PhD position - Process-based modelling of biodiversity


Birmensdorf, Schweiz

The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL is a part of the ETH domain. Approximately 500 people work on the sustainable use and protection of the environment and on the handling of natural hazards.

The Research Group of Landscape Ecology at ETH Zurich and WSL conducts research on the processes shaping and maintaining species diversity within landscapes. The “BIGEST” project investigates the mechanisms that shaped global gradients of biodiversity in tetrapods. We are looking for a PhD student in process-based modelling of biodiversity You will pursue research in the origin of mammals, amphibians and birds diversity globally using spatially species diversification simulations. You will combine paleoclimate reconstructions for the Cenozoic together with a process-based model of lineage dispersal, speciation, extinction and evolution over those temporally dynamic landscapes. You will compare the expectations of competing biological mechanisms to a set of empirical patterns from species range maps, traits and phylogenies. You have a master degree in biodiversity or computer sciences. Furthermore, you ideally have experience in GIS, spatially process-based modelling and R programming; species distribution modelling or machine learning would be an advantage. You are a creative, reliable person enjoying to work in an international dynamic team. Good communication and organization skills, being a team player and very good command of English are fundamental.

Please send your complete application to Sabine Hirt, Human Resources WSL, by uploading the requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered. Prof. Dr. Loïc Pellissier, Tel. +41 (0)44 739 2391,, will be pleased to answer your questions. The WSL strives to increase the proportion of women in its employment, which is why qualified women are particularly called upon to apply for this position.


Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL