PhD - position in Plant Ecology and Ecological Modeling ~

7 de junio de 2005

PhD - position in Plant Ecology and Ecological Modeling

A PhD - position is available at the University of Tübingen, Germany, within a DFG-project dealing with the impact of disturbances on diversity of grassland plant communities. The project has started in August 2004 with a predominantly empirical part. We are now searching for a candidate who will be primarily responsible for modeling the response of grassland vegetation to disturbances at different spatial and temporal scales.

In particular, we investigate the interaction of unpredictable, small-scale disturbances and regular, large-scale disturbances in determining coexistence of grassland plants. As a case study, we have selected species-rich meadows that are characterized by two kinds of disturbances: molehills and flooding. The empirical studies are conduced under the supervision of the University of Potsdam, Germany, in wet meadows in the Federal State of Brandenburg, approx. 100km west of Berlin.

The main component of the work will be modeling, based on the available data from the empirical study started in August 2004 and on results of an initial, small-scale model of plant-plant interactions. The questions to be answered by the modeling study are about the impact of timing of disturbance on a species' response and on the role of disturbances as mediators of coexistence between similar plant species. Furthermore, the scale-dependence of disturbance effects should be investigated with respect to the life history of selected model species. Despite the focus on theoretical work, the candidate should also perform several competition experiments with selected model species for parameterizing the model.

The candidate should hold a Diploma or a Masters Degree in Biology or Ecology. Special skills required include a good knowledge of spatial ecological modeling (C++), plant population ecology and/or community ecology and a good knowledge of statistics and experimental design. The candidate is expected to closely cooperate with the second PhD – student from the University of Potsdam, Germany.

The position is initially limited to one year, starting on August 15, 2005. However, the project is scheduled for three years, and will be evaluated in April 2006. After positive evaluation, the position will be extended by another two years.

Place of employment will be at the Plant Ecology lab (Prof. Dr. Katja
Tielbörger) at the University of Tübingen, Germany, with co-supervision by our collaborators at Potsdam University (Prof. Dr. Florian Jeltsch). Payment will be according to the German standard tariff for public services (BAT II a /2). Please contact Katja Tielbörger for further details (

Candidates should send the following documents via e-mail to Prof. Dr. Katja Tielbörger ( by July 10, 2005:

1) Statement of interest
2) Curriculum Vitae, including key skills
3) Name and address (including Email) of two references

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