PhD Position / Student (f/m/x): Soil Biodiversity and Function

Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung

The Senckenberg Nature Research Society (SGN) is an institution of the Leibniz Association with almost 800 employees in total. It operates six internationally leading research institutes located in seven federal states with its main headquarters in Frankfurt am Main. The SGN also administers the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Grube Messel".
For the Leibniz Collaborative Excellence project „Integrative Analysis of the influence of pesticides and land use on biodiversity in Germany“ (INPEDIV), the Senckenberg Nature Research Society is inviting applications to its institute in Görlitz Museum of Natural History (SMNG) in the Department of Soil Zoology for a PhD Position (m/f/d) (Soil Biodiversity and Function).
The interdisciplinary joint project of seven partner institutes is led by the Zoological Research Museum Koenig and funded by the Leibniz Competition for 3 years. The aim of the study is to investigate consequences of organic and conventional farming for biodiversity in protected areas. By use of traditional methods and new technologies, we will examine agricultural land use effects with a special focus on pesticides on a broad range of plant and animal taxa. Study sites are located in the Rhineland and in Brandenburg.
The task of the SMNG PhD student is the examination of the relative importance of local and landscape-level factors for diversity and abundance of soil invertebrates and soil-biological decomposition activities and how these patterns change along gradients of pesticide load and nutrient content in the soil – from farmland to adjacent protected sites.

The PhD student will be supervised by Dr. Ricarda Lehmitz and Dr. Karin Hohberg (SMNG) and closely cooperate with the project lead and with researchers at partner institutes (vegetation ecologists, entomologists, vertebrate ecologists and ecotoxicologists).
Salary and benefits are according to the German public service position (TV-L E13, 62%). The position will start as soon as possible and be initially limited to February 28th, 2022. The employer is the Senckenberg Nature Research Society; the place of employment is Görlitz, Germany. Senckenberg supports equal opportunity of men and women and therefore strongly invites women to apply. Equally qualified handicapped applicants will be given preference.
Please send your application (in German or English) until February 26th, 2019 (application deadline) by e-mail (attachment in a single pdf document), mentioning the reference of this position (Ref. #08-19005) and including a letter outlining your suitability, a detailed CV, educational transcripts, contact details of 2 references and a list of publications to:
Prof. Dr. Willi Xylander
c/o Senckenberg Museum für Naturkunde Görlitz
PF 30 01 54
02826 Görlitz
For scientific enquiries please contact Dr. Ricarda Lehmitz, +49 (0)3581 / 4760-5570 or Dr. Karin Hohberg +49 (0)3581 / 4760-5531.
Your tasks:
  • Fieldwork (soil-zoological sampling, decomposition tests, sampling support for other work packages)
  • Species determination (Oribatida, Nematoda, Lumbricidae)
  • Data analysis and assessment (biodiversity, gradient analysis)
  • Presentation of the work package results, i.e. at conferences etc.
  • Writing project reports and international high-impact publications

Your profile:
  • A Master degree in soil ecology with a thorough knowledge of soil fauna
  • Extensive experience in soil-zoological fieldwork, species determination, and data analysis
  • Willingness and aptitude to travel (fieldwork, project meetings), driver’s license
  • Publication experience, excellent command of spoken and written German and English
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary team; willingness and ability to assume responsibility
02826 Görlitz
Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung
Dr. Karin Hohberg
+49 (0)3581 / 4760-5531
Ref. #08-19005
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