PhD position in plant-insect and plant chemical ecology (m/f/d)
The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of the best universities in Europe. It is characterized by excellence in research and teaching, interdisciplinarity, and talent development. The Terrestrial Ecology Research Group is part of the Department of Life Science Systems in the TUM School of Life Sciences and is based in Freising, Germany. Our group conducts fundamental research on how human land-use affects biodiversity, and on the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem processes, and our research group has a strong focus on insects.
For a newly funded project by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) - as part of the Research Unit FOR3000 on Ecology and Evolution of Intraspecific Chemodiversity in Plants - (https://uni-bielefeld.de/chemodiversity - we are looking for a motivated PhD candidate. The research unit consists of nine teams spread over Germany that work together on this exciting topic. As a research unit we very much enjoy learning from and with each other, as we cover different research areas. To our yearly workshops we invite national and international experts to gain further insights into different aspects of chemodiversity. As part of our young investigator module, our early career researchers have the chance to widen their knowledge and skills in workshops of their choice. The candidate would ideally start 01.03.2024 or before (m/f/d - 65% TV-L E13).
Plants can vary greatly in their chemical make-up, even among individuals of the same species. Our Research Unit aims to understand the consequences of this chemical variations for plant functioning and their interactions with the environment. Your task in this project will be to investigate the consequences of plant chemical diversity in the model plant Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), with particular focus on its effects on ant-aphid mutualisms and soil-dwelling communities. Your role will be to sample and observe soils, plants and insects in our established chemodiversity field experiment in Jena, Germany. Furthermore, under our supervision you will conceptualize ideas and hypotheses, and publish findings in peer-reviewed journals, with the goal of obtaining a PhD degree through the university’s graduate school.
- Conducting research project associated with the funded project in the area of chemical ecology, soil ecology and entomology.
- Analysis of collected data, and publishing findings in peer-reviewed journals.
- Attendance of various FOR 3000 Research Unit-associated activities, including annual meetings, potential lab exchanges, workshops and conferences.
- Active engagement in a vibrant research group.
- MSc in Biology, Ecology or a related field.
- Strong motivation to work with plants and their associated interactions as model systems.
- Very good oral and written communication skills in English. (Knowledge of the German language is of advantage).
- Ability to work dynamically in a team.
- Experience with plant care, insect rearing, and/or molecular lab work are of advantage.
- Familiarity with the natural history of a particular taxon (e.g. soil organisms, ants, insect herbivores, pollinators) is of advantage.
- A driver’s license is helpful.
- A funded PhD position covering 3 years of salary
- A dynamic working environment in a success-oriented team
- Participation in highly beneficial Research Unit activities with many experts in the field.
- Potential for collaboration in existing research projects
- Participation in TUM career development programs
- Employment with appropriate remuneration for doctoral candidates, according to the collective agreement for the public service of the federal states (65% TV-L E13)
TUM strives to raise the proportion of women in its workforce and explicitly encourages applications from qualified women. Severely disabled applicants will be given preference in the event of equal suitability, ability and professional performance.
How to apply and further information
Applications should be sent as a single pdf file to toek[at]ls.tum.de (preferred), or via mail to Dr. Robin Heinen, Technische Universität München, Lehrstuhl für Terrestrische Ökologie, Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2, D-85354 Freising, Germany. Applications should include a cover letter, a Curriculum Vitae including potential publications, and the names and email-addresses of two references, in a single pdf document.
Information about the research carried out in the Terrestrial Ecology Research Group can be found on our group’s home page under toek.ls.tum.de. Please contact Dr. Robin Heinen (robin.heinen[at]tum.de, +49 8161 71 4148), or Prof. Wolfgang Weisser (wolfgang.weisser[at]tum.de) for further information about the position.
Deadline of applications is 30. November 2023.
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