PhD in Evolutionary Paleoecology (closes 2/11/2019)

ASLO Positions

PhD in Evolutionary Paleoecology (closes 2/11/2019)

Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and Technology, has an open PhD position in Evolutionary Ecology of Ecosystems, at the Center for Ecology Evolution & Biogeochemistry (CEEB).

The position is fully funded for 4 years (~45-50,000 CHF/year), and will be based in the group of Blake Matthews. The successful applicant will be a student at the University of Bern, and be co-supervised by Prof. Ole Seehausen (Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Bern).

The project will explore 15,000 years of evolution and ecosystem dynamics in Lake Victoria, East Africa, as reconstructed from sediment cores, fossils and ancient DNA. This Swiss NSF Sinergia project is a cooperation between U Bern, Eawag, the Centre for Geogenetics at U of Copenhagen, Denmark, the Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute, U of Arizona, U Massachusetts and others.

The group of Blake Matthews focuses on phenotypic evolution in a community and ecosystem context. The open PhD position will investigate how the community composition and phenotypic diversity of zooplankton has changed over time in Lake Victoria. To this end, the student will analyze subfossil remains of zooplankton from sediment cores spanning hundreds to thousands of years of ecosystem and evolutionary history. This is one of 4 PhD positions funded by the project. In close collaboration with ecologists, paleo-ecologists and paleo-genomics researchers, we want to address how the evolutionary diversification of the cichlid fish along with other ecosystem changes (e.g. eutrophication), have interacted with the plankton community of Lake Victoria.

Ideally, the candidate has some prior experience in invertebrate taxonomy (ideally with zooplankton) and/or paleolimnology. The candidate is motivated to learn about evolutionary ecology in general, and about paleolimnology and zooplankton in particular. The group’s working language is English. Knowledge of German or French is not required.

Eawag’s CEEB is located on the shore of Lake Lucerne and is a strong nucleus of Eawag research groups aimed at integrating evolutionary biology, community ecology, and ecosystem science The PhD student will interact with a diverse range of researchers studying community ecology, evolutionary biology, ecological genetics, ecosystem science, and applied environmental science.

Review of applications will start Feb 11th and continue until the position is filled.

Please send one pdf file only, with CV, letter of motivation, and contact details of three referees to Dr. Blake Matthews (

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