Date Posted
8 Jun 2021

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PhD Project
Collaborative Research Center AquaDiva

Doctoral Researcher Position in Ecology in Leipzig, Germany

8 Jun 2021

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

Position Description

The Collaborative Research Center SFB 1076 “AquaDiva – Understanding the Links between Surface and Subsurface Biogeosphere” is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). AquaDiva is an ambitious research center with more than 70 researchers and Institutes at four faculties of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU) and three non-university research institutes in Jena or Leipzig. The integrated Research Training Group AquaDiva is educating doctoral researchers in a structured, interdisciplinary training program. AquaDiva combines different research areas, such as ecology, microbiology, hydrogeology, soil science, geomorphology, geochemistry, geology, geophysics, chemistry, and information science, to a comprehensive picture of subsurface research (

The Integrated Research Training Group AquaDiva invites applications for a
Doctoral Researcher Position (m/f; Ref.No. 128/2017)
at the Theory in Biodiversity Science group at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig and at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU)

Unravelling the Complex Processes that Control the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning of Aquifers

The project aims to understand the big picture on how the climate-driven aboveground events, aboveground land-use, and aboveground biodiversity affect the biodiversity, complexity, and ecosystem functioning of belowground aquifer microbial ecosystems in space and time. This should be realized by combining ecological modelling of complex microbial food webs to create prediction models that afterwards will be tested by synthesizing long-term data from the AquaDiva field sites.

A Master’s degree (or equivalent) in biology, ecology, physics, mathematics, or related discipline; candidates expected to earn their degree by September 2017 are welcome to apply
Solid knowledge of ecological principles including population ecology and ecologcal modelling, of statistics and programming; additional basic knowledge of microbiology, hydrology, and geology are beneficial
Excellent technical skills in programming in one or more of these languages: R, C/C++, or similar languages; programming of population dynamics models (Ordinary Differential Equations); good basic knowledge of statistical methods, preferably Structural Equation Models
Enthusiasm to play an active role in the interdisciplinary research team of AquaDiva
Highly motivated and creative personalities, with an interest to shape their own thesis project
Excellent written and oral communications skills in English

We offer:
A doctoral researcher position (TV-L E13 – salary agreement for public service employees, 65%) with funding from Sep 1, 2017, until Jun 30, 2021, as well as generous research funding with the possibility of a three-months research stay abroad
Opportunity for research on an innovative and unique Critical Zone research platform
A comprehensive mentoring program with supervision by a team of advisors
A communicative atmosphere within a scientific network providing top-level research facilities and training program, including participation in international and national conferences and workshops
The place of work is Leipzig, Germany, a big and lively city with a vibrant cultural scene, dynamic business activities, and successful scientific centers of innovation, such as UFZ and iDiv, around the Leipzig University

How to Apply

Applications should be written in English. The application deadline is June 16th, 2017. Applications are submitted exclusively via an online application tool: Selected applicants will be invited to a recruitment symposium in Jena, Germany, presumably in August, 2017. Severely disabled applicants with equal qualification and aptitude are given preferential consideration. For more information on the position, feel free to contact Björn Rall ( For more information on the application process, please contact the coordinator, Maria Fabisch ( More project details: