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Two PhD positions in forest ecology at the Czech University of Life Science

Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague is seeking two highly motivated Ph.D. researchers to join their team within the Forest Dynamics Lab of the Department of Forest Ecology in the Czech Republic. Their current research is focused on how disturbance regimes drive structural variability, carbon dynamics, and biodiversity at stand and landscape scales in primary mountain forests in central and eastern Europe.

Description of the forest ecology positions

Despite the long history of land use, this region of Europe still has extensive remnants of primary mountain forests, particularly in the Carpathian and Dinaric mountain ranges. The large sub-continental region covered by the current research project includes the two dominant forest types in Europe, Norway spruce and mixed broad-leaf forests dominated by European beech. The aim of the current project is to quantify how disturbances influence forest structure, C dynamics, biodiversity and the multiple pathways of stand development that contribute to complex structure across these two forest types. Based on a unique set of established plots across several forest landscapes, detailed reconstructions of past disturbance histories will allow us to quantify spatio-temporal structural patterns and C dynamics along forest development pathways at stand, local, and landscape levels, as well as across environmental and climatic gradients.

The activities, together with our team, will include field work, laboratory processing of samples (mainly tree cores), statistically analyzing data, compiling results, and preparing peer-reviewed publications in international science journals.

Two positions are available:

1) Forest Ecology Ph.D. – the first position will focus on reconstructing disturbance histories using tree ring data and examining links with current forest structure, composition, and indicators of biodiversity. This position will include field work;

2) Dendroecology Ph.D. – the second position will focus more on dendroecological analyses of existing tree ring data (current database of 20,000 tree cores from 1000 forest plots across the study region) to examine links between tree growth and abiotic and biotic factors. Although the candidate for the second position is not expected to participate in field-work, there will be opportunities to visit impressive locations of old-growth forests across the region.

We are a young and energetic research team with close collaborations with international partners. Opportunities exist for exchange visits and meetings.


Applicants should have a MSc (or equivalent) in environmental or related sciences (biology, ecology, geography, forest sciences), and good English communication and writing skills. Ideal candidates would have strong analytical skills, experience with large datasets and R, and some past experience working with tree rings, particularly for the second position. Both positions include a monthly salary of 800 Euros.


Please indicate which position you are applying for and attach a CV listing your skills and qualifications. Applicants should also provide a short statement outlining why they believe themselves to be suitable for the above positions, as well as contact information for at least one reference.

Applications are due by May 15th, 2017, and successful candidates would start in October 2017.

Send the application by email to both of the following contacts:

Miroslav Svoboda, Email:
Thomas A. Nagel, Email:
Postal address: Czech University of Life Science, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Science, Kamycka 129, Praha 6 Suchdol, 16521, Czech Republic

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