Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel

Research Assistant in plant ecology

2024-01-15 (Europe/Berlin)
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The Institute for Ecosystem Research at Kiel University is seeking to fill the following position within a DFG project on the micro-evolution of multi-stress resistance in high mountain forests:

Research Assistant (m/f/d), 65% E13 TVL

(qualification possibility: PhD in plant ecology)

The position is expected to start earliest on the 15th of March 2024 and latest on the 1st of May 2024 and is fix-termed for 36 months.

The designated PhD candidate will experimentally investigate evolutionary divergence in combined heat and drought stress resistance across an elevation gradient in populations of Polylepis australis -  a key stone tree species of the endangered Argentinean mountain forests. The successful candidate will study morphological, physiological and metabolome traits broadly representing the plants’ abiotic stress resistance as well as interactions with local microbiota causing feedback on plant stress resistance. The project aims at i) deepening insight into the co-evolution of plants and their associated microbes under different climatic regimes; and ii) contributing to the development of strategies for the conservation of Polylepis forests in the face of rapid climate change. The project is supervised by Dr. Karin Schrieber in close cooperation with Dr. Paula Marcora (Córdoba University, Argentina), and Prof. Eva Stukenbrock (Kiel University, Germany). The position is situated in the lab of Prof. Alexandra Erfmeier.

Your work tasks include…

  • the self-independent organization and establishment of a comprehensive controlled experiment manipulating diurnal temperature courses, watering regimes and soil microbiota in plants from low and high elevational origins.
  • the acquisition of data on plant growth, morpho-functional traits, physiology, metabolome (fingerprinting and profiling of hydrophilic and lipophilic compounds), and microbiome (composition and function of root endophytes and epiphytes).
  • the statistical analyses of data.
  • writing and publishing articles in peer-reviewed international journals.
  • presenting your scientific results at national and international conferences.
  • contributing to the development of conservation strategies based on your own and existing data.

We offer you…

Your profile must comprise…

  • a very good Master of Science in biology in the fields of plant population ecology or plant molecular/chemical ecology, or a related environmental science with a plant focus
  • practical experience in experimental plant ecology, plant eco-metabolomics or plant microbiome research.
  • strong organizational skills.
  • solid experience in statistical data analyses (preferably in R).
  • strong skills in scientific writing and oral scientific presentations
  • very good language skills (oral and written) in English (mandatory) and/or German (is an advantage) and/or Spanish (is an advantage).
  • excellent communication skills and motivation to work in an international environment.

We welcome your application regardless of your age, gender, cultural and social background, religion, ideology, disability or sexual identity. As we promote gender equality, women are given priority in cases of equal suitability, ability and professional performance. Kiel University is committed to the employment of people with disabilities: Applications from severely disabled persons and their equals will be given preferential consideration if they are suitable. We expressly welcome applications from people with a migration background. Kiel University bears the quality seal "audit familiengerechte hochschule" and supports the compatibility of work and professional life.

Please submit your application (with CV, letter of motivation and certificates) as an e-mail with one pdf file to by the 15th of January 2024. Selection interviews start on the 5th of February 2024 and continue until the position is filled. We ask you to refrain from submitting application photos. For further information or questions, please contact Dr. Karin Schrieber (, Institute for Ecosystem Research, Kiel University, Tel. +49-431-880-4082.

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Job details

Research Assistant in plant ecology
Christian-Albrechts-Platz 4 Kiel, Germany
Application deadline
2024-01-15 23:59 (Europe/Berlin)
2024-01-15 23:59 (CET)
Job type
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About the employer

Kiel University is Germany's northernmost State University and the scientific centre of Schleswig-Holstein.

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