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Switzerland, ETH Zurich – PhD position in Modelling Natural Disturbances Dynamics

ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Chair of Forest Ecology offers PhD position in Modelling Natural Disturbances Dynamics – ETHZurich, Switzerland 2022.






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General Info

Position: PhD
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , , ,
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 4 years
Salary: According to Standard Norms

Chair of Forest Ecology
ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland

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Qualification Details

Essential experience, skills, and characteristics:

  • A MSc degree in forest sciences, forestry, environmental sciences, ecology, geography, landscape ecology, or a related field, with good knowledge of forest ecology
  • Curiosity regarding forest dynamics, natural disturbances, climate change, and the processes shaping patterns in forest landscapes
  • Good knowledge on statistics
  • Good command of English (oral and written)
  • Strong teamwork and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently, with flexibility, humour, and critical thinking
  • Willingness and capacity to learn
  • Motivated to work with data, numbers, code, and computers

Desirable criteria:

  • Familiarity with forest landscape models
  • Experience with the development, testing and application of forest dynamic models
  • Knowledge in Git and programming languages such as R, C++ or C#
  • Familiarity with European forest ecosystems

Responsibilities/Job Description

You will investigate the uncertainty induced in long-term forest dynamics projections considering natural disturbances and climate change impacts and their interactions using multi-model simulations (e.g., LandClim and other landscape forest models), emphasizing the models’ structural uncertainty. You will constrain the modeling uncertainty based on data from multiple spatial and temporal scales, including terrestrial inventories and remote sensing data.

The 4-year PhD position is based in the Professorship of Forest Ecology at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. There will be a requirement to take courses at ETH Zurich as part of the PhD training programme.

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page

Reference Number: -
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • A letter (1-2 pages) explaining your interests and motivation to apply for this position
  • Copies of BSc and MSc educational records from which the grades are evident
  • Names and contact details of three reference persons

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. Screening of applications will start on 31st of January 2022. Applications are accepted until the position is filled.

About the Project

The Professorship of Forest Ecology at ETH Zurich is a dynamic interdisciplinary research team that examines both theoretical and applied questions in forest ecology by combining empirical and modeling techniques. The overall aim of the group is to further our understanding of the structure and function of forest ecosystems, with a particular focus on mountain areas such as the European Alps. We offer excellent facilities in a relaxing work atmosphere with many opportunities for collaboration within and beyond the group.

Forests provide fundamental products and services to society, such as timber, carbon storage or biodiversity. The capacity of forests to provide these ecosystem services (ES) is greatly influenced by climate change and natural disturbances. Models of forest landscape dynamics are often used to better understand vegetation changes and to assess the future provisioning of ES. Because such projections are of high societal importance, it is imperative to understand the underlying uncertainty. In the context of a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, we investigate the uncertainty inherent in three models of long-term forest landscape dynamics, focusing on natural disturbance predictions and climate impacts. The specific objectives are to (1) assess and analyze the uncertainty in long-term projections considering natural disturbance impacts and their interactions; (2) integrate the new knowledge into these modeling frameworks; and (3) provide robust projections of future forest landscape dynamics under the influence of disturbances.

About the Department

Further information about our group can be found on our website:

About the Employer: ETH Zurich, Switzerland

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Contact details

For further information, please contact Olalla Díaz-Yáñez phone no. +41-44-632-5394 or email (no application documents).

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