Thursday, March 22, 2012

PhD position investigating biodiversity - ecosystem functioning relationships in European forests using ecosystem modeling

A three year PhD position is available at the Institute of Silviculture, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) Vienna, Austria, investigating the relationships between biodiversity and forest ecosystem functioning by means of ecosystem modeling. The research is part of an international, continental scale effort aiming to quantify the effects of forest biodiversity on ecosystem functions and services such as timber production, carbon sequestration, and freshwater provisioning.

The successful candidate will
* contribute to the development, parameterization, and evaluation of spatially explicit, multi-species ecosystem models at the stand and landscape scale,
* apply these models to answer questions on the spatial and temporal stability and scalability of relationships between diversity and ecosystem functioning, and on the role of disturbances in these relationships,
* investigate the effects of different forest management strategies and climate change scenarios on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and
* actively participate in the dissemination of results (conferences, publications)

We are looking for motivated candidates with a master’s degree in forestry, forest ecology, environmental sciences, or related fields. The successful applicant is able to independently conduct scientific research and possesses decent command of the English language. Strong quantitative skills and experience in ecosystem modeling are desirable; the knowledge of a higher programming language (e.g., C++) is beneficial.

We are offing a dynamic, international working environment at the frontier of quantitative forest ecosystem research in Europe. In a cooperative research program the successful candidate will be working in the labs of Prof. Manfred J. Lexer and Dr. Rupert Seidl. BOKU is one of the top tier schools in the environmental sciences in Europe, and the city of Vienna
consistently ranks among the cities with the highest quality of life globally. The salary is 24,000 €/year after taxes, including full health and social security benefits.

To apply, please send a CV, a concise motivation letter including research interests and prior accomplishments, and the names and addresses of two references to Prof. Manfred J. Lexer (mj.lexer(at) or Dr. Rupert Seidl (rupert.seidl(at) The position is open immediately until filled.

For more information see the following links
BOKU Vienna:
Lexer lab:
Seidl lab:
the FunDivEUROPE project:
the stand-level model PICUS:
the landscape model iLand:

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