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Professorship of Ecological Services (PES) – Prof. Dr. Thomas Koellner

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Open PhD Position: Historical yields of crops under climate change​

Open phd position: Historical yields of crops under climate change

The interdisciplinary research of the Professorship of Ecological Services (PES), University of Bayreuth aims at better ecological management of agricultural landscapes facing climate change. Towards this goal, one PhD position is currently available to conduct research on change of yield of crops in agricultural landscape of Bavaria. The goal is to understand the reasons for spatial patterns of crop yield increase, variability and underperformance. 


    Research goal:

    Yields of cereals do vary in space and time due to environmental and management factors in combination with crop traits. We will identify the impact of plant varieties under climate change on yield, yield variability and underperformance in Bavaria in 1853 and in 1950 – today. Towards this, we aim to spatially explicit reconstruct the time series of crop yields for the project’s case study regions and for complete Bavaria. The underlying hypothesis is that old variaties of crops perform better under climate change.

    Your task:

    You will a) reconstruct the distribution of varieties of wheat and maize (1853, 1950 – today), b) statistically analyse the changes of yield of wheat and maize in time and space and c) identify drivers (e.g. crop management, landscape management, climate change) for spatiotemporal differences of changes in yield. The historic time step in the 19th century represents an agricultural system of preindustrial era without artificial fertilizers and pesticides. 

    This position is part of the research project RhizoTraits „Rhizosphere traits enhancing yield resilience to drought in modern cropping systems“, subproject 6.


    Your qualifications for the position:

    • Master degree in environmental, natural sciences, geography, or agronomy
    • Knowledge related to global change and ecosystem services
    • Methodological knowledge in geostatistical models in R, time series analysis, remote sensing and eventually ecosystem services models (e.g. InVEST)
    • Very good command of English language (German is an advantage because the project is located in Bavaria)

    Working environment:

    • The Professorship of Ecological Services (PES) offers an interdisciplinary working environment
    • Membership in the Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research (BayCEER) of the University of Bayreuth with more than 60 senior researchers and postdocs with a research focus on biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services 
    • Active involvement in workshops and meetings of the project RhizoTraits
    • PhD student will be enrolled in the PhD program for Ecology and Environmental Research PEER, which offers support through mentoring, a structured course program and access to workshops & seminars

    Handicapped persons will be given preference in cases with equal qualification. The University of Bayreuth is dedicated to increasing the proportion of women employed in science, and requests explicitly applications from women.

    Applicants should send in one pdf a motivation letter, curriculum vitae, certificates with transcripts of grades, list of publications, ev. 1-3 sample publications, and contact addresses of 2 referees via email to thomas.koellner@uni-bayreuth.de (Prof. Dr. Thomas Koellner, Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Geosciences, University of Bayreuth, 95440 Bayreuth, Germany). 

    Date of publication November 26, 2019 - open for applications until positions filled. Start is planned for February 2020. See status on PES webpage or contact Prof. Dr. Koellner for further information.

    Notes for applicants concerning General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) information requirements >>


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