Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

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PhD Position (Soil Science/Geoecology)

Faculty of Science, Department of Geosciences

Bewerbungsfrist : 31. Oktober 2018

For a new DFG-funded research project investigating soil structure formation and soil erosion linked to micro-organisms and vegetation along a climate gradient in Chile, we invite applications for a

PhD Position (Soil Science/Geoecology)

Start date 1st January 2019, 3 years, 75 %, salary: pay grade E13 TVöD.

Our project ‘Microbial Engineers – Drivers of Earth Surface Development and Stabilization’ will explore how the development of soil environments in relation to changing climate conditions stabilize and shape the Earth’s surface. It is part of the EarthShape project (, a consortium of interdisciplinary projects in Geology, Ecology, Soil Sciences, Geography, Microbiology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry. Our research will be conducted at four study sites in the Chilean Coastal Range, which features one of Earth’s most spectacular vegetation gradients and is controlled by climate ranging from hyper-arid to humid temperate. It is a natural laboratory to study how biology and topography interact. You will be trained in interdisciplinary methods, conduct joint field work and attend training events.

Your tasks will be to perform field work in Chile including rainfall simulation experiment and splash cup tests and a range of experimental and analytical techniques at our lab in Tübingen. The work will be conducted within an interdisciplinary team comprising experts from soil science and geomorphology, microbiology and geoecology. The project includes longer field sampling campaigns, with the first campaign taking place after the kick-off in March 2019 in Chile. The study will be conducted in close cooperation with the German Research Centre for Geoscience in Potsdam and the Technical University of Munich.

You are qualified in Soil Science, Geoecology, Geoscience, Geography or related sciences. Expertise in field experiments on soil erosion and experience in field and laboratory work, as well as advanced knowledge of statistics (preferably with R), are highly welcome. You should be interested in understanding and investigating interactions of biological and geological systems in an interdisciplinary environment. Furthermore, excellent team work skills, fluency in English, and a willingness to present papers at international conferences are expected. A Class B driving licence is required.

You can expect a very diverse and challenging job within an international scientific team. We offer an enthusiastic, motivating work environment with ample opportunities for cooperation in the Geoscience Department, as well as nationally and internationally. The chair of Soil Science and Geomorphology accommodates a wide range of scientific methods and leaves room for independent, professional development. Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen is one of Europe’s oldest universities. Tübingen is a beautiful place to live, as it combines a historical and venerable flair with the bustle of a young and cosmopolitan student town. The compatibility of professional and family life is of particular concern to our university, and we provide a work environment that encourages this. Disabled candidates will be given preference over other equally qualified applicants. The University seeks to raise the number of women in research and teaching and therefore ask qualified women to apply.

Please submit your application by 31th October 2018 as single PDF file to Ms. Margaretha Baur ( Employment depends on final approval by the German Research Foundation. Please include a cover letter, a short abstract of your final thesis, a full CV, certificates, and the names of 2-3 potential referees. For further information, you are welcome to contact Prof. Dr. Thomas Scholten (thomas.scholtenspam and Dr. Peter Kühn (peter.kuehn