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 Research Unit Biodiversity and Conservation Biology studies the diversity of life in its various forms, from genetic diversity to the diversity of species and ecosystems as well as their interactions. In the framework of the Swiss Forest Lab project (RemHybridMon) the Evolutionary Genetics Group
is looking from January 1st
or by arrangement, for the duration of 12 months
for a (f/m/d)
PostDoc in ecological data fusion (80-100%)
The transfer of forest tree species and provenances – so-called assisted migration (AM) – is a climate adaptation forest management strategy. Given the alarming rate of global warming, AM is becoming a necessity for resource producing species with long generation times, such as forest trees. RemHybridMon is aimed at developing a cost-effective remote sensing tool to monitor the hybridization between different forest tree provenances or closely related species upon their introduction in the framework of AM programs. Monitoring the rate of hybridization and the spread of genetic variants using field sampling of individuals and their genetic evaluation is impractical and expensive. RemHybridMon will develop a protocol based on machine learning to remotely detect hybridization using optical spectroscopy and photogrammetry in the case of two beech sub-species: European and Oriental beech. This project is based on data from three sites, one in Switzerland, one in France and one in Germany, where Oriental beech has been introduced during the 20th century. Tree level (leaf contact measures), stand level (drone-based imaging) and regional level (satellite imaging) data have been collected during the summers of 2021 and 2022 from trees with known subspecies status. The future PostDoc will be involved in the analysis and dissemination of existing data only.
Ideal candidates hold a PhD degree in a subject related field and have a strong interested in data science and remote sensing, and have had some exposure to plant science and population genetics as well. Prior experience with machine learning, fluency in python and in R are essential for this position. We are looking for an independent person, who can “grab and go” with the large amounts of data available for this project and is efficient at completing a project within one year. The project involves several experts in the fields of remote sensing and machine learning and the future PostDoc is expected to capitalize on these collaborations. Although the position will be based at the WSL in Birmensdorf, the future PostDoc will closely interact with Prof Dr Meredith Schuman and her research group in Spatial Genetics
at the University of Zurich. Desk space will be available at both institutions.
Please send your complete application to Michèle Bucher, Human Resources WSL, by uploading the requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered. Katalin Csilléry, katalin.csillery(at)wsl.ch, will be happy to answer any questions. The WSL strives to increase the propor-tion of women in its employment, which is why qualified women are particularly called upon to apply for this position.