Invasive alien pests and pathogens of plants are among the greatest threats to forest ecosystems worldwide. The majority of such organisms are introduced through international trade, and most were unknown to science prior to introduction. A powerful tool to identify potentially harmful organisms in their region of origin is the use of sentinel plantings, which enable the assessment of the risk associated with the identified organisms and the development of mitigation measures.

We are inviting applications for a PhD position in Invasion Ecology (100%) to develop optimal sampling strategies for use in sentinel plantings. For this, tree species from different continents will be monitored and potential pests and pathogens identified.
The PhD project is part of a collaboration between CABI Switzerland and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, with collaborators in China and the US, and is closely linked with COST Action Global Warning (FP1401).
Applicants must hold an MSc degree in Ecology, Entomology or Pathology or another relevant discipline. Experience with molecular identification techniques and statistical analysis (R), as well as the ability to collaborate and work independently are desired.
Candidates with experience in both field and laboratory techniques, and those with an interest in both pathology and entomology have an advantage. Strong oral and written communication skills in English are required. The successful candidate is expected to start in February or March 2016 with funding for three years.

Applicants should send a letter of motivation that explains their research experience and interests, a CV including publications, if relevant, and a list of three professional references.
Application review will start 3 January until the position is filled.
Complete applications must be addressed to Dr. René Eschen ([email protected]). Further information can be obtained by
Dr. René Eschen (CABI; [email protected]; +41 32 421 48 87) or Dr. Simone Prospero
(WSL; [email protected]; +41 44 739 22 48).

Best regards,

*Dr René Eschen*

Senior Scientist – Risk Analysis and Invasion Ecology


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CH-2800 Delémont

Telephone: +41 (0)32 421 4887
Fax: +41 (0)32 421 4871
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