12 PhD student positions at University Koblenz–Landau

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Aquatic-terrestrial interfaces under anthropogenic stress

As part of the research training group SystemLink – Crossing boundaries: Propagation of in-stream environmental alterations to adjacent terrestrial ecosystems funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) – GRK2360 the iES Landau, Institute for Environmental Sciences, University Koblenz–Landau, Campus Landau, Germany offers

12 doctoral research positions (PhD students) for 3 years from 1 October 2019 (gross salary approx. 30 k € p.a.; 13 TV-L 65%). 

Streams are hotspots of ecological and biogeochemical processes, but are strongly influenced by humans. In SystemLink, we focus on the propagation of anthropogenic stressors from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems. We study how micropollutants and invasive species affect riparian ecosystems through abiotic (flooding and sedimentation) and biotic processes (insect and amphibian emergence). The focus will be on all compartments of the ecosystems, including waterbodies, soils and aboveground food webs.

The 12 PhD researchers will work within small teams, yet together as an entire group on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. They will conduct experiments in unique aquatic-terrestrial mesocosm facilities combined with laboratory and field research, or develop and apply process-based environmental models. Most PhD projects will combine at least two of these approaches. Methods include molecular diagnostic tools (e.g. metabarcoding), food-web analysis (e.g. stable isotope
analyses), advanced methods in soil physics and chemistry (e.g. NMR relaxometry, Lattice Boltzmann methods), trace chemical analytics (e.g. triple quad LC-MS/MS), greenhouse gases (GC-MS) or food-web and meta-ecosystem modelling. An individualized course program will complement the research work. The positions are temporary in line with the applicable German Law (WissZeitVG).

Successful candidates will hold a diploma or MSc in a relevant topic such as environmental sciences, ecology, biogeochemistry, physics, environmental modelling or similar. Fluent English talking and writing skills as well as solid background e.g. in analytical techniques, statistical approaches or experimental environmental sciences are required. A strong motivation to work in
teams, to publish research articles, and to finish a PhD thesis within three years is needed.

It is the policy of the University Koblenz-Landau to increase the percentage of female PhD candidates. If equally qualified, preference will be given to female applicants. Disabled candidates are given priority, if equally qualified.

Please send your applications (1 pdf file, max 10 MB), specifying for which PhD position you
apply, with a 1-page letter of motivation, a reference letter from a mentor, degree certificates, a CV and a list of publications/presentations until 17 May 2019 via email to Please make sure to mention your name and the reference number 49/2019 in the subject line of the email. Potential candidates shall be prepared to participate in a three-day workshop in Landau between 9 and 11 July 2019. For further details on the announced positions and on the application procedure please see or contact the speaker of SystemLink Prof. Dr. Ralf Schulz (

We do not send an acknowledgment of receipt. You will receive information about the result of your candidature. Data destruction after the conclusion of the selection procedure is assured.


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