PhD in ecology (Germany) ~

18 de noviembre de 2015

PhD in ecology (Germany)

The Institute of Landscape and Plant Ecology at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart (Germany) seeks a PhD student in ecology. Preferred starting date is 1 January 2016 (negotiable up to 1 March 2016), for a duration of three years.


The position is part of a DFG (German Research Foundation) funded project on long-term dynamics of plant invasions (led by Dr. Christine Sheppard). The aim of this project is to elucidate ecological and evolutionary mechanisms causing differences in invasion dynamics along an alien-native species continuum. This continuum comprises species of different residence times in Central Europe, from neophytes through archaeophytes to native species. The project will investigate how residence time, abiotic dissimilarity between the native and invaded range and biotic dissimilarity between the invader and native community interact to determine the performance and impacts of plant species. Over long timeframes, following initial population growth and range expansion of invaders, do eco-evolutionary processes eventually limit or decrease the performance and impacts of invaders? For instance, natural enemies of invaders may accumulate over time or native species may respond to the invade!
 r’s presence with evolutionary adaptions. To address such questions, the project will use Asteraceae in Central Europe as a study system. Major tasks of the PhD student will be to plan, conduct and analyse multi-species common garden experiments with Asteraceae species of varying residence times. In these experiments, establishment success, competitive interactions and biotic resistance of a native resident grassland community will be investigated. The results from these experiments will be combined with macroecological analyses to determine how eco-evolutionary dynamics of invaders and resident plant communities shape the effects of residence time on invader performance and impacts.


We are seeking a highly motivated student with a very good MSc (or equivalent) degree in ecology or a related discipline. The applicant should have a solid background and deep interest in ecological research, should be highly organised, self-dependent and have good communication skills. The applicant should also have some previous experience with experimental plant ecology and have good knowledge of statistical data analysis (preferably using R). English language proficiency is required (both spoken and written), whereas knowledge of German is not mandatory.

Additional benefits

We offer a position in a young and dynamic international research group (led by Prof. Dr. Frank Schurr). Using a broad methodological spectrum, our group aims to better understand and forecast biodiversity dynamics under global change (see also The University of Hohenheim is located on a beautiful campus situated in the Southern German city of Stuttgart, which offers a rich cultural life and attractive surroundings (Swabian Alb, Black Forest).

Salary and conditions are according to public service positions in Germany (TV-L E13; 65%; see


For further information and to submit applications please contact Dr. Christine Sabine Sheppard (

Applications should include a motivation letter, CV, certificates and the names and contact details of two potential referees in a single PDF document.

International candidates are highly encouraged to apply. The University of Hohenheim is an equal opportunity employer and particularly encourages applications from women.

Application deadline is 13 December 2015.

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