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Project description

Wild bees and other pollinating insects are key components of biodiversity and provide vital pollination services to crops and wild plants. However, they face multiple threats including habitat loss, land use intensification or climate change. The European Horizon 2020 project SAFEGUARD ( aims to better understand these drivers and pressures, their consequences on pollinator populations, communities and the pollination functions they provide, to improve effective conservation measures for pollinators in Europe. The PhD candidate will 1) conduct field work in Switzerland to study effects of drivers on pollinators and 2) assess consequences of drivers and conservation measures on genetic diversity and genetic population structure of bee and other pollinator species, in collaboration with European project partners. Findings will help to develop more effective policies and measures to protect wild pollinators. We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD student to join the dynamic and interdisciplinary SAFEGUARD team at Agroscope (Zürich, Switzerland).

  • Collect field data on pollinators in Switzerland and establish collections of individuals
  • Apply molecular genetic tools to study genetic diversity and genetic population structure of pollinators
  • Statistical analysis of data
  • Publication of results in international journals
  • MSc in biology, ecology, entomology, molecular biology or similar
  • Motivation to conduct field work; ideally experience in collecting data (e.g. insects) in the field
  • Knowledge and experience in molecular biology
  • Experience/ skills in biostatistics and analyses using the software R
  • Good organizational skills
  • Achievement-oriented, communicative personality with a capacity for teamwork
  • Good communication and writing skills (in English and ideally also in German, but this is not a requirement)

Agroscope is an innovative research institute for agriculture and nutrition attached to the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER. It has research stations at a number of sites around Switzerland. The Agroscope Department of Agroecology and Environment in Zürich (Reckenholz) conducts research for an environmental friendly and competitive agriculture.
We offer research work in an interdisciplinary project team, competent supervision and a modern research infrastructure. Start date: 1 January 2022, or as agreed. Duration: 4 years.

  • Place of work: Zürich
  • Salary:According to the standards of the Swiss National Science Foundation
  • Employment level: 100%

We look forward to receiving your online application, including CV, academic transcripts and the addresses of 2-3 referees in a single PDF file to
For further information, please feel free to contact Dr. Matthias Albrecht (, +41 (0)58 468 74 13) or Dr. Jürg Enkerli (, +41 (0)58 468 72 06).

Safeguard project is looking for a motivated person to develop her/his PhD at EBD-CSIC starting from Nov-Dec 2021. The contract will cover 4 years of funding to develop the thesis. The thesis project is related to the EU H2020 SAFEGUARD ( project on pollinator declines and plant-pollinator networks. Hence, the candidate needs to speak English, be good at teamwork, and have a solid quantitative and theoretical ecology understanding, including the use of R or any other programming language.

The working place will be based at EBD (, located in beautiful Sevilla. You should explore the lab webpage ( to understand the lab philosophy. Main tasks will consist of statistical analysis of large databases and collaborating on empirical (i.e. fieldwork) studies.

Driving license and an EU Degree in sciences (sensu lato)
Able to write and speak in English
Experience with any programming language, preferably R
Enjoying fieldwork
Motivation to learn new things, resilience to failure, and compromise.

To apply for the position send to in a single PDF (i) a brief motivation letter where you highlight what could be your main contributions to the project and why do you want to embark on a PhD in the lab, (ii) a short and clear CV highlighting your role in the different items presented, and (iii) the email of two contact people who can provide a reference letter if needed. Judging early career researchers’ CVs is difficult, so using short examples of how you handled a particular collaboration is much more useful than saying that you are good at teamwork. The lab adheres to the DORA ( declaration to evaluate candidates, so alternative paths are welcomed.

Due to out of my control contracting policies, candidates with non-EU degrees may not be eligible.
Revising CVs and conducting interviews will start at 10 September until the position is filled.
Link to the ad:


This project receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101003476

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