[ECOLOG-L] PhD Position: Remote Sensing of Sub-Tropical Forest Degradation

The Geography Department at Humboldt-University Berlin seeks highly
qualified and motivated candidates for a PhD Position in Remote Sensing
of Sub-Tropical Forest Degradation

One funded PhD position (TV-L HU 13, 60%) for three years.
Starting date: from 1st October 2015.
Application deadline: 16 July 2015
Reference number: DR/096/15

The successful applicant will study forest degradation in the South
American Chaco using satellite remote sensing and ground data. The Chaco
ecoregion, stretching into parts of Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay,
has experienced widespread land-use change with drastic outcomes for
biodiversity and ecosystem service provisioning. In this context, the
successful candidate will focus on assessing gradual forest changes in
the Chaco, for example due to changing grazing pressure or logging. To
quantify forest degradation and recovery across large areas in the
Chaco, and to assess the environmental outcomes of these changes, the
applicant will develop and apply time-series methods that make full use
of the Landsat archives and upcoming sensors such as Sentinel-2. The
position will contribute to a larger research project focusing on
understanding recent land-use changes and their effects on biodiversity
in the Chaco, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and carried
out in collaboration with the Instituto Nacional de Tecnología
Agropecuaria (INTA) in Buenos Aires and Salta, and the National
Universities of Tucuman and Mar del Plata (all in Argentina).

At the Geography Department, the applicant will join the Biogeography &
Conservation Biology Lab (http://ift.tt/1C39CA5
http://ift.tt/1GRMbpr), which seeks to better
understand dynamics in coupled human-natural systems, and how these
dynamics affect biodiversity – from landscape to global scales. Our
research has the overall goal to help identify pathways to balance human
resource use with the conservation of biodiversity, and is strongly
motivated by providing solutions to conservation problems. We develop
and apply approaches grounded in spatial ecology, spatial statistics,
geographic analyses, and remote sensing. The group works in
collaboration with researchers and science institutions worldwide, and
is an active contributor to science networks such as the Global Land
Project and Diversitas. The working language of the group is English.

We seek a candidate with an above-average MSc (or equivalent degree) in
Geography, Environmental Sciences, Forestry, Ecology, or related fields.
We expect experience and a strong interest in land system science,
forest ecology, and sustainability science. Required methodological
skills include a sound background in remote sensing, geographic
information systems, and spatial statistics. Experience in scripting
languages (e.g., Python) and in R, as well as in forestry biometry
methods is a plus. Spanish language skills are highly welcome. We also
expect excellent command of the English language, good communication
skills, and willingness to work in international research teams.

We offer a position in an international, young and dynamic team with an
excellent scientific record. Payment will be according to EGr. 13 TV-L
HU (60% position), i.e., an annual gross salary of about 22,000-25,000
EUR, depending on prior research experience. Employment at Humboldt-
Universität zu Berlin offers all benefits of the German public service,
including health insurance. Funding for participation in scientific
conferences and relevant workshops is available. Humboldt-Universität zu
Berlin is located in the Berlin-Brandenburg research area and closely
linked to neighboring institutions like the Potsdam Institute for
Climate Impact Research (PIK) or the German Research Centre for
Geosciences (GFZ). HU Berlin hosts one of Germany’s leading Geography
Departments, with research foci in Land System Science, Sustainability
Science, and Metropolitan Studies. Berlin is Germany’s largest city with
an inspiring metropolitan flair and great scientific networking
opportunities. Researchers from abroad are welcome to apply. HU Berlin
is a certified family-friendly university. We seek to increase the
proportion of women in research and teaching, and specifically encourage
qualified female scientists/researchers to apply. Applicants with
disabilities with equivalent qualifications will be given preferential
consideration. Non-German Citizens are specifically encouraged to apply.
Please refer to http://ift.tt/1C39CA9
http://ift.tt/1GRMdxv where you find the legally binding
German version of the job announcement.

Applicants should include (1) a letter of motivation, (2) a full CV, (3)
a writing example (e.g., a publication, a part of a thesis), and (4)
contact details for two references. Please send the application
electronically in a single PDF file to Ms. Dagmar Wörister
(dagmar.woerister@geo.hu-berlin.de).
Please include the reference number in the content line of your email.
Application deadline: 16 July 2015

For further information please contact Prof. Tobias Kuemmerle
(tobias.kuemmerle@geo.hu-berlin.de)

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