Department of Palynology and Climate Dynamics

Department of Palynology and Climate Dynamics

PhD position, palaeoecology/palynology

The Albrecht-von-Haller-Institute for Plant Sciences (Dep. Palynology and Climate Dynamics) at the Georg-August-University Goettingen, Germany, invites applications for a PhD student position (temporary appointment) to study the vegetation history of the East-European forest-steppe zone.
Project start: 01.07.2019. The appointment will be for a maximum of three years. Salary according to E13 TV-L (65% position).
Project description
The main goal of this project is to reconstruct the Holocene vegetation history of the East European forest-steppe ecotone in response to climatic changes, fire, and human impact. The selected study area between the Dnepr and the Don is situated in the heart of the ecotone with a vegetation composition very sensitive to any changes in temperature, precipitation, and human impact. Early human influence is documented by various archaeological cultures of nomads and agricultural societies.
The Holocene forest-steppe dynamic will be studied on palynological archives taken from three key regions along a latitudinal gradient crossing the whole ecotone from the adjacent forests in the north to the steppes in the south. The radiocarbon-dated archives will be analysed for lithology, pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs, macroremains and charcoal in centennial to decennial resolution. Based on these data, regional and local vegetation composition, forest-cover, climate, agriculture, deforestation, fire history, erosion and land-use will be reconstructed. As a result of the project, maps of the Holocene vegetation change of the East European forest-steppe through space and time will be constructed.
Applicants must hold a master degree (above average grade) in geosciences, biology, geography, or closely related field. Preferred key qualifications include (1) basic knowledge of palynology, European pollen flora and non-pollen palynomorphs, (2) experience with multivariate data analysis and statistical methods, and (3) computer literacy (in particular, skillful use of MS office package, graphics software etc.). Previous experience within the field of vegetation history and palaeoecology is advantageous.
The ability to organize and prioritize own work and organize research within the project schedule, as well as a positive attitude toward and experience with field and laboratory work are required. The ideal candidate demonstrates originality within the overall research focus and has excellent communication skills. Proficiency in written and spoken English and Russian/Ukranian are beneficial. Besides team working capabilities, previous international experience is desirable.
Application deadline is 26 May 2019. Interested individuals are invited to submit an application package including a motivation letter, CV, copy of MSc [or equivalent] certificates, and addresses of at least two referees as pdf’s to Dr. Lyudmila Shumilovskikh: Lyudmila.Shumilovskikh ad, Dep. Palynology and Climate Dynamic, Albrecht-von-Haller-Institute for Plant Sciences, Georg-August-University Goettingen, Untere Karspuele 2, 37073 Goettingen, Germany.
Further information
The Georg-August-University Göttingen is an equal opportunity employer. Disabled persons with comparable qualification receive preferential status.
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