PhD student in European Land Use History


Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL


Thursday, January 31, 2019

Start Date

Monday, April 1, 2019

The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL is a part of the ETH domain. Approximately 500 people work on the sustainable use and protection of the environment and on the handling of natural hazards.

The Research Unit Lands Change Science studies patterns and processes at the landscape level caused by ecological and anthropogenic drivers. Within the project “What is sustainable intensification? Operationalizing sustainable agricultural intensification (SI) pathways in Europe (SIPATH)” funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, we offer a position as a

PhD student in European Land Use History

SIPATH will aim at understanding the mechanisms of agricultural development in Europe over the last decades and develop identify pathways of SI considering climatic, societal and technological developments that are likely to affect the future of agriculture in Europe.

You will evaluate how agricultural land use changed in Europe since 1900, combining literature based surveys with in-depth reconstructions of land use and landscape changes in a set of study landscapes across Europe. You will collaborate closely with other PhD students looking at the more recent development and contribute actively to the core research questions of SIPATH.

You hold a Master’s degree in environmental sciences, geography, agronomy or in an equivalent field and you are motivated to work in an interdisciplinary project environment. Knowledge of GIS, land use history and agronomy are favorable. You are fluent in English and have a strong interest in scientific writing. Furthermore, you have a structured and careful working stile and like being part of an international project team with different disciplinary and cultural background.

Please send your complete application to Sabine Hirt, Human Resources WSL, by uploading the requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered. Matthias Bürgi ( will be happy to answer any questions or offer further information. The WSL strives to increase the proportion of women in its employment, which is why qualified women are particularly called upon to apply for this position.