PhD position in Ecological Modelling

Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology)
Zürich, Switzerland
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, is an internationally networked aquatic research institute within the ETH Domain (Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology). Eawag conducts research, education and expert consulting to achieve the dual goals of meeting direct human needs for water and maintaining the function and integrity of aquatic ecosystems.

The Department of Systems Analysis, Integrated Assessment and Modelling (Siam) located in Dübendorf (Zurich) offers a

PhD position in Ecological Modelling

in the project "Bridging the gap between data science and mechanistic modelling to gain knowledge about community assembly". The aims of the project are 1) to learn about different processes that affect community assembly and the occurrence of stream macroinvertebrates by applying and comparing different model types (mechanistic, statistical, machine learning); 2) to further improve our ability to predict the occurrence of taxa and their response to environmental changes by developing a computationally efficient model with a mechanistic foundation; 3) to identify metrics that can capture effects of future environmental changes on macroinvertebrate communities.

The project is fully funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation for a duration of four years. The start is planned for September 2020. The position will be affiliated with the research group of Dr. Nele Schuwirth embedded in a multidisciplinary, international department with a focus on modeling (Siam). The project will be carried out in collaboration with Andreas Scheidegger. The PhD degree will be awarded by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich. The position includes a small part (max 10%) of teaching assistance for the course "Modelling Aquatic Ecosystems" at ETH Zurich.

We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic and independent person with a passion for science. Candidates for this position should hold either an MSc degree in ecology, environmental sciences or a related field with a strong interest in applied statistics and mathematics, or an MSc degree in mathematics or physics with a strong interest in ecological applications. Candidates should demonstrate knowledge in statistical data analysis and experience in programming. Fluency in English is required.

The position is based at Eawag. Both Eawag and ETH are located within the Zurich metropolitan area. Zurich hosts many other research groups in ecology and biodiversity research, and is among the world’s leading cities in terms of science, culture and quality of life. Information on working conditions can be found at Eawag is an equal opportunity employer. Women are explicitly encouraged to apply to increase their share in science and research.

Applications should include a concise statement describing your motivation to carry out a PhD project on this topic, curriculum vitae, copies of your academic qualifications and contact information for two references.

The deadline for applications is 30 June 2020 or until the position is filled. For further information, please consult our group website or contact Dr. Nele Schuwirth.

We look forward to receiving your application through this webpage, any other way of applying will not be considered. Please click on the button below, this will take you directly to the application form.