PhD student (f/m/d)

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.

The DFG funded project “CONFOR: Ecohydrological connectivity between trees and the capillary zone - a key driver for drought resilience of European forests?” aims to quantify spatiotemporal dynamics and feedbacks between precipitation infiltration and capillary rise from groundwater replenishing the capillary zone as well the interaction of typical European forest trees with distinct water-use strategies and rooting depth with the deep soil water pools. We aim to use a combination of ecohydrological, plant physiological, geophysical, and model-based approaches on our central observational site in Apelern, nearby Hanover. Within the advertised PhD-project the selected candidate will quantify key physiological (single-tree to stand-scale transpiration and net carbon uptake; stomatal conductance; tree water potentials) and phenological parameters (leaf area index, stem diameter growth, rooting depth) to assess water use, productivity and drought mitigation strategies.

We are offering a 65% position temporarily limited for 36 months at our location in Müncheberg as a

PhD student (f/m/d)

Your tasks:

  • establishment of a new field site with an ecophysiological sensor network
  • independent analysis of ecophysiological continuously measured variables (e.g. sapflux, water potentials)
  • independent measurements of stomatal conductance and related leaf and plant physiological parameters to assess drought responses of different tree species
  • laboratory analysis of leaf samples to assess water use efficiency, tree ring and phloem sap isotopic data under field and laboratory conditions using stable carbon, oxygen and hydrogen isotope analysis
  • close collaboration with the other PhD students and members of the project and working group
  • presentation of research results at national/international conferences
  • publication of results in peer-reviewed scientific journals

Your qualifications:

  • University degree (Univ.-Diplom or M.Sc.) in the field of geoecology, biology, forestry, environmental, soil science or related subjects
  • profound knowledge in biogeochemistry, ecohydrology and plant eco-physiology
  • knowledge of forest ecosystems are beneficial
  • willingness to conduct physically demanding field work during field trips over several days
  • team spirit, flexibility, high motivation and the ability to work independently
  • scientific curiosity and willingness to work on a doctoral thesis
  • excellent communication and writing skills in English

What we offer:

  • an interdisciplinary working environment that encourages independence and self-reliance
  • classification according to the collective agreement of the federal states (TV-L) up to EG13/ 65% (including special annual payment)
  • a collegial and open-minded working atmosphere in a dynamic research institution
  • family-orientated work
  • an interdisciplinary and international working environment

Women are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications from severely disabled persons with equal qualifications are favored. It is generally possible to work in the position on a part-time basis. 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 99-2022 until 31 October 2022 to (see button e-mail application below).

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: Dr. Maren Dubbert, phone +49(0)33432/82-574, Email :
Application documents sent by post or extensive publications will not be returned

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. Maren Dubbert
033432 82-574
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