Here we post open positions and potential MSc thesis projects. We also welcome enquiries from prospective students. If you have an original project that fits into our general research interests, contact us to discuss possibilities. To learn more about the funding opportunities, follow the links at the bottom of this page.
- We are looking for an assistant to work with GIS data for a Biodiversa project (Green Future Forestry; main responsible Michael Griesser, under the lead of Arpat Ozgul). The person needs to have good GIS and basic database skills, and should be generally interested in biodiversity and conservation questions.
We will use these data to assess the influence of future forestry on biodiversity of birds and other key organisms in Central European Forests. Specific work tasks are to match bird census data with forestry data, establish the forest structure at the time of the bird census, and do basic analyses of forest structure and bird abundance.
To apply send a cover letter, your CV (clearly highlighting your GIS experience), and names of two referees (as one PDF) as soon as possible to:
- Amphibian conservation biology – Consequences of translocations: Translocations are often used in conservation practice to rescue populations threatened by development or to create new populations. The currency for measuring the success of translocations is whether translocations led to a new population. Here we seek a master student who is keen to assess the success of a Natterjack toad translocation project. A previous master thesis showed that natural and translocated populations do not differ in microsatellite genetic variation. The aim of this project is to investigate phenotypic (i.e. fitness-related) traits using a common garden experiment in outdoor mesocosms. Eggs from different populations have to be collected in the wild. Tadpoles will be raised in captivity. As this study involves live individuals of a threatened species, we are looking for a highly motivated student who can handle animals carefully. For this master project, you need a driving license (field work). German is an advantage. If interested, contact Benedikt Schmidt.
- Amphibian conservation biology – The slow decline in abundance of a neglected species: Conservation biologists usually study rare and enigmatic species. There is, however, a growing number of studies which shows that many other species, including common ones, are declining as well. The amphibian monitoring of the Swiss canton Aargau showed that the Palmate newt, Lissotriton helveticus, has been declining in abundance for the past ~15 years while pond occupancy remained roughly constant.
Here we seek a master student who is keen to analyse the data using state-of-the-art statistical methods. The goal is a robust quantification of the decline. In addition, we would like to understand the reasons for the decline (land use change? climate change? a hoax?). Field work will be necessary to collect data which will then be used to test some hypotheses. For this master project, you need a driving license (field work). German is an advantage. If interested, contact Benedikt Schmidt.