jeudi 19 janvier 2017

PhD student

INSTITUTION: Institute of Nature Conservation in Krakow, Polish Academy of Sciences
POSITION: PhD student
KEYWORDS: food webs, trophic interactions, ecosystem services, plant-animal mutualism, seed dispersal, plant population dynamics, movement ecology, Ursus arctos
We  invite  applications  for  a doctoral position within  the  project BearConnect “Functional connectivity and ecological sustainability of European ecological networks- a case study with the brown bear”. This project is a collaboration of European research teams, funded under the BiodivERsA call within the Horizon 2020 ERA-NET COFUND scheme. The project aims at integrating  brown  bear  movement  and  genetic  data  to  evaluate  functional  connectivity in order to assess the effectiveness of the system of protected areas in Europe and to provide policy recommendations. BearConnect also incorporates aspects of population dynamics and species  interactions. A  specific  goal  is  to  understand  the  role  that  brown  bears  have in ecosystems, with a focus on trophic interactions and associated ecosystem services.
We seek for a highly motivated and creative student, with good communication skills, a strong capacity for work, and ability to think independently. As the student will be part of an international research team, a cooperative character, a good command of English (oral and written) and willingness to travel and conduct research stays abroad are highly desirable. A driving license and physical ability to work in a variety of field conditions, including mountains, are required. The successful candidate is expected to publish results in scientific journals and present them to both scientific and non-scientific audience. Previous research experience, including data collection in the field, statistical analysis (preferably in R), preparation of scientific publications or professional experience abroad are assets. The PhD student will mainly focus on the role of brown bears as seed dispersers of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) in the Tatra Mountains (Poland). Movement data, faecal analysis, field observations, in situ experiments and DNA barcoding to identify seed disperser species will be combined to assess the effects of the brown bear and other species on the population dynamics of bilberry and the ecosystem services provided by bears. The successful candidate will be involved in the co-supervision of master students associated with the project.
Qualified women are strongly encouraged to apply.
CONTRACT PERIOD: 3 years (starting on 1st March 2017)
-  Degree (MSc) in biology, ecology or other related disciplines.
-  Knowledge of statistical methods and analysis.
-  Good English skills.
-  Willingness to conduct fieldwork in the mountains under sometimes harsh conditions, to travel and to spend periods abroad.
-  Good skills in field identification of plants, birds and mammals.
-  Documented previous research experience (publications, participation in scientific conferences or research projects).
Scholarship: 3000 PLN/month (tax exempt)
Funds to cover travel and accommodation costs during project meetings, research stays at project partners and scientific conferences.
(1) A letter of interest (maximum 2 pages), detailing the qualifications of the candidate for the position, his/her research experience, and how this position will help to fulfil personal career goals. The letter should include contact information of the candidate.
(2) Curriculum vitae, including a publication list and copies of relevant certificates.
(3) A copy of the scientific contributions of the candidate (articles, congress presentations, popular articles)
(4) Two letters of reference from academic referees.
(5) A copy of the Master degree or equivalent.
Please include in your application the following statement: “In accordance with the personal data protection act from the 29th of August 1997, I hereby agree to process and to store my personal data by the Institution for recruitment purposes”.
The three documents should be combined into a single pdf and sent by email to Nuria Selva ( and Jörg Albrecht ( by 16.02.2017 midnight 23:59 CET  with the subject “BearConnect- PhD application”. The pre-selected candidates would be invited for an interview in English during the second half of February