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 initiative on Blue-Green Biodiversity (BGB) in 2020. Its goal is to strengthen interdisciplinary biodiversity research of WSL and Eawag in order to find answers to urgent social challenges of biodiversity loss at the boundary between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The project is now in its second phase. Please find more information on our homepages: BGB Initiative at WSL.

In the framework of this initiative, the Plant-Animal Interactions Group at WSL in collaboration with the Phytoplankton Ecology Group at Eawag, is searching from late spring 2023 for the duration of 2 years a
PostDoc in Community Ecology (f/m/d)
The goal of the PostDoc project is to study how beavers, as ecosystem engineers, affect species interaction networks on land, in water and across these boundaries. We will also focus on what role functional traits have in establishing these interactions, and how functional diversity relates to local ecosystem processes. By assessing the composition and abundances of different aquatic and terrestrial biotic communities, the PostDoc will study how habitat heterogeneity relates to taxonomic and functional diversity, the strength and number of species interactions as well as the connectivity of ecological networks. By linking biodiversity to ecosystem processes, the PostDoc will assess how and to what extent beaver-engineered ecosystems can mitigate anthropogenic impacts across land-water interfaces.

The PostDoc will profit from a highly diverse team of experts composed of both basic science and practice. The fundamentally interdisciplinary nature of the project will allow the PostDoc to work at the intersection of biodiversity, ecological networks and ecosystem functioning across the land-water boundaries, and on how biodiversity can mitigate human impacts. Most of the work will be focusing on analyses and writing. The work will be conducted in close collaboration with the PhD student that is already working on the project. The PostDoc will either be based in the Plant-Animal Interactions Group at WSL, or in the Phytoplankton Ecology Group at Eawag and be a guest in the other group. The workplace will be decided depending on profile and preference of the candidate. 
The successful candidate is expected to hold a PhD in ecology or related fields, has a strong conceptual thinking, in-depth experience in ecological data analyses, and trait-based ecology. The candidate has extended skills in scientific communication, including paper writing. Other skills include computer programming (e.g., R / Python), experience with large and heterogeneous datasets, community ecology principles, food-webs or ecological networks. Fluency in English is required. We search for creative and curious individuals, brave enough to work across disciplines, and genuinely motivated to advance community ecology. The job requires a collaborative attitude, communication skills and high levels of team spirit. 

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 pages maximum); 2) a curriculum vitae including your list of publications; 3) copies of your academic qualifications; and 4) names and contact information of 2-3 academic references (please do not include letters with the application). Please send your complete application to Beatrice Lamprecht, Human Resources WSL, by uploading the above requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered. PD Dr Anita Risch ( or Dr Francesco Pomati ( 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. 
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