PhD Student BGB in “Community Ecology”
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL
Uitikon, Switzerland  
vor 6 Tg.
source : Academic Media Group International AB

Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL is part of the ETH Domain.

Approximately 600 people work on the sustainable use and protection of the environment and on the handling of natural hazards.

The ETH Board has funded a research initiative on Blue-Green Biodiversity (BGB) in 2020. Its goal is to strengthen interdisciplinary biodiversity research of WSL and Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) in order to find answers to urgent social challenges of species loss as quickly as possible.

The project is now in its second phase. Please find more information on our homepage at : .

In the framework of this project, the Plant-Animal Interactions Group at WSL in collaboration with the Phytoplankton Ecology Group at Eawag, is searching for four years , with a start in Summer 2021 a (f / m / d) PhD Student BGB in Community Ecology The goal of the PhD project is to study how beavers, as ecosystem engineers affect species interaction networks on land and in water, what role functional traits have in establishing these interactions, and how functional diversity is related to local ecosystem processes.

By assessing the composition and abundances of different aquatic and terrestrial biotic communities, we can determine how habitat heterogeneity relates to taxonomic and functional diversity, the strength and number of species interactions as well as the connectivity of ecological networks.

By linking biodiversity to ecosystem processes, we will study how and to what extent beaver-engineered ecosystems can mitigate anthropogenic impacts across land-water interfaces.

The selected PhD candidate will profit from a highly diverse team of experts composed of both basic science and practice.

The project provides excellent opportunities for a student to i) be trained in classic field work, and obtain a series of important ii) laboratory and sample processing as well as iii) data analysis skills.

The fundamentally interdisciplinary nature of the project will allow the PhD student to become an expert in biodiversity, ecological networks and ecosystem functioning across the land-water boundaries, and on how biodiversity can mitigate human impacts.

Approximately half of the work will be computational (analyses and writing), the other half dedicated to field and lab work.

The PhD student will take a leading role in the project, helping in project coordination, sampling, and bridging across groups.

The PhD degree will be awarded by the University of Zürich. The candidate will be based in the Plant-Animal Interactions Group at WSL, and be a guest in the Phytoplankton Ecology Group at Eawag.

The successful candidate is expected to hold an MSc degree, have experience in field and laboratory work, ecological data analyses and / or empirical ecology, demonstrated skills in scientific communication (including paper writing).

Other desired skills include computer programming (e.g., R), experience with large and heterogeneous datasets, familiarity with community ecology principles, food-webs or ecological networks, and beaver ecosystem ecology.

Fluency in English is required. Furthermore, you are ambitious and highly motivated and show a high degree of team spirit.

Please send your complete application by May 30, 2021 to Jeanine Gehrig, Human Resources WSL, by uploading the following requested documents through our webpage.

  • Applications via email will not be considered. The application should include : 1) a cover letter with a concise statement about your previous research, your vision for the future and your motivation to work on this project (2-3 pages maximum);
  • 2) a curriculum vitae including (if applicable) the list of publications; 3) copies of your academic qualifications; and 4) names and contact information of 2-3 academic references.

    Dr Anita Risch (anita.risch or Dr Francesco Pomati (francesco.pomati will be happy to answer any questions or offer further information.

    The WSL strives to increase the proportion of women in its employment, which is why qualified women are particularly called upon to apply for this position.

    Apply now Apply with xeebo Zürcherstrasse 111, CH-8903 Birmensdorf


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