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2 PhD positions (Part-time positions 50 %)

The Chair of Applied Vegetation Ecology is offering 2 PhD positions (Part-time positions 50 %) | term for filing application: 15.12.2019
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The Chair of Applied Vegetation Ecology is offering

2 PhD positions (Part-time positions 50 %)
Part-time position (50 %), Start-date: 01.02.2020

Project description “Interaction of climate warming and atmospheric nitrogen deposition at controlling the regeneration success of European beech in comparison with more drought-tolerant tree species (NitroClim)”:

Climate change is highly critical for forest management, since tree species have to be selected for cultivation many decades before their harvest. A high share of Central Europe’s forest vegetation would naturally be formed by European beech. Therefore, this species has strongly been promoted in silviculture. However, beech turned out to be susceptible to increasing summer drought. Dry periods in summer, like in 2018, have left their imprint in Central European forest vegetation and will become more frequent in future, challenging at least regionally the suitability of beech for cultivation. Elevated atmospheric nitrogen deposition is another factor that has increasingly become effective during recent decades. Experiments with beech and other tree species substantiated the existence of synergisms between climate change and high nitrogen loads, as among others drought stress is intensified due to reduced root formation at high nitrogen availability. Successful regeneration is a particularly critical stage in the forest cycle, because tree seedlings and saplings respond more sensitively to environmental stress than mature trees. Our aim is to quantify forest regeneration and to record vitality traits under different combinations of climatic conditions and atmospheric nitrogen loads in 60 beech forest regions of northwestern, central, and southwestern Germany. Furthermore, we plan pot experiments under controlled conditions. Beech will be comparatively studied the more drought-tolerant sessile oak and Douglas fir, since the latter could be used to replace beech where the cultivation of beech appears to be too hazardous under a future warmer climate. As far as possible (pot experiment; field studies in SW Germany), silver fir, a species that could potentially be used to replace spruce, will be integrated into the study. Based on our results, we will identify regions at risk for the cultivation of the study tree species in variation of climate and nitrogen deposition and make recommendations for the future choice of tree species for silviculture.

Expected profile of the candidates:

There are two PhD positions offered in the project for candidates with a Master’s degree in the fields of forest sciences, biology, environmental sciences or related subjects.

Position 1 is for field and laboratory work on natural regeneration. Field work covers plots along a gradient from northwestern to southwestern Germany and additional plots in central Germany to cover as much variation in climatic conditions and atmospheric loads of reactive nitrogen as possible. This candidate needs to show a clear interest in field work in various forest sites of Germany, a valid driving license and excellent communication skills to confer with the local forest administrations.

Position 2 is for conducting a pot experiment with tree saplings under controlled conditions in the Forest Botanical Garden Freiburg.

Applications (in English or German) must include a motivation letter, CV and copies of certificates.

The position is limited to 31.01.2023. The salary will be determined in accordance with TV-L E13.
We are particularly pleased to receive applications from women for the position advertised here.

Please send in a complete and convincing application in English with the above-mentioned supporting documents including the reference number 00000796, by date 15.12.2019 at the latest. Please send your application to the following address in written or electronic form:
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Professur für Angewandte Vegetationsökologie
Tennenbacher Str. 4
79106 Freiburg
E-Mail (please as one single PDF file):

For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Markus Hauck on the phone number +49 761 203-3672 or E-Mail
General and legal remarks:
Full-time positions may generally be split up into two or more part-time positions, provided that there are no formal or legal barriers. Candidates are selected in accordance with the provisions of the AGG (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz - German General Equal Treatment Act).
Applicants with disabilities (Schwerbehinderte Menschen) will be given preferential consideration in case of equal qualification.
The department offering the position is liable for the content of this job posting. Textual errors do not constitute a basis for any claims or rights. The relevant human resources department has sole responsibility for all legal transactions made within the context of the selection and hiring process.
Please note that breaches in privacy and unauthorized access by third parties cannot be excluded in communication by unencrypted email.
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