PhD ‘Forest communities across natural and anthropogenic gradients in the Eastern Himalayas’ (m/f/x)

Updated: 29 days ago
Location: Leipzig, SACHSEN

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) with its 1,100 employees has gained an excellent reputation as an international competence centre for environmental sciences. We are part of the largest scientific organisation in Germany, the Helmholtz association. Our mission: Our research seeks to find a balance between social development and the long-term protection of our natural resources.

The Department of Community Ecology offers a position that is affiliated to the Spatial Interaction Ecology (SIE) research group of Prof. Tiffany Knight.

Working time: 65% (25.35 hours per week), limited to 3 years

The position will be located at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research Halle-Jena-Leipzig (iDiv) in Leipzig, Germany in cooperation with the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research- UFZ. The working language at iDiv and within SIE is English.

Your duties:
The goal of this position is to work on the understanding how changes in elevation, reforestation methods and human disturbances will influence the patterns of diversity and community composition of forests, including the presence of invasive species, as well as the demography of economically important native woody species. The research will focus on forests in the Eastern Himalayans that have experienced recent disturbances and a diversity of reforestation activities.

Your tasks:

• Independent planning, organization and implementation of a research project, including field work, on the responses of forest communities to natural and anthropogenic drivers in the Eastern Himalayans to be conducted over several years
• Construction of matrix population and integral projection models to link plant demography to plant population dynamics
• Analysis and statistical evaluation of community data for diversity, composition and biomass in forest ecosystems that support local livelihoods
• Publication of results in internationally peer-reviewed journals and preparation of a PhD thesis
• Participation in teaching and mentoring of interns, Bachelor and/or Master students in the SIE research group
• Be an active and engaged member of the scientific community at UFZ, including the graduate school HIGRADE, iDiv and affiliated institutions and support the general dissemination of research results

Your profile:

• University degree related to plant ecology, forestry or related field (Diploma/ M.Sc.)
• Experience in designing and undertaking field research in forest community ecology, including experience identifying tree species, preferably in the Eastern Himalayan region
• Strong quantitative skills, with knowledge of QGIS and R
• Experience working with stakeholders, including government and non-for profit organisations on sustainable forestry in remote locations in the context of emerging countries
• Fluent in English (spoken and written) with excellent communication skills, basic knowledge of German and North Indian languages (e.g., Hindi, Nepali, Bengali) are an asset but not required
• Experience working in an international collaborative working group
• Experience in supervision and teaching is an asset

Applications should be done via our online application system and include (i) a letter of interest, (ii) a brief overview of the skills and experiences that the candidate has that could be applied to this topic (1 page), (iii) curriculum vitae, and (iv) the names and E- Mail addresses of two individuals who could provide an evaluation of the candidate upon request. Interviews are envisioned to take place at the end of March.

We offer:
  • Top level interdisciplinary research at a research centre which enjoys an excellent reputation within Germany as well as internationally
  • Excellent technical facilities
  • Work in inter-disciplinary and multinational teams
  • Excellent links to national and international research networks
  • Support and optimal training courses by our graduate school (HIGRADE)
  • Remuneration in accordance with the TVöD public-sector pay grade 13 (65%)

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