Doctoral Researcher (f/m/d) - Project: CeratoVirPlus

Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V.

The mission of the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) as a nationally and internationally active research institute is to deliver solutions for an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable agriculture – together with society. ZALF is a member of the Leibniz Association and is located in Müncheberg (approx. 35 minutes by regional train from Berlin-Lichtenberg).

It also maintains a research station with further locations in Dedelow and Paulinenaue.

In cooperation with the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Department of Ecological Modelling, in Leipzig, a position is available on a temporary basis within a project on research on native biting midges, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). The focus of the project

"Biting midge (Ceratopogonidae)-borne viruses as important factors influencing livestock husbandry in Germany - monitoring, bionomics, genetics and infection (CeratoVirPlus)"

is on the distribution of biting midges species and their binding to habitat and landscape structures. The project is carried out in close cooperation with the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Greifswald - Insel Riems.

Subject to the release of funds, we are looking for a 65% (TV-L up to EG13) position with immediate effect for 3 years at the Leipzig location for a

Doctoral researcher (f/m/d)


Your tasks:

The research project deals with biting midges as vectors of pathogens in the framework of the present bluetongue outbreak in Germany. In connection with a multi-year collection of biting midge distribution data from all over Germany, it is planned to quantify habitat use and landscape connectivity of different biting midge species. The dataset available for use documents biting midge occurrence over more than six years and thus offers a special opportunity to contribute scientifically to the topic through modelling.

Your tasks:

  • independent ecological-epidemiological modelling of a long-term monitoring dataset on native biting midge species
  • development and analysis of habitat and landscape binding structures
  • biological-physiological distribution modelling on these species
  • investigating the effect of landscape attributes on biting midge abundance
  • dealing with modern climate predictors
  • combining existing large data sets
  • structural equation modelling of multi-species occurrences

Your qualifications:

  • Diploma or master's degree in a natural sciences or equivalent degree in a comparable field
  • evidence of independent scientific work
  • effective use of geographic information systems (GIS) is required
  • basic understanding of statistical data modelling is expected
  • habitat and/or ecological modelling skills are desired
  • knowledge of Structural Equation Models is advantageous
  • experience in systematic data research is advantageous
  • willingness to travel is required (multiple locations, project meetings)
  • willingness to participate in international meetings and public presentation of results
  • good knowledge of the English language, both written and spoken, is desired
  • ability to work in a team is required for interdisciplinary work

What we offer:

  • an interdisciplinary working environment that promotes self-responsible action and independent work
  • integration in the doctoral networks of the UFZ (HIGRADE) and the ZALF
  • working experience in collaborative scientific projects and communicating with science users
  • opportunities to participate in conferences
  • a collegial and open-minded working atmosphere in dynamic research institutions and established research groups
  • grouping according to the collective agreement of the federal states (TV-L) up to EG13, 65 % (including annual special payment)
  • company ticket ZALF

 Women are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications from severely disabled persons with equal qualifications are favored. The filling of the position in part-time is possible in principle. Please send your application preferably online (see button online application below).

For e-mail applications, create a PDF document (one PDF file, max. 5 MB; packed PDF documents, archive files like zip, rar etc. Word documents cannot be processed and therefore cannot be considered!) with the usual documents, in particular CV, proof of qualification and certificates, stating the

  • reference number 38-2024
  • until 26 May 2024

to (see button e-mail application below).

  • If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Doreen Werner, email:, Tel. 033432/82-363, or Dr. Hans-H. Thulke, Email:, Tel. 0341/235-1712.

For cost reasons, application documents or extensive publications can only be returned if an adequately stamped envelope is attached.

If you apply, we collect and process your personal data in accordance with Articles 5 and 6 of the EU GDPR only for the processing of your application and for purposes that result from possible future employment with the ZALF. Your data will be deleted after six months.

Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V.
Eberswalder Straße 84
15374 Müncheberg
Dr. Doreen Werner, Dr. Hans-H. Thulke
033432 82-363, 0341 235-1712
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