PhD student in evolutionary genetics of forest trees (f/m/d)

Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research
October 20, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
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Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL

The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL is part of the ETH Domain. Approximately 600 people work on the sustainable use and protection of the environment and on the handling of natural hazards.

The Research Unit Biodiversity and Conservation Biology investigates the diversity of life in its various forms, from genetic diversity to the diversity of species and ecosystems as well as their interactions. It's Evolutionary Genetics Group is interested in understanding the roles of demography and natural selection in shaping the life-histories and the genetic composition of forest tree populations across the landscape. The group uses field experiments, statistical models, and individual-based computer simulations to answer fundamental evolutionary questions and to aid adaptive forest management decisions. In the framework of the ERC Consolidator Grant “MyGardenOfTrees”, the Evolutionary Genetics Group offers a 3-year position starting 1 December 2023 or soon after

PhD student in evolutionary genetics of forest trees (f/m/d)

The aim of MyGardenOfTrees is to evaluate the growth and regeneration capacity of silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) through an unprecedented number of experimental gardens across Europe. Observations obtained from these gardens will be combined with genomic data and used to develop a prediction tool for foresters to help them build forests better adapted to climate change. The field component of the project is based on participatory science and involves foresters across Europe, and is coordinated by a dedicated senior researcher.

The project is hiring a total of three PhD students working on complementary topics. The current PhD position will focus on addressing the role of gene- environment interactions in seedling performance using a combination of genomics, common garden experiments and environmental data. The ultimate goal is to describe the reaction norms (phenotypic expression) of different populations and lineages across a large range of environments and incorporate this information into a genomic prediction model. The position principally involves data analysis and modeling; lab or field components are minor.

We are looking for a curious and hard working student who is passionate about evolutionary biology and likes statistics. She/he holds a Masters degree with training and research experience covering at least some of the following fields: evolutionary biology, population/quantitative genetics, plant/animal breeding, forestry or plant science, computational biology, statistics and data science. Experience in working with forests is not essential but is an advantage. The successful candidate should be fluent in English, have excellent written and oral communication skills and can work both independently and in a team. French or German knowledge are not necessary, but can be helpful. The PhD thesis will be supervised by Dr Katalin Csilléry (Evolutionary Genetics Group, WSL) and Prof Dr John Pannell (Department of Ecology and Evolution, Univer-sity of Lausanne). The PhD student will be based at WSL in Birmensdorf, close to Zurich, but will also spend time in the Pannell lab in Lausanne. The PhD will be awarded by the CUSO Doctoral Program in Ecology anod Evolution and the UNIL. The position could be extended for a 4th year depending performance and funding.

Applications, including a CV, motivation letter, a summary of past relevant accomplishments, and the names and contact details of two referees should be sent to Michele Bucher, Human Resources WSL, by uploading the requested documents through the WSL webpage. Applications via email will not be considered. The position remains open until filled. A first evaluation of the applications will start on the 1st of October 2023. Katalin Csilléry, katalin.csillery(at), phone: +41 44 739 23 43 will be happy to answer any questions or offer further information. 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.

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