Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany; PhD position in chemistry of human-plant interactions 60 %. A PhD position funded through a Swiss National Science Foundation Starting Grant is available by 1st of July 2023 in my group at the Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, University of Zurich, for a period of four years.

Your responsibilities: I am looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate to study the chemical basis of human-plant interactions in Amazonia as part of the INDIGENOMICS project. The successful applicant will conduct interdisciplinary research by combining ethnobotany and chemistry and travel to the Colombian Amazon to co-develop research with the Indigenous Matapí people to integrate indigenous wisdom with scientific knowledge.

The research will involve collaborations with colleagues at the UZH Chemistry Department, the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and Indigenous elders and their apprentices from the Colombian Amazon.

Your profile: You should have a MSc degree in biology, ecology, ethnobotany, or chemistry and a deep interest in phytochemistry and indigenous cultures. Proficiency in English, both orally and written, is required. Experience with untargeted metabolomics, gas chromatography, and tropical fieldwork is advantageous.

What we offer

Our Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany is in the University Botanical Gardens and houses modern molecular and ecological labs, an herbarium comprising three million specimens, and a Botanical Garden with living plants representing 8,000 species. The Department’s mission is to “increase the knowledge of plant diversity, the processes and patterns of plant evolution, the relationships between plants and other organisms and aspects of plant conservation.”

The Department of Chemistry, in turn, has state-of-the-art instruments for screening plant metabolomes, computational facilities with databases of natural products, and structure elucidation software. The University of Zurich has a broad research coverage of organismal and molecular biology. The city of Zurich offers excellent quality of life and attractive surroundings for outdoor sports.

Place of work; Botanischer Garten der Universität Zürich, Zollikerstrasse, Zürich, Switzerland, Start of employment; Employment start date is 1st of July 2023. Please submit your application by 10th of March 2023 with the following documents:

  • letter describing your motivation
  • curriculum vitae
  • diplomas
  • e-mail addresses of two academic referees

Please send all documents in a single pdf file.


Further information; Prof. Dr. Rodrigo Cámara Leret

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