The UFZ has a strong commitment to diversity and actively supports equal opportunities for all employees regardless of their origin, religion, ideology, disability, age or sexual identity. We look forward to applications from people who are open-minded and enjoy working in diverse teams.

Your contact for any questions you may have about the job:
Walter Durka

Please submit your application via our online portal with your cover letter, CV (please omit your photo, age, or marital status) and relevant attachments.

Closing date for applications:

Place of work: Halle (Saale)

More information about jobs at the UFZ:

Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH - UFZ
Permoserstraße 15
04318 Leipzig, Germany

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The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) with its 1,100 employees has gained an excellent reputation as an international competence centre for environmental sciences. We are part of the largest scientific organisation in Germany, the Helmholtz association. Our mission: Our research seeks to find a balance between social development and the long-term protection of our natural resources.

The UFZ's Community Ecology  Department is offering a PhD position in the project RegioDiv to investigate genetic variation of grassland plant species used in regional seed production systems. To this end, we are seeking an enthusiastic person for the following topic.

PhD position (m/f/x)

Genetic variation of plant species for regional seed production - Project RegioDiv
Working time: 65% (25.35 hours per week), limited to 3 years

Your tasks:

From March 2020 onwards the use of native origins is mandatory according to §40 BNatSchG if plants are established in the wild. Seeds from regional seed production ("Regiosaatgut") is often used, which is produced in 22 regions of origin. The regions of origin were defined without considering empirical data on spatial genetic structure of plant species. The project will establish empirical knowledge about genetic variation of grassland plant species and will draw conclusions for the system of regional seed production.

You will analyse 25 representative plant species used in regional seed production. In each of the regions of origin several populations will be assessed. You will contribute to plant collection including coordination of sampling by volunteers. You will genotype plant samples with SNP markers using next-generation sequencing techniques and ddRAD protocol. Based on the broad sample, population genetic structure will be analysed for each species. Across species you will analyse whether spatial-genetic differentiation shows general, species-group specific or species-specific patterns and which biogeographic and environmental factors are likely causal. Moreover, the congruence of spatio-genetic groups with the regions of origin will be assessed. Ultimately we will consider which practically relevant suggestions can be drawn from the results with respect to legal specifications concerning the use of native seed.

Your profile:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in biology, geoecology, or geography, or a related field
  • Solid knowledge of population genetics/genomics of plants
  • Knowledge of central European grassland plant species.
  • Data analysis skills, including bioinformatics analysis of NGS data
  • Knowledge of scripting languages like R  is an advantage
  • Proficiency in German to manage sample collection with volunteers
  • Proficiency in English
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary team, organising abilities and willingness to collaborate with national and international partners

We offer:

  • Top level interdisciplinary research at a research centre which enjoys an excellent reputation within Germany as well as internationally - Excellent technical facilities
  • Work in inter-disciplinary and multinational teams
  • Excellent links to national and international research networks
  • Support and optimal training courses by our graduate school (HIGRADE)
  • Remuneration in accordance with the TVöD public-sector pay grade 13 (65%)