Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL

The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL is a part of the ETH domain. Approximately 500 people work on the sustainable use and protection of the environment and on the handling of natural hazards.

The Research Unit Forest Dynamics assesses the effects of changing environmental conditions on tree physiology and forest ecosystem functioning. For a newly established SNF-Ambizione research group, we are seeking by spring/summer 2019 for a

PhD student in plant ecophysiology and biogeochemistry

You will be part of a larger project at the WSL (approx. 10 min outside of Zurich), including collaborations with national (ETH Zurich, University of Basel) and international institutions (LUKE in Finland), aiming at developing new analytical approaches that will be used to improve our understanding on stable isotope fractionation models in plant material. You will perform experiments under strongly controlled conditions and in Swiss forests to better understand how changes in environmental (e.g. temperature and humidity) and hydrological conditions (e.g. drought) affect the stable isotope composition in assimilates, carbon storages, and annual rings of young and mature trees. You will apply methods in the laboratory from a wide range of different fields including biochemistry, hydrology or dendrochronology. You will conduct compound-specific analysis on cutting-edge instruments in the WSL stable isotope research center (SIRC) and assist the development of new methods.

You hold a Master’s degree in plant physiology, bio(geo-)chemistry, ecology, environmental science or in an equivalent field. You ideally have already gained experience in performing plant experiments and/or stable isotope measurements, and in statistical modeling software such as R. You possess advanced oral and written English skills, and may have already written or published a research article. Furthermore, you are independent, self-motivated, and excited to take on a challenging project in the framework of climate change research.

Please send your complete application to Stefania Pe, Human Resources WSL. Dr. Marco Lehmann ( 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. Please upload the requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered.

Zürcherstrasse 111, CH-8903 Birmensdorf