Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN), Frankfurt am Main

The Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN) is a member of the Leibniz Association and is based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. SGN conducts natural history research with almost 800 employees and research institutions in six federal states. Within SGN, the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (SBiK-F) explores the interactions between biodiversity, climate, and society.

The Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre invites applications for a

Postdoc position (m/f/d)

on Operationalizing global biodiversity targets across different scales

in the context of the Horizon Europe project “Coproduced transformative knowledge to accelerate change for biodiversity” (RAINFOREST), a project led by NTNU Trondheim in Norway and with partners in the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Peru, and Brazil. The project aims to contribute to halting and reversing biodiversity loss caused by global biomass production systems. This requires upscaling and accelerating transformative change of these systems, including addressing the nexus of agricultural production, processing and transport, retailing, consumer preferences and diets, as well as investment, climate action and ecosystem conservation and restoration. RAINFOREST will use a novel combination of integrated assessment modeling, input-output modeling and life cycle assessment, based on case studies in various stages of the nexus, at different spatial scales and organizational levels. The project will elucidate leverage points and obstacles for transformative change and provide concrete and actionable recommendations for transformative change for consumers, producers, investors, and policymakers.

The focus of this Postdoc position will be on reviewing existing visions and macro-scale targets for transitions for biodiversity (for instance through exploring CBD, IPBES and EU policy documents). Using this review as starting point and in close collaboration with project partners and different stakeholder groups, you will develop contrasting principles to downscale macro-scale targets to specific geographies (e.g., countries, biomes), sectors and actors (e.g., governments, companies, producers, consumers). These downscaling principles will be built around different worldviews and equity considerations and they will consider interactions between biodiversity targets and other sustainability targets relevant to the food and biomass sectors (e.g., climate change mitigation and human nutrition targets). The downscaled targets will serve to highlight what contributions will be needed from whom to successfully “bend the curve” of biodiversity loss and will be used to evaluate modeled transition pathways at different scales. You will also work on collating biodiversity indicators to assess progress towards biodiversity targets and making them actionable within RAINFOREST’s case studies.

Your tasks:

  • Review literature on visions and quantitative macro-scale targets for biodiversity conservation and restoration
  • Develop contrasting approaches to downscale these targets to specific geographies, sectors and actors, and apply these approaches to generate a dataset of downscaled targets
  • Align the metrics of the developed downscaled targets with the suite of models used in RAINFOREST
  • Interact closely with involved partner organizations and stakeholders
  • Participate in project meetings and contribute to project deliverables
  • Publish results in international journals in cooperation with the project team

Your profile:

  • PhD degree (or equivalent) in a relevant field, e.g., ecology, geography, environmental science or another relevant field and interest in global sustainability issues
  • Programming skills (R, Python or similar), familiarity in working with large datasets and their statistical analysis
  • Proven record of publishing scientific findings in international journals
  • Excellent English language skills
  • Interest in working in an international and transdisciplinary environment in a project at the science-policy interface

What is awaiting you?

  • An interesting task in a dynamic and interdisciplinary team of researchers in an international research project
  • The possibility to build and extend your professional network with scientists at an international level and to attend national and international conferences
  • Flexible working hours, annual special payment, company pension scheme, Senckenberg badge for free entry to the Senckenberg museums and several museums in Frankfurt

Place of employment: Frankfurt am Main

Working hours: full time (40 hours/week), part-time possible after arrangement

Type of contract: 3 Years starting ideally in December 2022

Salary: according to the collective agreement of the State of Hesse (pay grade E 13, TV-H)

Senckenberg is committed to diversity. We benefit from the different expertise, perspectives and personalities of our staff and welcome every application from qualified candidates, irrespective of age, gender, ethnic or cultural origin, religion and ideology, sexual orientation and identity or disability. Women are particularly encouraged to apply, as they are underrepresented in the field of this position; in the case of equal qualifications and suitability they will be given preference. Applicants with a severe disability will be given special consideration in case of equal suitability. Senckenberg actively supports the compatibility of work and family and places great emphasis on an equal and inclusive work culture.

You would like to apply?

Please send your application mentioning the reference of this job offer (ref. #11-22015) until August 31, 2022 by e-mail (attachment in a single pdf document) and include

For scientific inquiries, please contact Dr. Thomas Kastner, thomas.kastner(at)

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