The DFG-funded Research Training Group RTG 2118 ‘Integrating Biodiversity Research with Movement Ecology in Dynamic Agricultural Landscapes [BioMove]

The DFG-funded Research Training Group RTG 2118 ‘Integrating Biodiversity Research with Movement Ecology in Dynamic Agricultural Landscapes [BioMove]’ (Speaker: Prof. Dr. Florian Jeltsch) at the University of Potsdam (UP), the Freie Universität Berlin (FU), the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW, Berlin), and the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF, Müncheberg) offers several posi- tions:

At the University of Potsdam 

7 doctoral candidates (PhD)

Registration Number: 147/2015 

26 hours per week (65%) for three years 

1 postdoctoral researcher (PostDoc)

Registration Number: 148/2015 

40 hours per week (100%) for two years. 

The salary scale is in accordance with the German public service 13 TV-L (area east). Con- tracts are time-limited according to the Academic Fixed-Term Contract Law (WissZeitVG).

At the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW), Berlin 

2 doctoral candidates

The doctoral positions are initially limited to two years, with the possibility of extension to a maximum of three years. Salary is according to TVöD (65% for doctoral students).

At the Freie Universität Berlin 

1 doctoral candidate

Salary is according to TV-L FU E13 (65%), 3-year contract.

At the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) Müncheberg 

1 doctoral candidate

26 hours per week (65%) for three years 

The salary is in accordance with the German public service 13 TV-L (area east). Contracts are time-limited according to the Academic Fixed-Term Contract Law (WissZeitVG). Beginning on October 1st, 2015. The scientific disciplines involved in the RTG are movement ecology, biodiversity research, behavioural and evolutionary ecology, conservation biology, ecological modelling, and related topics.

The research projects of the RTG strategically combine empirical, experimental and model- ling approaches based in one common study area (AgroScapeLab-Quillow, north-eastern Brandenburg, Germany) to test a unifying set of hypotheses on the linkage of movement ecology and biodiversity research. The postdoctoral researcher is expected to play a leading role in model-based synthesis and theory advancement.

Acknowledging the importance of variability, BioMove shifts the focus from ‘average’ move- ment towards incorporating potential effects of individual variation in movement properties and decisions for biodiversity dynamics. This will not only advance our mechanistic under- standing of how biodiversity patterns emerge but also improve our ability to predict biodiver- sity responses to ongoing changes in land use or climate. Projects will cover different spatial and temporal scales and groups of organisms ranging from bacteria, fungi, plankton, plants, and insects to mammals (for more details see http://www.biomove.org).

Ideal doctoral candidates have a background in one of the scientific disciplines (or related fields) represented in this RTG. The postdoctoral researcher additionally should have a strong background in ecological modelling, synthesis or theory refinement. A strong interest in interdisciplinary research and the willingness to engage in scientific exchange with other disciplines is essential for applicants. Knowledge of German or willingness to learn German will be an advantage in some projects.

Doctoral candidates should fulfill the following requirements: 

  • a very good M.Sc. degree (or equivalent) in Ecology, Zoology, Botany, Behavioural or Evolutionary Biology, Microbiology or other natural sciences if mechanistic modelling was involved.
  • very good English skills (written and spoken)
  • very good statistical and analytical skills (preferentially sound knowledge in R)
  • experience in one or more of the following areas is expected: experimental field and laboratory studies, ecological modelling, individual-based modelling, telemetry, spatial data analysis (GIS), molecular ecology.

The PostDoc candidate should fulfill the following requirements: 

  • a strong expertise in ecological modelling and theory documented by high ranking peer- reviewed publications.
  •  experience in synthesis work is beneficial.

The University of Potsdam, the Freie Universität Berlin, the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wild- life Research and the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research are equal opportunities employers and place particular emphasis on fostering career opportunities for women. Qualified women are therefore strongly encouraged to apply as they are underrepresented in this field. Disabled persons with equivalent aptitude will be favored.

Detailed information on the application process, the research topics with their specific tasks and the training program are available at http://www.biomove.org. Candidates are required to indicate up to three preferred projects and explain their motivation for choosing them. Interviews will take place in July.

Please send your application in electronic form by July 1st to the RTG coordination office (biomove-rtg@uni-potsdam.de). Applicants should follow the information and instructions given at http://www.biomove.org/about-biomove/how-to-apply/.

For further information please contact:

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Niels Blaum (blaum@uni- potsdam.de).

Deadline: 01.07.2015