises by which they created their own geological maps and defined the geological boundaries. Later, the geological observations were converted to paleoenvironmental models. Particular attention was also paid to setting up a successful field sampling campaign practices, and doing the field observations relevant to the collaborative research questions, and taking and recording measurements in the field.

One of the days of the training event was devoted to a conference at the Geological Institute of Azerbaijan. During the conference several ESRs, PRIDE supervisors and partners from the Geological Institute presented about their research in the region. Besides the geological program, the NTE 4 involved several cultural stops for introducing ESRs to the ancient history of Azerbaijan.


Caspian Sea mini symposium

Research Group of Palaeoecology & Landscape Ecology
Institute for Biodiversity & Ecosystem Dynamics
University of Amsterdam

Date: 01/04/2016
Time: 15:00-18:00
Location: Amsterdam Science Park 904 
Registration: Contact Prof. dr. Henry Hooghiemstra or Dr. Carina Hoorn to book your place and receive location details

Frank Wesselingh & the PRIDE team
How high can you get? Mountain uplift driving diversification in Pontocaspian lakes before humans bring down the unique aquatic biota?

Christiaan van Baak
Mediterranean-Paratethys connectivity during the late Miocene to recent

– 16:00-16:15 tea/coffee break –

Keith Richards
Studies in Caspian palynology: Vegetation, climate and sea level change

Questions and discussion

Network Training Event 1 - Bucharest - October 11-24, 2015

From October 11 to 24, 2015 the first Network Training Event (NTE1) of the Drivers of Pontocaspian Biodiversity Rise and Demise (PRIDE) program was held in Romania. The NTE1 consisted of two weeks of field work and evening lectures with the emphasis on geology and biology. The first week was geology oriented and took place in Buzau area. The second week had an emphasis on biological sampling techniques and involved field work on boats in Lake Razelm complex and in Black Sea. In between the two weeks a conference was held about the Pontocaspian lake system evolution and  the advantages of cross-disciplinary research.  

20-5-2015 Recruiting the ESRs

Three days, 29 hugely talented candidates from all over the world, 15 positions. The event to find the Early Stage Researchers that will make PRIDE.

From Australia to Germany, from Russia to Ethiopia, our candidates came from everywhere. Out of more than 300 applications we invited 30 very promising candidates for a three day event in Leiden.

On Wednesday night we had general introductory talks about the programme, but also what life as an ESR is like, followed by a joint dinner where candidates and supervisors could engage. On Thursday all candidates gave their talks and answered questions, followed again by a dinner. On Friday we had the interviews.

The outcome has been a success. We were able to fill 14 of the 15 positions straight away, and all candidates accepted. A beautiful start to an intensely connected network!

26-3-2015 The Kick-off

The first time all supervisors meet, engage and discuss how we will make the programme work! This feels as if we have started for real! 

This is us. Background from left to right: Oana Popa, Suzanne Leroy, Niels Raes, Rachel Flecker, Cynthia Crul, Salomon Kroonenberg, Luis Popa, Arjan Gittenberger, Thomas Wilke, Joy Singarayer, Marius Stoica. Foreground Wout Krijgsman and Frank Wesselingh. Not shown: Matthias Prange 

1-3-2015 The start of PRIDE

1-3-2015: The programme has officially started! After months of frantic negotiations with all institutes involved and the EU we can go now for the next four years.

On a Thursday early September a somewhat cryptic message occurred in my mailbox that more or less read as “We are inviting you to proceed with negotiations through the Participant Portal”. This was the starting point of six very intense months of transforming our application into the legal documents that are required to get the programme going. Jan-Willem Mantel and Frank Wesselingh worked very hard through the guidance of our EC-officer Giuliana Donini to get all institutes involved into the legal documents, a Grant Agreement and a Consortium Agreement.

So today the PRIDE programme is starting. Cynthia Crul takes up her work as programme manager. The first step is the advertisement of all 15 ESR positions, to attract the most talented young researchers that will make the programme and to organize the kick-off meeting. A great day to celebrate!