The newly created Forest Resources Management group FORM at ETH’s Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems within the Department of Environmental Systems Science is looking for outstanding postdoctoral researchers with expertise in forest management, and a strong interest in the development, enhancement and use of computer based decision support systems (DSS).

Candidates are expected to be forward thinking in their creative- and scientific agenda, enthusiastically engage with the public and university, and excel teaching online and in the classroom. They will embrace the opportunity to augment our faculty’s strengths in forest resources management, and the development of novel decision support systems.

This position is key to bridging creative, conceptual, and scientific alliances between traditional research in forestry, forest management, remote sensing, and virtual reality applications.

Project background

Current research at FORM focuses on predicting and analysing future forest conditions at landscape level scale under various management alternatives. Our IT based, spatially explicit decision support systems consider uncertainties (such as those associated with climate change) and various management goals (eg. timber production, recreation, biodiversity). They aid forest decision makers in understanding the consequences of their choices, facilitate engagement, and allow optimising material flows into the forest wood value chain.

Job description

You will work with Prof. Verena Griess on topics of common interest within the domains of forest management, management planning, DSS development and systematic modelling. You will collaborate with other researchers in the group to enhance current data flows into and from various DSS, ultimately linking forest management models into a VR (virtual reality) environment.

You will also be expected to develop independent research to support your future career in academic- or industrial research. You will assist Prof. Griess with organisational and oversight responsibilities on various ongoing and future projects. You will mentor and work with student researchers, and contribute to teaching courses in the department’s graduate and undergraduate curriculum.

Your profile

Essential experience, skills and characteristics

You have (or are about to receive) a Doctoral degree in a relevant discipline from an internationally recognised university. You have published your research in at least one of the following areas: forestry, forest management, forest sciences, earth sciences, environmental sciences, ecology, geography, remote sensing. You take an analytical approach to your research which is demonstrated in your publications. You have strong communication skills (both written and verbal) in English. You prefer working in an open, diverse and cooperative environment. You are interested in developing new research areas as well as helping more junior researchers develop their research skills.

Desirable criteria

  • Experience in the use of decision support tools for the management of natural resources.
  • Experience or a strong interest/ willingness to learn coding in Python and/or C++.
  • Experience in obtaining and analyzing Lidar data.
  • Experience teaching in the classroom and/ or in an online environment.
  • Familiarity with 360-degree video production and post-production.
  • Familiarity with, and/or an interest in, video games, their development and research use.

Terms of employment

This is a 3 year full-time position. The desired starting date is March 01, 2021, a different starting date can be discussed. The position is open until filled.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.Working, teaching and research at ETH ZurichGet connected


We look forward to receive your online application including:

  • Letter of motivation, no more than 2 pages in length, describing your motivation to apply for this specific posting, your career goals, as well as a short description that separately and clearly addresses how you possess each of the qualifications listed above
  • Detailed CV
  • Publication list
  • Copy of PhD diploma or equivalent
  • Contact details of 2-3 references
  • Any additional material you wish to share.

All documents must be in PDF format and must not be compressed. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal.

ETH strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

For further information please contact Prof. Verena Griess at verena.griess@usys.ethz.ch (no applications).

Apply online now

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