The ETH chair for Global Ecosystem Ecology (Crowther Lab) in the Institute for Integrative Biology offers a postdoc position in fungal biogeography (Prof. Dr. Thomas Crowther), with co-supervision from Dr. Johan van den Hoogen. The position is based in Zürich Switzerland, with travel to Amsterdam and the USA possible. It is initially limited to two years with an option for extension and is paid according to the fixed salary rates of ETH Zürich. The project is in close collaboration with Dr. Michael Van Nuland at the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks (SPUN), and Prof. Dr. Toby Kiers at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

Project background

Nearly all plants on Earth form a root symbiosis with mycorrhizal fungi. These organisms are central to how plants access critically limiting soil resources like nutrients and water. Yet, despite their critical importance, we lack a fundamental understanding of global mycorrhizal fungal biodiversity patterns, and how variation in fungal communities influences key ecosystem functions like carbon capture.

We are searching for a postdoctoral researcher to finish analysis and writing of a number of exciting mycorrhizal ecology projects. Our team has built multiple large-scale projects with inter-connected datasets on mycorrhizal biodiversity, forest carbon dynamics, and fungal microbiome manipulation field experiments

We are now looking for a postdoctoral researcher excited to lead analyses, data visualisations and writing of upcoming fungal biogeography projects and/or synthesis across projects for publication in academic journals. Applicants should demonstrate excellence in written communication, data analysis, visualisation, and working across diverse groups.

Job description

The successful applicant will collaborate with SPUN’s lead data scientist and our Lab’s data science team, which can accelerate large scale computing lifts and general coding challenges. This position is an opportunity to focus on generating publications, without any time commitment to field or laboratory work, though visits to Amsterdam, the USA, and our field site in Wales are possible.

Your profile

The successful applicant has a PhD in microbial ecology, biology or related fields and will bring a passion for biodiversity and fungi. We expect you to have ownership of all work from end-to-end and take part in strategic thinking. Communicating, developing and documenting all research with incredible detail is key.

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.

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.

Applicants should submit a cover letter, CV and up to 3 examples of their writing. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

For any questions about the position, please contact

About the Crowther Lab

The Crowther Lab is an interdisciplinary team ​​research group specialising in global ecosystem ecology that aims to improve our understanding of the ecological processes regulating the Earth’s climate. We believe that conserving, protecting and restoring nature can help fight climate change and enhance human health and wellbeing.

About SPUN

SPUN is a non-profit, science-based initiative founded to map mycorrhizal fungal networks and advocate for their protection. In collaboration with researchers and local communities, we aim to accelerate efforts to protect the underground ecosystems largely absent from conservation and climate agendas. SPUN is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion across the sciences.

Apply online now

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