Forests store vast amounts of carbon, provide important ecosystem services, and support most of the terrestrial biodiversity. Around one quarter of all forest species depend on dead wood. Several factors determine local biodiversity, incl. environmental gradients, available energy, and biotic interactions. Particularly the sequential arrival of species, i.e. priority effects, to a dead resource can have a major influence on biodiversity. However, our knowledge about the complex interplay of environmental drivers and priority effects is limited. In this project we aim to close this gap of knowledge. Therefore, we seek two highly motivated PhD candidates with experience in insect and/or fungal ecology and the collection and analysis of quantitative data, who will be responsible for:
• the maintenance and administration of the experimental set-ups
• (a) gathering and processing the saproxylic beetles’ samples collected by sticky traps and rearing OR (b) conduct the laboratory part of the work ensuring the molecular identification of fungal communities and sampling and processing the volatiles extracted from deadwood substrate
• the analyses and publication of the obtained data in international peer-reviewed journals

The successful candidates will fulfil the following requirements:
• Master’s degree or equivalent in ecological sciences, forest sciences, conservation biology or a related field
• ability to work responsibly and independently
• knowledge of ecological data analyses in R
• good command of spoken and written English
• class B driving license

The successful applicants will join the Laboratory of Woodland Ecology at the Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, where the project is led by Dr. Simon Thorn. The position permits and supports a scientific qualification through the preparation of a doctoral thesis within the framework of the project at the University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Science, in close collaboration to our German project partners.

The earliest starting date for the position is February 2022, whereas the exact starting date might be negotiated. The successful applicants will receive a minimum of a 50% position at the Biology Centre CAS with monthly salary ca 500EUR pre-tax (~12,500CZK). All PhD students are further supported by an additional scholarship (ca 500EUR). The salary together with the scholarship cover living costs in the Czech Republic very comfortably. The position is funded by the Czech Science Foundation until December 31, 2024.

To apply for this position, please send your application (including a motivation letter and CV) to Dr. Lukas Drag ([email protected]). Feel free to ask any additional questions about the project.

The closing date for applications is January 15, 2022.

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