PhD Position in Conservation Biology
Georg-August-University Goettingen

PhD position (all genders welcome)

Institution: Conservation Biology department (ID 14958)

Contact person: Prof. Johannes Kamp

Date of occupation: 10/01/2020

Release date: May 6th, 2020

The Conservation Biology department at the University of Göttingen (Germany) seeks highly qualified and motivated candidates for a

PhD position (all genders welcome)

on biodiversity responses to land-use change in the former Soviet Union.

The position should be filled by 01 October 2020. Regular working hours are currently 25.87 hours per week with a temporary contract of 3 years. Salary: Pay grade Entgeltgruppe 13 TV-L, 65% of a full position .


The successful applicant will focus on the impacts of land-use change on biodiversity across the former Soviet Union. The break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 resulted in major institutional and socio-economic changes, leading to widespread rural outmigration and land abandonment that provided more space for wildlife. At the same time, poaching increased and new threats to biodiversity emerged. Overall, the consequences of the break-up of the Soviet Union for biodiversity are far from fully understood.

The aims of the PhD project are

- To harness and analyze time series of animal abundance (i.e., birds and mammals) to understand population trends across the former Soviet Union in relation to land-use changes,
- To identify legacies of post-Soviet changes in grazing and wildfire patterns on biodiversity,
- To explore rewilding opportunities due to post-Soviet land-use trends, and
- To identify gaps in protected area networks and to develop conservation strategies to better protect biodiversity.

The applicant will join the Conservation Biology department (new head from 01.08.2020: Prof. Johannes Kamp). We are interested in biodiversity trends at regional and global scales, identify drivers of species declines and develop solutions to halt species loss. We work at the nexus of population biology, biodiversity monitoring and landscape ecology, on a wide range of species, from large carnivores to birds and insects. The working language of the group is English.

The PhD student will collaborate closely with the Conservation Biogeography Lab at Humboldt University Berlin (Prof. Tobias Kuemmerle,

Your Profile

- You hold an above-average MSc (or equivalent) degree in Ecology, Wildlife Biology, Conservation Science, Environmental Science or a related field.
- You have a strong interest in conservation and ecology; a background in land-use science is an advantage.
- You have a sound background in geographic information systems and (spatial) statistics, preferentially in R. Experience in other scripting languages (e.g., Python) is a plus.
- We also expect excellent command of the English language, good communication skills, and willingness to work in international research teams. Russian language skills are highly welcome.

The University of Göttingen is an equal opportunities employer and places particular emphasis on fostering career opportunities for women. Qualified women are therefore strongly encouraged to apply in fields in which they are underrepresented. The university has committed itself to being a family-friendly institution and supports their employees in balancing work and family life. The mission of the University is to employ a greater number of severely disabled persons. Applications from severely disabled persons with equivalent qualifications will be given preference.

Please send your application including a full CV, a motivation letter, contact details for two references and a writing example (e.g., a publication, a part of a thesis), and certificates in electronic form as single pdf file (file name: Surname_Name.pdf) attached to an e-mail with the subject line “PhD position” by 30 June 2020 to Ms. Andrea Lambertz,

If you have any questions, please contact Johannes Kamp, currently at the University of Muenster, E-mail:

Please note:

With submission of your application, you accept the processing of your applicant data in terms of data-protection law. Further information on the legal basis and data usage is provided in the Information General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

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