The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL is part of the ETH Domain. Approximately 600 people work on the sustainable use and protection of the environment and on the handling of natural hazards.
The Forest Dynamics Research Unit investigates current challenges facing Swiss forests, such as ongoing climate change, pollutants and other disturbances, by means of field and laboratory experiments. For July 1, 2023 – or by agreement, the Research Groups Ecophysiology and Ecosystem Ecology are looking for a PhD student in plant ecophysiology
Trees and particularly the conifers of northern hemisphere play crucial roles for the terrestrial carbon (C) cycle. However, a general understanding of fundamental C-fluxes between cells and tissues within plant organs is largely lacking.
In an increasingly stressing environment, such science is needed for assessing the ability of different plants to maintain their cellular homeostasis. In the framework of the interdisciplinary research project microC-flux, you will investigate the dynamics of freshly assimilated carbon from the assimilation sites in mesophyll of conifer needles, through the transfer tissues, to the phloem exportation sites and further, towards other tree organs. Therefore, you will perform pulse-chase experiments with C- isotopes and micro-localise the 13C enrichments at subcellular level by means of high-resolution Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) imaging.
You will be integrated into an international research team of plant ecophysiologists, anatomists, materials scientists and modellers. Your working place for this 4-year PhD is based at WSL (Zurich site), with regular stays at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST). The doctoral program will be completed at the D-USYS Department of ETH in Zurich.
You have a MSc degree in biology, environmental science or in a closely related field. You provide good experimental, analytical and writing skills. Experience in at least one of the research domains is advantageous (plant anatomy, ecophysiology or isotope research).
Proficiency in English is required and knowledge of German and/or French is also desirable. As an ambitious and open-minded team player, you can rapidly adapt to new work conditions and you are attracted by the challenges of a demanding interdisciplinary research program.
Please send your complete application to Stefania Pe, Human Resources WSL, by uploading the requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered. Pierre Vollenweider, phone +41 (0)44 739 24 35, will be happy to answer any questions or offer further information. The WSL strives to increase the proportion of women in its employment, which is why qualified women are particularly called upon to apply for this position.