Date Posted
16 Oct 2024

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PhD Project
iDiv Halle-Jena-Leipzig


16 Oct 2024

NOTE: this position listing has expired and may no longer be relevant!

Position Description

limited until 31 January 2024
65% of a full-time position
salary: Entgeltgruppe 13 TV-L

The Leipzig University offers the aforementioned position at the Faculty of Life Sciences in cooperation with the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig in Leipzig from 1 February 2020.


Leipzig is a global hotspot for biodiversity research. Leipzig University and its partner universities in Central Germany, Halle and Jena, jointly run the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig ( The department of Special Botany and Functional Biodiversity Research offers an international environment created by a very active and diverse group covering expertise in experimental and observational approaches and a wide range of statistical and eco-informatics methods; Lab facilities include NIRS, IRMS, Elemental and Lignin Analysis, Spectrometry, Laser Scanning, Dendrochronology and a fully equipped plant trait lab. Field facilities run by the group include the Botanical Garden of the University, the Leipzig Canopy Crane and a Research Arboretum. Our group is co-leading the TRY initiative and is deeply involved in DFG research units in the field of functional biodiversity research. For more information on the work in our department, consult

The Jena Experiment is a DFG Research Unit that explores the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms of long-term biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. The subprojects of the Research Unit aim at exploring variation in community assembly processes and resulting differences in biotic interactions as determinants of the long-term BEF relationship. The unification of evolutionary and ecosystem processes requires collaboration across the subprojects in targeted plant and soil history experiments using cutting-edge technology and will produce significant synergies and novel mechanistic insights into BEF relationships. The Research Unit of the Jena Experiment is uniquely positioned in this context by taking an interdisciplinary and integrative approach to capture whole-ecosystem responses to changes in biodiversity and to advance a vibrant research field. In this context, subproject 8 will explore the influence of plant diversity, plant history, and soil history on plant defense traits examining morphological and chemical root and shoot traits which represent different aspects of plant adaptive strategies (physical barriers, palatability and toxicity). Our aim is to provide a mechanistic, trait-based explanation for the primarily negative feedback effects observed in biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. For more information, see

– novel research on major questions of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research
– performing field work by collecting plant root and shoot samples in coordinated sampling campaigns
– performing laboratory analysis using a wide variety of anatomical, morphological and chemical methods including comparative plant metabolomics
– mixed model analysis of variance, multivariate analyses, and structural equation modeling
– writing and publishing of scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals
– presenting results at national and international conferences

– Master in ecology or a closely related field of research
– expertise in plant and/or soil ecology
– interest and ability in interdisciplinary collaboration with a diversity of ecologists
– strong statistical skills (in R)
– experience of plant- and/or soil-related field work
– excellent English communication skills (speaking and writing)
– team-oriented and strong organizational skills

How to Apply

Kindly send your application with reference number 256/2019 via our application portal under Applications are accepted until 8th November 2019. We prefer applications via our application portal, hard copy applications can be sent to: German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research – iDiv Frau Professor Dr. Alexandra Weigelt Deutscher Platz 5e, D-04103 Leipzig Applications should include: - cover letter (in English or German) describing motivation for the project, research interests & relevant experience - complete curriculum vitae including names and contact details of at least two scientific references - digital copy of Master certificate For queries on the application process, please contact our HR Department (; for project-related questions, kindly contact Professor Dr. Alexandra Weigelt ( Severely disabled persons are encouraged to apply and will be given preference in the case of equal suitability. Applying via e-mail is questionable under data protection law. The sender assumes full responsibility. iDiv is committed to establishing and maintaining a diverse and inclusive community that collectively supports and implements our mission to do great science. We will welcome, recruit, develop, and advance talented staff from diverse genders and backgrounds.

Position Category: Medical & Biological Sciences. Position Type: PhD Project.