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HU Berlin: PhD position (TV-L HU 13, 50%) in Biodiversity Conservation and Global Land Use

#1 von Sylvia , 16.04.2012 16:40

The Geography Department at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin seeks highly qualified and motivated candidates for

One PhD position in Biodiversity Conservation and Global Land Use

PhD position (TV-L HU 13, 50%) for three years. Starting date: from 1st June 2012.

Reference number: DR/033/12

The successful applicant will study future land use effects on biodiversity at the global scale. Land use is essential for human well-being but also one of the main drivers of the current biodiversity crisis. As land use will have to increase rapidly in the coming decades due to population growth, surging consumption, and the growing importance of bioenergy, the question is how future land use change may affect global biodiversity patterns. The successful candidate will address these issues by synthesizing knowledge on land use effects on biodiversity across a range of taxa, by compiling indicators on the current extent and intensity of global land use, and by adapting species-area models to assess the biodiversity outcome of a range of available future land use projections. The position will contribute to the research project “Biodiversity impacts of future land use trajectories”, which is funded by the Einstein Foundation and carried out in collaboration with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the Environmental Research Centre (UFZ) in Leipzig, the Institute for Social Ecology in Vienna, and the University of Göttingen.
At the Geography Department, the applicant will join the Biogeography & Conservation Biology Lab ( biogeographie/), which seeks to better understand dynamics in coupled human-natural systems, and how these dynamics affect species and communities – from landscape to global scales. Our research has the overall goal to help identify pathways to balance human resource use with the conservation of biodiversity, and is strongly motivated by providing solutions to conservation problems. We develop and apply approaches grounded in spatial ecology, spatial statistics, geographic analyses, and remote sensing. The group works highly collaborative with researchers and science institutions worldwide and is an active contributor to science networks such as the Global Land Project and Diversitas. The working language of the group is English.

We seek a candidate with an above-average MSc (or equivalent degree) in Ecology, Geography, Environmental Sciences, or related fields. We expect a strong interest in biodiversity conservation, global change research, and sustainability science. Required skills include a sound background in biogeography, conservation biology or land system science, as well as experience in geographic information systems and spatial statistics. We also expect excellent command of the English language, good communication skills, and willingness to work in international research teams. Experience in scripting languages (e.g., Python) and in R are highly welcome.
We offer a position in an international, young and dynamic team with an excellent scientific record. Payment will be according to EGr. 13 TV-L HU (50% position), i.e., a gross salary of about 18,000-20,000 EUR, depending on prior research experience. The employment at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin offers all benefits of the German public service, including health insurance. Funding for participation in scientific conferences and relevant workshops is available. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is located in the Berlin-Brandenburg research area and closely linked to neighboring institutions like the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) or the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ). HU Berlin hosts one of Germany’s leading Geography Departments, with research foci in Land System Science, Sustainability Science, and Metropolitan Studies. Berlin is Germany’s largest city with an inspiring metropolitan flair and great scientific networking opportunities. Researchers of all nationalities are welcome to apply. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin strives to increase the share of women in research, is a certified family-friendly university, and strongly encourages women to apply. We are committed to promoting handicapped individuals and applicants with disabilities who are equally qualified will be favored.
Applications including a letter of motivation, full CV, a writing example of the candidate (e.g., a publication, a part of a thesis), and contact details for two references shall be sent electronically and in a single PDF file to Prof. Dr. Tobias Kümmerle ( Please include the reference number in the content line of your email.

Application deadline: 1st May 2012. For further information please contact Prof. Dr. Tobias Kümmerle (

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