Open Positions

URPP Global Change Biodiversity Open Positions

The University of Zurich (UZH) Research Priority Programme (URPP) on Global Change and Biodiversity (GCB) is an established interdisciplinary research program (http://www.gcb.uzh.ch). Biodiversity is both a response variable affected by global change drivers (land use change, climate change, invasions, exploitation, and pollution)  and a factor modifying ecosystem processes and services that are essential to human well-being. An improved capability to predict the consequences of changes in drivers will aid improved prediction of the state of the environment. The URPP GCB implements innovative avenues in this research domain by using a latitudinal gradient approach based on interactions, feedback and scale, to provide a more reliable and robust knowledge of global change processes.

We are looking for highly motivated, enthusiastic and independent applicants with a passion for science to join our research program. A high standard of written and spoken English is required. We offer outstanding working conditions, a high quality of life in Zurich, and an excellent support environment. The position start is as soon as a suitable candidate is found. Salaries correspond to the UZH regulations of PhD salaries. We invite applications for the following PhD positions:

Ref URPP-U1-  PhD position in remote sensing of genetically relevant forest traits 

We invite applications for a PhD position in remote sensing of genetically relevant forest traits. The University of Zurich (UZH) Research Priority Programme (URPP) on Global Change and Biodiversity (GCB) is an established interdisciplinary research program (http://www.gcb.uzh.ch). Biodiversity is both a response variable affected by global change drivers and a factor modifying ecosystem processes and services that are essential to human well-being. An improved capability to predict the consequences of changes in drivers will aid improved prediction of the state of the environment. The URPP GCB implements innovative avenues in this research domain by using a latitudinal gradient approach based on interactions, feedback and scale, to provide a more reliable and robust knowledge of global change processes. Global change (namely land use change, climate change, invasions, exploitation, and pollution) influences biodiversity and vice versa. We are looking for a motivated candidate, capable of doing research at the disciplinary boundaries of ecology, genetics and remote sensing. We therefore invite applications for a PhD position in remote sensing of genetically relevant forest traits. This project will link remotely sensed trait information of forests across a range of forested test sites (from boreal to temperate to tropical) to phylogenies and genetic structure to derive partial taxonomies of tree communities in nature and glasshouses. Remote sensing technologies to be used include imaging spectroscopy and laser scanning across a range of scales. The successful applicant will be based in Zurich and embedded in a supervisory team including Felix Morsdorf and Michael Schaepman . You will work in the Department of Geography, which hosts several research groups working on a variety of topics assessing the key drivers of global change and biodiversity. To apply, all applicants must have a completed master’s degree in either environmental science, ecology, remote sensing or a closely related science field. Applicants must be able to work with statistical tools and scripting languages (i.e. Matlab, Python, R). Experience in performing lab work (e.g. HPLC, microsatellites) is an asset, but not required. Candidates are expected to conduct field work and glasshouse research. A high standard of written and spoken English is mandatory. The position can start as soon as a suitable candidate is found. Salaries correspond to the UZH regulations of PhD salaries. We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic and independent person with a passion for science to join our team. We offer outstanding working conditions, a high quality of life in Zurich, and an excellent support environment. Please upload your application (including position reference URPP-U1) (motivation letter, complete CV, and names of 2 references) https://www.appointments.mnf.uzh.ch/position/7012355. Selection of candidates will begin 20 January 2019. Preferred starting date in Zurich is March 2019 or upon agreement. For further questions, please contact felix.morsdorf@geo.uzh.ch.

Ref: RSL-R1 Postdoc position in Remote Sensing and Biodiversity

We invite applications for a scientific position in the field of remote sensing and biodiversity. The Remote Sensing Laboratories (RSL), University of Zurich (UZH) are looking for a postdoc or an experienced remote sensing specialist with a Master’s degree to work in the domain of biodiversity, land surface phenology and Earth observation. The position includes work in the GlobDiversity project (www.globdiversity.net) as well as activities in support of the Swiss remote sensing community. The international GlobDiversity project (funded by the European Space Agency ESA) is designed to develop and engineer remote sensing enabled Essential Biodiversity Variables (RS-enabled EBVs) to contribute to a global monitoring system of key characteristics of biodiversity. In addition, the candidate shall be active in the research and development of potential Earth Observation (EO) products and support Swiss EO data users. The candidate will be working in outreach activities, be it with international or national audiences, as well as in the development of new methods, and software prototyping for processing and visualization of EO data. Skills and knowledge in programming (e.g., Python, Matlab, R, etc.) and analysis of large time series of remote sensing data (e.g., drone, airborne or satellite data) are required. In addition, excellent communication skills for working in multi-disciplinary projects and target-oriented outreach activities (e.g., students, professionals, non-EO scientists) are needed. Knowledge of the Swiss remote sensing and national or international space environment is an asset. A high standard of written and spoken English is mandatory. The successful applicant will be based in Zurich at Irchel campus and embedded in a team including Claudia Röösli  and Michael Schaepman. You will work in the Department of Geography that hosts several research groups working on a variety of topics assessing the key drivers of biodiversity and global change using remote sensing. You will work at the Remote Sensing Laboratories having substantial expertise in various remote sensing techniques such as spectroscopy, radar and LiDAR as well as in various application fields such as biodiversity, water systems or Earth system science. We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic, creative and independent person with a passion for science to join our team. We offer outstanding working conditions, a high quality of life in Zurich, and an excellent support environment. A suitable candidate can start as soon as a candidate is found, ideally as of 1 February 2018. Salaries correspond to the UZH regulations of postdoc / research associate salaries. Please send your application (motivation letter, complete CV, and names of 2 references) to https://www.appointments.mnf.uzh.ch/position/7012356. For further questions, please contact michael.schaepman@geo.uzh.ch or claudia.roeoesli@geo.uzh.ch.

Ref URPP-N2: PhD position in remote sensing of plant ecological genetics

We invite applications for a PhD position in remote sensing of ecological genetics. The University of Zurich (UZH) Research Priority Programme (URPP) on Global Change and Biodiversity (GCB) is an established interdisciplinary research program (http://www.gcb.uzh.ch). Biodiversity is both a response variable affected by global change drivers and a factor modifying ecosystem processes and services that are essential to human well-being. An improved capability to predict the consequences of changes in drivers will aid improved prediction of the state of the environment. The URPP GCB implements innovative avenues in this research domain by using a latitudinal gradient approach based on interactions, feedback and scale, to provide more reliable and robust knowledge of global change processes. Global change (namely land use change, climate change, invasions, exploitation, and pollution) influences biodiversity and vice versa. We are looking for a motivated candidate, capable of doing research at the disciplinary boundaries of (spatial) genetics, chemistry, and remote sensing. We therefore invite applications for a PhD position in remote sensing of plant ecological genetics. Plants are the trophic basis of terrestrial ecosystems and their diversity structures ecological communities. Both plant genetic and species-level diversity have large effects in biodiversity experiments. To determine their importance in natural communities requires methods for large-scale and long-term monitoring. Remote sensing technologies have this potential. Recent, cutting-edge studies have demonstrated the ability of spectroscopic imaging and laser scanning techniques to identify plant species and quantify several biochemical and structural traits, and a few studies have differentiated plant genotypes. While catalogues of species and traits are now being established using multiple approaches, data on genetic diversity is more sporadic, and laborious to collect. Yet genetic diversity is a key determinant of adaptive potential for species in a changing climate. This project seeks to develop the use of remote sensing technologies to quantify plant genetic diversity. Technologies to be used include spectroscopic imaging and laser scanning across a range of scales. The successful applicant will be based in Zurich and embedded in a supervisory team including Meredith Schuman, and Michael Schaepman. You will work in the Department of Geography, which hosts several research groups working on a variety of topics assessing the key drivers of global change and biodiversity. To apply, all applicants must have a completed master’s degree in genetics, bioinformatics, or a closely related scientific field. Applicants must be able to work with statistical tools and scripting languages (i.e. Matlab, Python, R), have experience with genetic analyses (e.g. genome, transcriptome, genetic mapping, and genotype x environment studies), and be motivated to conduct field and glasshouse research (experience is an asset). Understanding of spatial statistics or higher order statistics is an asset. A high standard of written and spoken English is mandatory. The position can start as soon as a suitable candidate is found. Salaries correspond to the UZH regulations of PhD salaries. We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic and independent person with a passion for science to join our team. We offer outstanding working conditions, a high quality of life in Zurich, and an excellent support environment. Please upload your application (including position reference URPP-N2) (motivation letter, complete CV, and names of 2 references) to https://www.appointments.mnf.uzh.ch/position/7012353. Selection of candidates will begin January 20, 2019. Preferred starting date in Zurich is July 2019 or upon agreement. For further questions, please contact meredith.schuman@geo.uzh.ch or michael.schaepman@geo.uzh.ch.

 Ref URPP-N3: PhD position in remote sensing of plant chemical ecology

We invite applications for a PhD position in remote sensing of plant chemical ecology. The University of Zurich (UZH) Research Priority Programme (URPP) on Global Change and Biodiversity (GCB) is an established interdisciplinary research program (http://www.gcb.uzh.ch). Biodiversity is both a response variable affected by global change drivers and a factor modifying ecosystem processes and services that are essential to human well-being. An improved capability to predict the consequences of changes in drivers will aid improved prediction of the state of the environment. The URPP GCB implements innovative avenues in this research domain by using a latitudinal gradient approach based on interactions, feedback and scale, to provide more reliable and robust knowledge of global change processes. Global change (namely land use change, climate change, invasions, exploitation, and pollution) influences biodiversity and vice versa. We are looking for a motivated candidate, capable of doing research at the disciplinary boundaries of geoecology, chemistry, and remote sensing. We therefore invite applications for a PhD position in remote sensing of plant chemical ecology. Plants are the trophic basis of terrestrial ecosystems and their diversity structures ecological communities. Specifically, plant genetic and species-level diversity have large effects, but the mechanisms underlying these effects are still poorly understood. Plant chemical traits, in particular specialized metabolites, can be strong determinants of ecological interactions and community structure. However, the requirement for time-resolved destructive sampling from individual plants has hindered testing of community-level hypotheses. This project seeks to develop the use of remote sensing technologies to describe the distribution and dynamics of chemical traits which mediate ecological interactions of plants with other organisms. Remote sensing technologies to be used include spectrometry and spectroscopy techniques across a range of scales. The successful applicant will be based in Zurich and embedded in a supervisory team including Meredith Schuman, and Michael Schaepman . You will work in the Department of Geography, which hosts several research groups working on a variety of topics assessing the key drivers of global change and biodiversity. To apply, applicants must have a completed master’s degree in either chemical ecology, analytical chemistry, remote sensing (spectroscopy with experience in chemical trait analysis), or a closely related scientific field. Applicants must be able to work with statistical tools and scripting languages (i.e. Matlab, Python, R), have hands-on experience with analytical techniques including spectroscopy and/or LCMS and GC-MS, and be motivated to conduct field and glasshouse research (experience is an asset). A high standard of written and spoken English is mandatory. The position can start as soon as a suitable candidate is found. Salaries correspond to the UZH regulations of PhD salaries. We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic and independent person with a passion for science to join our team. We offer outstanding working conditions, a high quality of life in Zurich, and an excellent support environment. Please upload your application (including position reference URPP-N3) (motivation letter, complete CV, and names of 2 references) to https://www.appointments.mnf.uzh.ch/position/7012354. Selection of candidates will begin January 20, 2019 and continue until the position is filled. Preferred starting date in Zurich is July 2019 or upon agreement. For further questions, please contact meredith.schuman@geo.uzh.ch.