The Plant Ecology group of Janneke Hille Ris Lambers is looking for two research technicians to participate in research quantifying the responses of plant communities to climate change.
Current research areas include the magnitude and drivers of plant community turnover with climate change and whether climatic and biological constraints on tree seedling performance influence forest responses to climate change.
Forests are critical to the carbon cycle and are the home to many plants and animals of conservation interest. Thus, improving our limited understanding of how forest communities will shift with climate change is critical. Several factors play a role in our limited understanding. First, forest regeneration depends on multiple plant-relevant microclimate variables that will be influenced by climate change (e.g. growing season length, extreme frosts). Moreover, species interactions that are themselves influenced by climate can also affect forest regeneration, both positively (e.g. facilitation, mycorrhizae) and negatively (seed predation, herbivory). As a result, seed production, seed germination, and seedling growth and survival are all highly dynamic processes, both spatially and temporally. Therefore, to better understand how seeds and seedlings contribute forest dynamics in a changing climate, long-term studies that are replicated in many locations are crucial. In this light, we initiated long-term monitoring of seed production and seedling dynamics, relative to microsite characteristics at 12 sites that are distributed across all of Switzerland, along a climate and elevation gradient. The project is conducted in collaboration with the WSL program "Langfristige Waldökosystemforschung".
This monitoring effort will provide valuable information on the biotic and abiotic factors that influence tree regeneration of dominant Swiss tree species. The information gained will be combined with ongoing greenhouse experiments in the Plant Ecology Group and species distribution modeling to assess the role climatic effects play in driving tree distributions. The project is complementary to long-term monitoring by the Plant Ecology Group in old-growth forests at Mt. Rainier National Park (Washington, USA).
We seek a technician to primarily assist with the maintenance (and potential setting up of new sites) of long-term ecological monitoring of tree regeneration in Swiss forests, which allows us to explore how these life history stages may constrain forest responses to climate change.
Tasks include ecological data collection in the field and lab, equipment maintenance (field material and technical installations at ETH), the development of sampling protocols, assistance in greenhouse experiments and data management. Additionally, technicians may contribute to related field projects led by graduate students and postdoctoral associates in the lab.
Fieldwork can be physically demanding (e.g. hiking to reach field sites, kneeling down, gardening work) and so a passion for outdoor work under all weather conditions is essential. The applicant must also be willing to work some non-standard work weeks (especially in the summer), go on multi-day field trips.
For both positions, the contracts will run from April/May until October 2022.
For both positions, candidates should have:
We are looking forward to receiving your online application with a
Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Review of applications starts on February 1st, application remains open until positions are filled.
For further information please contact Sabine Flury (no applications).
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