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PhD in land use and ecosystem services modeling in Zürich

Studierende finden an der ETH Zürich ein Umfeld, das eigenständiges Denken fördert, Forschende ein Klima, das zu Spitzenleistungen inspiriert.


100%, Zurich, temporary

The Chair for Planning of Landscape and Urban Systems (PLUS) at the Institute for Spatial and Landscape Planning, ETH Zurich, is a young, dynamic and interdisciplinary research team addressing problems of sustainable spatial and landscape development. Starting in October 2020 or under agreement we are looking for a PhD in land use and ecosystem services modeling.

Project background

The 4-year PhD position will work in the frame of the project. The project aims to assess the added value of a functioning ecological infrastructure (EI) for Switzerland and is part of the Action Plan of the Swiss Biodiversity Strategy. The project team is interdisciplinary and multilingual and consists of scientists from five Swiss universities from the fields of ecology, economics, social sciences, geography, spatial and landscape development and political science.

Job description

The PhD student will develop a land use model to forecast future changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services under various socio-economic and climate scenarios. The candidate will use a Bayesian Network approach to integrate various qualitative and quantitative data sources, consider uncertainties in the assessment and run the model in forecasting and in backcasting modes to understand which policy measures are necessary to achieve a functioning ecological infrastructure in the future.

Your profile

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate with a MSc degree in Landscape Planning, Ecological Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Geography or related discipline, who has a deep understanding of social-ecological systems, ecology, experience in programming and has good GIS skills. Ideal candidates have experience with ecosystem services mapping or ecological infrastructure. Furthermore, the applicant should have a good command of English (both written and spoken) and should be willing to communicate with and work in a large interdisciplinary project. German or French is an advantage as a second language.

ETH Zurich
ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • a curriculum vitae
  • a complete academic transcript including undergraduate and graduate courses
  • copies of diploma/certificates, contact information of 2-3 potential referees
  • a short description of your motivation and your research interests.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. Applications are due by 20 July, 2020.

Further information about our group can be found on our website . For questions about the position, please contact Sven-Erik Rabe, email at rabes@ethz.ch (no applications).

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