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 program on Blue-Green Biodiversity (BGB). 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: BGB Initiative WSL.

In the framework of this Project within the unit ‘Forest Health and Biotic Interactions’ Research Unit and the  ‘Forest Entomology‘ Group of WSL, in collaboration with the ‘Biogeochemistry‘ Group at Eawag, we are searching for four years, with a start between August and October 2021 a (f/m/d)

PhD student BGB in “Food-webs across aquatic-terrestrial environments in forests”
The selected candidate will assess the consequences of climate change and human impacts for multi-trophic interactions and food webs across aquatic and terrestrial ecotones in forest ecosystems and how this translates in a change of ecosystem functioning. To address this, she/he will use field sampling as well as aquatic and terrestrial mesocosms in field and lab experiments and apply advanced methods such as compound specific stable isotope and fatty acid analyses to construct food webs. The project will provide novel insights into the food-web dynamics in forest ecosystems in response to macro- and microclimate and management and derive recommendations for forest management to conserve biodiversity in Swiss forests. The successful applicant will be based in the research group at WSL in Birmensdorf, but will work in close collaboration with Carsten Schubert from Eawag and in close exchange with a team of internationally-oriented scientists from WSL, Eawag and ETH Zurich. The PhD degree will be awarded by the ETH Zurich.

The successful candidate is expected to hold a Master degree in Biology or Environmental Sciences with a strong background in community ecology, experimental studies, data management and statistical analyses. Other desired skills include a familiarity with stable isotope and fatty acid analyses. Furthermore, we expect a good command of English. Conceptual skills, an independent and structured way of working and a demonstrated high level of motivation and team spirit complete this profile.

Please send your complete application by end of May 2021 to Michèle Bucher, Human Resources WSL, by uploading the 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. Martin Gossner, martin.gossner(at), or Carsten Schuberg (Eawag), Carsten.schubert(at), 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.

Zürcherstrasse 111, CH-8903 Birmensdorf