Early Post Doc Position: Geospatial analysis of agricultural and forest landscapes


University of Bern


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Start Date

Saturday, August 1, 2020

3 years, 80%; 1-year extension possible depending on availability of funds

The Research Unit, Land Systems and Sustainable Land Management is one of the two units of the Geographies of Sustainability Department at the Institute of Geography, University of Bern
Research Unit Land Systems and Sustainable Land Management

We want to better operationalise resilient landscapes, to identify how agricultural and forest landscapes and the dependent livelihoods or land uses can better adapt to climate change, droughts, crop pests and diseases outbreaks. Insights gained will inform sustainable land management (e.g. agroforestry, remnant forests, terracing), and the governance of land systems.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Spatial analysis and modelling of agricultural and forest landscapes in the Lower Guinean forest zone of West Africa and later for other projects in Switzerland using remote sensing technologies
  • Conduct field research in West Africa (additional regions possible) as well as in Switzerland
  • Lead and participate in scientific as well as policy-oriented publications
  • Write a habilitation thesis in Geography (Topic to be concretised in discussions with the Unit leader)
  • Co-supervise and supervise students
  • Contribute to teaching of the Unit (in German and English)
  • Engage with regional and international networks in the field
  • Collaborate and lead fundraising of new research projects in the unit
  • Requirements:

We are looking for a very motivated candidate with a recently completed PhD (up to 3-years) in Geography, Geoinformatics or related fields with expertise in Remote Sensing, who has good interpersonal skills and wants to pursue an academic career in the field of land systems and sustainable land management. We look for a candidate with experience in the following:

  • Earth observation image processing (including experience in radar remote sensing or willingness to learn)
  • Geospatial data analysis and modelling
  • Google Earth Engine, ArcGIS/QGIS or other spatial analysis software
  • Cloud computing and big data processing with machine learning or willingness to learn
  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Programming languages such as R, Python, IDL, JavaScript
  • Research on agricultural and forest landscapes
  • Publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • Teaching undergraduates in German or willingness to teach in German
  • Co-organising excursions and field courses inside and outside Switzerland or willingness to do so
  • Knowledge of English (both written and oral); French is an asset
  • Field work experience in Africa
  • We offer:

The gross salary is fixed according to the salary regulations of Canton Bern, Switzerland.

Applications from qualified women are warmly encouraged. The envisaged start date is August 2020.

Please submit your application in one pdf including a letter of motivation, a two-page research plan, CV, list of publications (highlighting the most important in the context of the position), two samples of your published work, certificates and the contact information of three referees to Prof. Dr. Chinwe Ifejika Speranza (chinwe.ifejika.speranza@giub.unibe.ch). Review of applications ends by 30. June 2020.


Contact Name

Prof. Dr. Chinwe Ifejika Speranza

Contact Email