Date Posted
25 Jan 2024

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PhD Project
Centre of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology (CEFE)

Soil microbial functioning under climate change across tree diversity gradients in European forests

25 Jan 2024

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

Position Description

New PhD position available at the Centre of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology (CEFE), University of Montpellier. The position is fully financed for a period of three years within the ERA-Net programme BiodivERsA with a salary according to the common French standards. The start date for the position is April 1 2017.

The PhD position is part of the SoilForEUROPE project including several partners from France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden and The Netherlands. SoilForEUROPE aims at understanding the relationships between tree species diversity and soil diversity, and their consequences for ecosystem functioning across major European forest types under climate change. It builds on an existing unique network of more than 200 forest plots established during the FunDivEUROPE project in six different European countries. Driving mechanisms of ecosystem resistance and resilience to extreme drought will be tested at the CNRS European Ecotron in Montpellier, a world leading controlled environmental facility for ecosystem research.

The PhD will primarily focus on soil microbial functioning (microbial activity and trace gas fluxes) both in the field and in the Ecotron, but will closely interact with all members of the consortium on related aspects (microbial diversity, soil fauna diversity, root functioning,…). Supervisors are Stephan Hättenschwiler, Alex Milcu, and Nathalie Fromin.

• Excellent Master degree in biology / ecology / microbiology
• Experience in experimental work
• Skills in data analysis and statistics
• Ability to work in an international interdisciplinary team
• Proficient English language skills

We offer:
• Top level interdisciplinary research at a research centre with excellent international reputation
• Excellent technical facilities
• Work in an international research project
• Excellent links to international research networks
• Support and optimal training courses by our graduate school GAIA at the University of Montpellier

How to Apply

Applications: Please send applications (letter motivating your interest, your CV, and the contact information for two referees whom we can approach) to Stephan Hättenschwiler (stephan.hattenschwiler at

Position Category: Medical & Biological Sciences. Position Type: PhD Project. Salary: €20'000 - €30'000.