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.

In a collaboration between Yale University and the WSL, we are working to understand how heat extremes, and refugia, change across spatial and temporal scales, in order to project thermal landscapes on an ever-changing plant. This project is part of a larger, multi-institutional initiative led by Yale University to understand how life adapts (or not) to hot climate states. In the framework of this program, the Spatial Evolutionary Ecology Group in the Research Unit Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, in collaboration with the Dynamic Macroecology group in the Land Change Science Research Unit of WSL, is searching for a one-year (with option for one year of extension) with a start between March 1 and May 1, 2024
PostDoc in Spatial-Temporal Scaling of Thermal Landscapes 80-100% (f/m/d)
Extreme heat affects life at the individual scale –in the location and time in which they exist. On a warm and warming planet, how thermal refugia scale in space and time is a key factor for survival. A goal of this research is to explore the relationship of (macro-)climate to microclimate as it varies in response to major determinants like topography, land cover, distance from water, etc. As part of this project, we aim to generate a number of bioclimatic variables related to heat stress in different major groups of organisms (ecotherms, endotherms, plants). This project will be carried out in close collaboration with the technical support scientist in the Dynamic Macroecology group downscaling the climate data, as well as the project mentors. You will investigate the spatial-temporal scaling of temperature extremes in using highly resolved climate data in order to project the effect of extreme heat on organisms in the coming decades. In the second phase of the project, you will leverage these relationships to model the likely thermal exposure of a range of organisms to extreme heat by 2100. You will be based at WSL in Birmensdorf in the Research Unit Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, and will work in collaboration with the Dynamic Macroecology group at WSL and with Yale University in the United States.
You have a PhD in climate science, environmental sciences, geography, ecology or a related field. Experience in handling and analyzing big data sets and in working with environmental layers and ecological data is a requirement. Skills in Python and R are a necessity in this position. Strong skills in using computing, data science and/or AI, are a plus. You should be proficient in English, have a demonstrated capacity to write scientific papers, and be ambitious, creative, and highly motivated. You should also be used to a high standard of independent, structured, and careful work, and be excited to work in a collaborative team of international and interdisciplinary researchers. If this describes your background and working style, you have the right qualifications for this position. 

Please submit your complete application to Michèle Bucher, Human Resources WSL, by uploading the requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered. For further information, contact Dr. Catherine Graham catherine.graham(at), Dr. Pincelli Hull pincelli.hull(at) and Dr. Dirk N. Karger dirk.karger(at) 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. Applications will be considered until the positions are filled, but we will start evaluating applicants immediately and thus encourage submissions by mid to late January 2024.
Zürcherstrasse 111, CH-8903 Birmensdorf