PhD student position in Drought Impacts on Forests


ETH Zurich


Saturday, October 31, 2020

Start Date

Friday, January 1, 2021

Project background

In a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, we are investigating the long-term dynamics of managed forests using dynamic models, emphasizing (1) the structural uncertainty in model formulations and (2) the further development of the belowground components of a stand-scale model, i.e. water and carbon/nutrient cycling.

Job description

As a component of this larger project, we seek to appoint a PhD student to conduct research on aboveground-belowground interactions in managed forests and to provide projections of their future dynamics based on a simulation model. The PhD student will focus on modeling bio-climatic influences on forest dynamics by developing alternative formulations of soil water dynamics for better representing drought effects on tree establishment, growth, mortality, and competition. Data analysis, model-data fusion (e.g. using Bayesian techniques), rigorous model analysis, model development and model testing are integral parts of the project. The work will be conducted in close collaboration with scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL).

Your profile

Required qualifications comprise an MSc degree in Forest Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Ecology, Forestry, Landscape Ecology, Ecosystem Modeling or a related field with good knowledge of Forest Ecology and Soil Science. Experience in developing, testing and applying dynamic models is a strong asset for this position. Knowledge of the software and the C family of programming languages (C++, C#) is an asset as well. Knowledge of European forest ecosystems is highly welcome. Finally, candidates should have at least basic knowledge in statistics.