PhD position with Snowfinches

Schweizerische Vogelwarte
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We offer a PhD position to address potential mechanisms of how global change will affect Snowfinch population dynamics. The goals are to elucidate mechanisms that determine the timing of Snowfinch broods and to understand how population changes are governed by the environment. Two approaches complementing each other will be used. First, existing long-term monitoring data sets are analysed in order to correlate between-year variance in the timing of broods and population changes with environmental variables. Second, eggs, nestlings and their adults are studied in a nestbox colony mainly at Furkapass, 2427m.


The successful candidate is expected to develop and carry out analyses of existing long-term data as well as to organize and conduct field work including field experiments. A MSc in ecology, animal behaviour, evolutionary ecology or a related discipline is required. Candidates with good statistical skills (preferably in R), experience in bird handling and willingness as well as ability to work long hours in harsh alpine weather conditions are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate is also expected to lead a small team of field assistants and to supervise MSc students in the field. Good knowledge of German and English is required; knowledge of the breeding birds of Switzerland is welcome. Driving license is mandatory.

The position is offered for three years. Salary is according to the regulations of the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Ornithological Institute. Starting date is 1 February 2018. Field work takes place in the Swiss Alps, working place otherwise is Sempach, Switzer- land.

Your application should be submitted as one PDF file to Irene Schumacher and include a letter of motivation detailing research interests and experience as well as a current CV with contact information of two referees. Closing date for applications is 15 November 2017. Interviews are expected to be held in December.

For information contact Dr. Fränzi Korner and check out


1. Februar 2018
Schweizerische Vogelwarte
Seerose 1, 6204 Sempach
Irene Schumacher
Tel. 0041 41 462 97 80
bis 15. November 2017

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