9 PhD positions in forest biodiversity research within the International Research Training Group TreeDì (GRK 2324)

Jan 12, 2021 · 3 mins read
9 PhD positions in forest biodiversity research within the International Research Training Group TreeDì (GRK 2324)
Share this

The International Research Training Group “TreeDì – Tree Diversity Interactions: The role of tree-tree interactions in local neighborhoods in Chinese subtropical forests” (GRK 2324), funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), invites applications for 9 doctoral researchers in Germany. TreeDì is operated by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and its partner universities Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU) and University of Leipzig (UL) in cooperation with the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS).

The aim of TreeDì – 林地 (lín dì, forest land) is to understand how tree-tree interactions in local neighbourhoods of varying diversity translate into observed tree species richness effects on key ecosystem functions at the community scale. In addition, TreeDì seeks to understand the role of the forest understorey (shrub species composition and diversity) for ecosystem functioning. All research projects are carried out on the BEF-China platform in subtropical China – the largest forest BEF experiment worldwide

By bringing together experts and doctoral researchers from leading research institutions located in Germany and China, TreeDì creates a stimulating network of excellence. TreeDì features an international qualification programme involving an intensive Chinese-German cultural exchange during a 6-month research visit in the partners’ countries, a joint PhD advisory committee (PAC) composed of Chinese and German experts, and unique offers to meet, study and discuss with figureheads in biodiversity research.

Within the International Research Training Group TreeDì (GRK 2324), we offer positions in the following subprojects:

P1G: Spatial aboveground complementarity

PIs: Prof. Goddert von Oheimb, Prof. Werner Härdtle

Place of work: Tharandt/ Dresden

P2G: Complementarity through trait variation

PIs: Dr. Sylvia Haider, Prof. Stan Harpole

Place of work: Halle (Saale)

P3G: Diversity Signals in Tree Interaction

PI: Prof. Christian Wirth

Place of work: Leipzig

P4G: Bottom-up and top-down drivers of herbivory

PI: Prof. Andreas Schuldt

Place of work: Göttingen

P5G: Drivers of fungal endophyte richness

PI: Prof. Helge Bruelheide

Place of work: Halle (Saale)

P6G: Biodiversity effects on leaf and litter metabolomes

PIs: Prof. Nicole van Dam, Dr. Steffen Neumann, Dr. Alexander Weinhold

Place of work: Leipzig

P7G: Rhizosphere and root microbes

PI: Dr. Tesfaye Wubet

Place of work: Halle (Saale)

P8G: Functional diversity of soil organisms

PIs: Dr. Simone Cesarz, Prof. Nico Eisenhauer

Place of work: Leipzig

P9G: Modelling generalized diversity interactions

PI: Prof. Ulrich Brose

Place of work: Leipzig

We offer:

  • Cutting-edge research projects in one of the largest tree diversity experiments
  • Outstanding and integrative research environment offering many networking opportunities
  • Individual supervision by internationally recognized scientists in BEF research
  • Tailored international qualification programme

Requirements/expected profile:

  • Excellent in a project-related field (e.g. ecology; environmental sciences)
  • Very good ecological knowledge and great interest with regard to forest biodiversity research
  • Good quantitative and statistical skills in R
  • Excellent communication skills in English - writing and speaking. Knowledge of German and/or Chinese would be advantageous.
  • Motivated to be a proactive team player in an international research consortium
  • Applicants must be prepared to spend substantial time (approx. 2-4 months per year) in China for fieldwork, lab visits and courses.
  • Willingness to work under subtropical field conditions. Field work experience would be advantageous

Application deadline: 14 February 2021

All applications should include:

  • Cover letter in English describing motivation for the project, research interests and relevant experience
  • Curriculum vitae in tabular form
  • Digital copy of the master’s certificate and transcript of records or equivalent
  • Names and contact details of at least two scientific references

Please submit your application for TreeDì positions in Germany only in English and via our application portal under It is possible to apply for several projects. Severely disabled persons are encouraged to apply and will be given preference in the case of equal suitability. Selected candidates will be invited to the joint online recruitment symposium taking place in March 2021 (22-23 March 2021). For project-related questions, please contact the relevant project leader.

All positions are detailed on
Contacts: Dr. Stefan Trogisch