WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Davos, Switzerland

The WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF is part of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL and thus of the ETH Domain. WSL focuses on the sustainable use and protection of landscapes and habitats, and a responsible approach to natural hazards. WSL employs approximately 500 people, of whom 140 work at SLF in Davos.

The Research Unit Alpine Environment and Natural Hazards studies relationships between climate, vegetation and changing permafrost. Starting approx. December 2021, we offer a 4-year PhD position in plant- and ecosystem ecology in alpine permafrost regions.

About the role

To work in an interdisciplinary project on vegetation, below-ground processes and carbon stocks in Swiss permafrost regions. Permafrost is disappearing at an unprecedented rate in alpine environments. The thaw has severe consequences for ecosystems, vegetation and carbon stocks. You will study plant diversity, above- and below-ground plant characteristics, and, in collaboration, carbon stocks, soil microbial composition and pollutants in permafrost regions in Switzerland. The work will be in close collaboration with another PhD project in Biogeochemistry. The project is part of the interdisciplinary research program ‘Extremes’ at WSL. The results from the project will be published in scientific articles and in outreach products.

You hold a Masters degree in biology, ecology, botany, environmental sciences or a related field and have experience in field work and statistical analysis (particularly with R). You are experienced in handling and analysing large data sets as well as in writing scientific texts.You are a team player, you possess good oral and written communication skills, are well-organised and capable of working independently and efficiently.

How to apply

Please send your complete application to Clemens Güdel, Human Resources SLF, by uploading the requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered. Christian Rixen (phone: +41 (0)81 417 02 14, email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) 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.

 Image by Ralf Heine.

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