ETH Zürich

Postdoc on resilience of forests to air pollution and climate extremes

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ETH Zürich is well known for its excellent education, ground-breaking fundamental research and for implementing its results directly into practice.

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Postdoc on resilience of forests to air pollution and climate extremes

The Grassland Sciences group is a vibrant and international working group at the Department of Environmental Systems Science at ETH Zurich. We are looking for a reliable, enthusiastic, and highly motivated postdoc with a passion for science to join our team in Zurich. Our research focuses on process- and system-understanding of the biosphere-atmosphere greenhouse gas exchange of forests and agroecosystems, in particular on their response to management and climate.

Project background

This position is embedded in a project on the Impacts of Air Pollution and Climate Extremes on the Resilience of European Forests (CERES), a collaboration with Prof. Mana Gharun at the University of Münster. We aim to improve the mechanistic understanding of how changes in tree ecophysiology in response to air pollution and climate extremes drive the forest ecosystem's CO2 and H2O fluxes and thus its capacity to sequester carbon and its evaporative cooling. We will combine long-term deposition simulations, local meteorological measurements, existing tree level growth and water use measurements with whole ecosystem flux measurements to identify ecophysiological resistance and recovery responses to climate extremes under different air pollution along a climatic gradient in Europe. Moreover, we will use statistical (e.g., random forest, generalised additive models) and process-based (e.g., SPA) models to project future forest responses to global change drivers.

Job description

  • Compilation of existing, large data sets across Europe
  • Identification of forest resistance and resilience to deposition and climate extremes
  • Linking tree level (dendrometer and sapflow data) with forest level (eddy covariance fluxes) functioning for 20+ forest sites in Europe using different approaches
  • Prediction of future forest functioning under climate extremes using a range of  modelling techniques (both empirical/statistical or mechanistic)
  • Assistance in teaching at Bachelor´s and Master´s levels (in English), depending on research experience, and support in student supervision
  • Optional: Responsibility of an eddy covariance site within the Swiss FluxNet

The position (80 to 100% employment are possible) is funded for up to three years. Salary and social benefits are provided according to ETH Zurich rules.The starting date is preferentially 1 October 2024 (or upon agreement).

Your profile

  • Applicants must hold a PhD or doctoral degree with a strong proven research background in micrometeorology, greenhouse gas exchange, tree and/or ecosystem physiology
  • Relevant research experience can be based on observations, modelling, or statistical analyses
  • Excellent command of large data analyses as well as very good English language skills are mandatory
  • Experiences in teaching and student supervision are a plus

We offer

ETH Zurich is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions. You can look forward to an exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers and benefits.

Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application including the following documents:

  • Letter of motivation
  • CV with publication list
  • Transcripts of Bachelor's, Master's and PhD/doctoral studies
  • Contact information of two referees

We will start interviewing candidates in mid-June 2024. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services or incomplete applications will not be considered.

For further information about the Grassland Sciences group please visit our website. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Dr. Nina Buchmann by email: (no applications).

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

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Postdoc on resilience of forests to air pollution and climate extremes
Rämistrasse 101 Zürich, Sveitsi
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ETH Zürich is well known for its excellent education, ground-breaking fundamental research and for implementing its results directly into practice.

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