The Animal Ecology group in the Institute of Landscape Ecology at the University of Münster, Germany, invites applications for a

PhD position
(salary level TV-L E13, 65%)
in the area of molecular ecology, insect ecology or multitrophic interaction ecology in a salt marsh ecosystem

This fixed-term position is available for a three-year period starting from 1 January 2019. The research will be conducted as part of the DFG-funded project “Spatial community ecology in highly dynamic landscapes: from island biogeography to metaecosystems” (DynaCom) within the subproject “Trait-based terrestrial consumer metacommunities”. For project information, see

In coastal ecosystems, invertebrate consumer communities are strongly shaped by colonization and extinction dynamics that are driven by species’ traits such as body size, mobility or trophic position. The successful applicant will (i) study the structure of aboveground arthropod communities and their spatiotemporal dynamics in salt marsh ecosystems, (ii) determine the trophic structure of salt marsh arthropod communities using molecular analysis of gut contents and other suitable methods and (iii) assess traits driving extinction/emigration and colonization processes.

Applicants should have a graduate academic university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in a natural science with a background in (molecular) ecology, biodiversity, entomology or related disciplines. Applicants experienced in analytical chemistry, applied physics or biochemistry with a proven interest in ecology and field work are encouraged to apply. Applicants should have a strong interest to work on an interdisciplinary team and must have excellent knowledge of English. Knowledge of the statistics software package R is a further prerequisite.

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), curriculum vitae, publication list, copies of university degrees, the names and email addresses of at least two academic referees, as well as a brief (max. one page) statement about past and future research interests.

Application material should be submitted no later than 30 September 2018 as a single PDF file (file name: Surname_Name.pdf) attached to a single email with the subject line “PhD in salt marsh insect ecology” to

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