PhD position in mapping plant chemical ecology


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The University of Zurich Research Priority Program on Global Change and Biodiversity URPP-GCB is an established interdisciplinary research program.



Biodiversity is both a response variable affected by global change drivers and a factor modifying ecosystem processes and services that are essential to human well-being. An improved capability to predict the consequences of changes in drivers will aid improved prediction of the state of the environment. The URPP-GCB implements innovative avenues in this research domain by using a latitudinal gradient approach based on interactions, feedback and scale, to provide more reliable and robust knowledge of global change processes.

Global change (namely land use change, climate change, invasions, exploitation, and pollution) influences biodiversity and vice versa. We are looking for a motivated candidate, capable of doing research at the disciplinary boundaries of agroecology, chemistry, and remote sensing. We therefore invite applications for a PhD position in mapping plant chemical ecology, to be embedded in the URPP-GCB project “The chemical ecology of landscapes”.


Your responsibilities

The successful applicant will be based in Zurich and embedded in a supervisory team including Meredith SchumanKentaro Shimizu and Maria J. Santos.
The project is part of a larger consortium including 15 partners across Europe and Africa. You will work in the Departments of Chemistry and Geography, which host several research groups working on a variety of topics assessing the key drivers of global change and biodiversity, and on analytical tools to approach these questions.

Your profile

To apply, applicants must have a completed master’s degree in either chemical ecology, analytical chemistry, remote sensing (spectroscopy with experience in chemical trait analysis), or a closely related scientific field.

Applicants must be able to work with statistical tools and scripting languages (i.e. Matlab, Python, R), have hands-on experience with analytical techniques including spectroscopy and/or LC-MS and GC-MS, and be motivated to conduct field and glasshouse research (experience is an asset). A high standard of written and spoken English is mandatory. The position can start as soon as a suitable candidate is found. Salaries correspond to the UZH regulations of PhD salaries.

We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic and independent person with a passion for science to join our team.
Please send your application (including position reference URPP-N3) as one single PDF file (motivation letter, complete CV, and names of 2 references).

What we offer

We offer outstanding working conditions, a high quality of life in Zurich, and an excellent support environment. Diversity and inclusion are important to us.


Place of work

University of Zurich, Irchel campus.

Start of employment

Employment start date to be mutually agreed, ideally 1 November 2020. The selection of candidates will begin 2 September 2020 and continue until the position is filled

Further information

For further questions, please contact Prof. Dr. Meredith Schuman 

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