PhD position

The Animal Ecology lab at the Institute of Landscape Ecology, University of Münster (Germany), invites applications for a

PhD position in crop system research, agricultural ecology or plant ecology
German salary scale for the public sector TV-L E13 (65% of a full-time position)

The position is available from April 1, 2018, and is a fixed-term position for a period of three years. The research will be conducted as part of the EU-funded project (Horizon 2020) “DIVERSify - Designing Innovative plant teams for Ecosystem Resilience and agricultural Sustainability” (
The core aim of the project is to study alternatives to monocultures in European farming systems and to test options to create mixtures of different crop- and non-crop species. The successful applicant will perform experimental work in agricultural fields to understand mechanisms promoting positive plant-plant and plant-environment interactions. Measurements will include yield and its components, plant, vegetation and soil parameters, and multitrophic interactions in crop fields. In addition, the successful applicant will perform research on improving plant teams and testing novel combinations of crops.
Applicants should have a master’s degree in agricultural sciences, ecology, biodiversity or related disciplines. A strong background in practical agriculture, experimental design and plant ecology is required. Knowledge of statistical software packages (such as “R”) is a further prerequisite. To communicate with local farmers and European project partners, excellent knowledge of German and English language and of scientific writing in English will be required.

The University of Münster is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing the proportion of women in academics. Consequently, we actively encourage applications by women. Female candidates with equivalent qualifications and academic achievements will be preferentially considered within the framework of the legal possibilities. We also welcome applications from candidates with severe disabilities. Disabled candidates with equivalent qualifications will be preferentially considered, although some restrictions due to necessary agricultural field work may apply.
Applications should be written in English and compiled into a single PDF file. The application should include a cover letter (including the date on which the applicant could start the position), curriculum vitae, publication list, copies of university degrees, the names and e-mail addresses of at least two academic referees, as well as a brief (max. 1 page) statement about past and future research interests.
Application material should be submitted no later than February 16, 2018 preferably as a single PDF file attached to a single email with the subject line “PhD in crop system research”,

For any questions please contact
Prof. Dr. Christoph Scherber (
at the Institute of Landscape Ecology
Heisenbergstr. 2
48149 Münster