Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL

2 PostDocs in migration and disease ecology 80-100% (f/m/d)

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The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL is part of the ETH Domain. Approximately 600 people work on the sustainable use and protection of the environment and on the handling of natural hazards.

The research group Dynamic Macroecologystudies questions related to spatial ecology, macroevolution and biodiversity conservation.Within its Horizon-Europe research project “Understanding the connectivity and dynamics of Avian Influenza in wild birds, poultry and the environment - KappaFLU” the group is looking from spring 2024 for the duration of 2 years (with option for 1 year extension) for

2 PostDocs in migration and disease ecology 80-100% (f/m/d)

With partners from the Friedrich-Löffler-Institute (Germany), Erasmus Medical Center (The Netherlands), Linneaus University (Sweden), Royal Veterinary College (UK), and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (UK), Kappa-Flu seeks to identify the viral, host and environmental factors that determine the dynamics and spread of avian influenza. In work package 1, we will particularly investigate the role of movements of migratory bird populations in disease spread and dynamics to ultimately predict it at the European scale.
Both PostDocs will use and further develop state-dependent dynamic migration models to predict movements of individual birds under current and potential future environmental conditions.
PostDoc 1 will:

  •  parameterize existing bird migration models to the migration and movement behaviorof selected (waterbird) species that play a key role in the dynamics of avian influenza and compare model predictions to observed tracks. 
  • develop model simulations under different scenarios of climate change and land use alterations

PostDoc 2 will:
  • extend bird migration models to explicitly incorporate infection dynamics to predict (1) the spatial spread of viruses, and (2) potential outbreaks (risk assessment).
  • compare model predictions to surveillance data

You should have a PhD degree in environmental or data sciences and a background in migration ecology and/or disease ecology. Strong quantitative and programming skills (e.g., in R/C++) are required and previous experience with migration models is an asset. We also expect good communication skills in English, the ability to work independently as well as in a team. KappaFlu explicitly encourages close collaboration with other partners and subprojects and supports regular exchange and research visits.You will be based at WSL in Birmensdorf and work in collaboration withthe groups of Simeon Lisovski (Alfred-Wegener-Institute Potsdam, D) and Jonas Waldenström (Linnaeus University Kalmar, Sweden).

Please upload your complete application to Beatrice Lamprecht, Human Resources WSL, through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered. The application should include: 1) a cover letter with a statement about your previous research, your vision for the future of your career and your motivation to work on this project; 2) a curriculum vitae including (if applicable) the list of publications or PhD thesis topics and abstracts; 3) copies of your academic qualifications (i.e., diplomas); and 4) names and contact information of 3 academic references. Applications will be considered until the position is filled, but we will start evaluating applicants by early June. Silke Bauer,, will be happy to answer any questions or offer further information. The WSL strives to increase the proportion of women in its employment, and particularly encourages qualified women to apply for this position.


Zürcherstrasse 111, CH-8903 Birmensdorf


2 PostDocs in migration and disease ecology 80-100% (f/m/d)
Zürcherstrasse 111 Birmensdorf, Schweiz
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The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research is concerned with the use, development and protection of natural and urban spaces.

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