Researcher in Soil Biology / Soil Ecological Engineering (80%)

Researcher in Soil Biology / Soil Ecological Engineering (80%)


Zurich, Switzerland

Researcher in Soil Biology / Soil Ecological Engineering (80%)

We are looking for a project leader (postdoc or researcher level) in soil biology or soil ecological engineering in the plant-soil-interactions group.

Your Tasks: You will establish your own research team (in the field of soil ecology or the improvement of soil ecosystem services through soil ecological engineering) and acquire external funding. Your research has an applied perspective and findings can be used to enhance the sustainability of agricultural systems (e.g. through soil ecological engineering, field inoculation with mycorrhizal fungi or microbiome management). Approximately 25% of your time is dedicated to group management and management support (including supervision of Master-students and PhD students).

Position Requirements and Job specifics: We are seeking a highly motivated researcher with expertise in one or several of the following topics: soil ecology, soil biology, soil biodiversity, plant-microbe interactions (e.g. mycorrhizas), plant-soil interactions, soil fauna and/or microbiome management. You have a strong track-record in basic and/or applied research. You have a positive attitude, are a team player and you have expertise in the identification of specific groups of soil biota (e.g. mycorrhiza or soil fauna) or expertise with molecular tools to characterize microbial communities (e.g. next generation sequencing and related bio-informatics). Applicants should hold a PhD in ecology, soil sciences, molecular biology, agronomy, biology or environmental sciences. You should speak English and be willing to learn German (for applicants from non-German speaking countries).

You will work in an multidisciplinary international research group. Your work contributes to the further development of a more sustainable agriculture and a healthy environment. The research group publishes in high impact scientific journals (e.g. see Banerjee et al. 2018, Nature Reviews Microbiology; Knapp & van der Heijden 2018, Nature Communications; van der Heijden 2016, Science; Bender et al. 2016, TREE; Wagg et al. 2014, PNAS) but also in applied journals and newspapers for practioners, farmers & policy makers. Agroscope has excellent research facilities with well-equipped laboratories, greenhouses, climate chambers and agricultural fields. You will enjoy flexible working hours and good employee benefits.

Organisation: Agroscope is an innovative research institute for agriculture. Agroscope is part of the Swiss federal administration. It has numerous research stations around Switzerland and the head office is in Bern Liebefeld. The Department of Agroecology & Environment performs research for an environmental friendly and competitive agriculture. Research in the Plant-Soil-Interactions group (see: focuses on plant-soil-microbe-interactions, soil biodiversity, the development of sustainable/ecological farming systems, soil ecosystem services and soil ecological engineering. The plant-soil-interactions group is a dynamic group consisting of staff, technicians, PhDs, students & guests with app. 25 members. The lab language is German and English.

Job specifics: Start date: April 2019 (to be discussed). Duration: 3 years. The gross salary for this 80% position varies between CHF 67’760 and CHF 105’000 a year depending on expertise and qualifications (salary category 24). Place of Work Agroscope, Zurich.

Interested: Please send your application to (Ref. 37211). Online applications consist of a single PDF containing a complete academic record, CV, list of publications, a copy of your PhD
and names of 2 referees. For further information about this position: Please contact Prof. Dr. Marcel van der Heijden, Head of the Plant-Soil-Interactions Group. Phone: +41 58 468 72 78; Email: (please do not send applications to this Email). Closing date for applications: 24. February 2019. Interviews are planned in the first two weeks of March (4-14 March).


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Researcher in Soil Biology / Soil Ecological Engineering (80%)