The Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN) is a member of the Leibniz Association and is based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. SGN conducts natural history research with almost 800 employees and research institutions in six federal states. Within SGN, the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) explores the interactions between biodiversity, climate, and society.

For the working group Quantitative Biogeography we invite applications for a

Vegetation / Ecosystem Modeller (m/f)

(full time position, 3 years)
Job offer ref. #11-18005

The applicant should work with different aspects of the development and applications of regional to global dynamic vegetation models, most likely based on the Lund-Potsdam-Jena General Ecosystem Simulator (LPJ-GUESS). Possible research topics include the role of higher tropic levels, the importance of plant trait variability for ecosystem functioning and resilience, forest and/or livestock management, linkages between ecosystem/habitat changes and biodiversity change (ranging from longer-term evolutionary and extinction dynamics to the current protection of biodiversity), feedbacks on the climate system (e.g. via changes in the carbon cycle, the land surface, fire and trace gas emissions), and more applied climate impact research. Priorities will also depend on the interests of the applicant, the development of the research field and success in related research proposals by the working group. The applicant is not expected to work on all the topics above. Instead, it is intended that one or two of them should become main focus areas. Model parameterization and evaluation should be based on state-of-art methods for linking models with various observational and experimental datasets.

Your tasks

  • Advance the field of dynamic vegetation and ecosystem modelling in a relevant topic
  • Collaborate with other members of the research group and the whole of Senckenberg
  • Contribute to a better understanding of the interactions between biodiversity (from the genetic to the ecosystem level) and climate
  • Write manuscripts and publish results in international journals
  • Contribute to scientific outreach activities

Your profile

  • PhD degree in Biology, Biogeography, Environmental Modelling, Geoecology, Ecology, Earth System Science or related subjects such as Environmental Physics
  • Substantial experience with computer programming, preferably in C/C++
  • Experience in vegetation or ecosystem modelling
  • Knowledge of plant physiology and ecology
  • Good overview over biodiversity and climate research
  • Documented ability to publish scientific papers in international journals
  • Research experience in interdisciplinary working environments
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English

What is awaiting you?

  • Interesting basic research with high relevance for society
  • Work in interdisciplinary teams from bio- and geosciences, as well as social sciences
  • The opportunity to strengthen your experience in the above-mentioned research fields
  • Flexible working hours - annual special payment - company pension scheme - Senckenberg ID card for free entry in museums in Frankfurt - a holiday of 30 days/year

Salary and benefits are according to a full time public service position in Germany (TV-H E 13, 100%). The contract shall start as soon as possible and will be initially limited for 3 years. A prolongation with the opportunity to carry out a habilitation (senior lecture equivalent) is envisioned, but depends on performance and funding. A possible prolongation is dependent on performance and funding.

The Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung supports equal opportunity of men and women and therefore strongly invites women to apply. Equally qualified handicapped applicants will be given preference. The place of employment is in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The employer is the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung.

Please send your application, mentioning the reference of this job offer (ref. #11-18005) until May 31st, 2018 by e-mail (attachment in a single pdf document) and including a letter outlining your suitability and motivation, a detailed CV, two relevant publications, a 1-4 page text outlining how you would address one to two of the potential research topics listed above, all transcripts and grades, two relevant publications, and contact details of two potential references to:

Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung
Senckenberganlage 25
60325 Frankfurt am Main

For scientific inquiries please get in contact with Prof. Dr. Thomas Hickler,

posted: 04 May 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.