Postdoc position in Long-Term Forest Dynamics

80%-100%, Zurich, temporary

The Forest Ecology Group at ETH is a dynamic interdisciplinary research team that examines both theoretical and applied questions in forest ecology using a combination of empirical and modeling techniques. The overarching aim of the group is to further our understanding of the structure and function of forest ecosystems, with a particular focus on mountain areas such as the European Alps. We offer world-class facilities in a relaxing work atmosphere with ample opportunities for collaboration within and beyond our group.

Job description
We seek to appoint a new group member to conduct and co-supervise research activities that deal with long-term forest dynamics based on the use of dynamic, individual-based models, specifically ForClim and LandClim, both of which have been developed in our group. The models are used to shed light on the relationship between abiotic driving forces, system-internal processes and ecosystem properties, with an emphasis on their development through time at decadal to centennial time scales.

You will develop research activities in one or several of the following fields:

  • Aboveground-belowground linkages and the long-term sustainability of forest management
  • Structural model uncertainty at the stand and/or landscape scale
  • Non-linear responses to drivers of environmental change, including the possibility of multiple stable states and hysteretic behavior of forest stands and/or landscapes

The co-supervision of PhD and MSc students as well as the supervision of BSc students is an integral part of the job, albeit at a low level (max. 20%). Involvement in formal teaching at ETH (MSc level) is possible.

Starting date: 1 January 2020, negotiable within limits.

Duration of appointment: Two years, with possibility of extension depending on performance and the development of the funding situation.

Your profile
You have a PhD degree in forest sciences, environmental sciences, ecology, forestry, landscape ecology, or a related field, with good knowledge of forest ecology. Experience with the development, testing and application of dynamic models at the stand or landscape scale is a prerequisite for this position. Knowledge of the R software and of the C family of programming languages (C++, C#) is a strong asset. Knowledge of European forest ecosystems is highly welcome. Finally, candidates should have good skills in statistics.

The screening of applications will start on 1 October 2019. Applications are accepted until the position is filled.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.
Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents: Cover letter (1-2 pages) explaining your interests, your CV, diploma transcripts (BSc/MSc/PhD) from which the grades are evident, and the names and addresses (including e-mail) of three reference persons. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about the Forest Ecology Group can be found on our website, For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Harald Bugmann, (no applications).

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