Fully funded PhD studentship offered in the Professorship of Ecosystem
Management, Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Title Genetic processes underlying species coexistence in tropical rain
forests: is competition intensity shaped by genetic relatedness?
Start Date probably July 2010
Project This project seeks to explore differences among tree species in gene
flow (by pollen and seed dispersal) in relation to patterns of tree
distribution, and the further implications of differential gene flow and
seed dispersal for seedling competition in the lowland rainforests of
Malaysian Borneo. Ultimately, the research aims to contribute to an
understanding of the mechanisms that maintain tree species diversity in
The project combines population biology, experimental ecology and
molecular ecology to address questions including:
Collaborators This research will be conducted in collaboration with the
Sepilok Forest Research Centre in Sabah, Malaysia, and the University of
Relevance Aside from the scientific interest, the outputs of this
project will be relevant for tropical forest conservation, management and
restoration across Southeast Asia.
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Jaboury Ghazoul (ETH Zurich); Dr. Chris Kettle
(ETH Zurich); and Dr David Burslem (University of Aberdeen)
Requirements We are seeking highly motivated applicants with a desire to
work on tropical forest ecology as part of a dynamic team. You will ideally
have a B.Sc and M.Sc degree, in ecology, evolutionary biology, population
genetics or other related field. Very good spoken and written English are
essential; knowledge of German or Bahasa Malaysia would be advantageous but
not required. Applicants should enjoy working in challenging tropical field
conditions, and also be prepared to spend substantial time in the lab. An
ability to work independently is highly desired, although we place strong
emphasis on cooperation and team work.
Group The Professorship of Ecosystem Management comprises around 25
researchers and staff and has a diverse international composition. Research
within the group tackles a range of topics relating to plant ecology,
conservation and ecosystem management in both temperate and tropical
systems. See our web site for more details (www. ecology.ethz.ch).
Facilities We offer a dynamic and stimulating scientific environment
with world-class facilities, including well equipped genetic and ecological
labs, and access to the newly established ETH Zurich Genetic Diversity
Center. Facilities at the Sepilok Forest Research Centre will support the
ecological work. Technical support will be available for molecular work at
Conditions Three year appointment at ETH Zurich with a starting salary
of CHF 44,000 (gross). The position will be based in Zurich, but will
require extended periods of fieldwork in Sepilok Forest Reserve, Sabah,
Application Applications should consist of (1) a letter describing
research interests and reasons for doing a PhD; (2) a full CV, including any
relevant experience; and (3) names, addresses and emails of two referees.
Applications shoule be sent to Ankara Chen by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please quote reference ETHIIRA 2010 in the subject line. Closing date for
applications is 21 April 2010. The position is open to candidates of all
For a more detailed PhD description email Ankara Chen. For other
informal enquiries contact Jaboury Ghazoul (email@example.com).