Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


Job Board

PhD position on dynamic range shifts in Arctic plants and animals – combining ancient DNA analyses and species distribution modelling
Bremerhaven, Germany
Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research
  • Graduate Position
Rapid warming in the Arctic is expected to cause biodiversity change. However, we are lacking basic understanding on how quickly different species adapt and will shift their distribution poleward. This knowledge gap hinders our ability to make precise predictions about the future state of the Arctic. As part of the advertised PhD project three key questions will be addressed: How can we learn from past species specific dispersal pattern inferred from proxy data to better understand and predict future change? How fast can Arctic species shift their distribution northwards to track preferred climate and ecological niches? Which arctic areas should we protect now to safeguard the long-term survival of arctic biodiversity?

  • Investigating the spatiotemporal dynamics of past Arctic animal and plant species using proxy data (mainly sedimentary ancient DNA and pollen records)
  • Simulate past species specific dispersal and northward movements and provide validation via proxy data records
  • Apply species distribution models to predict future dynamics and inform optimisation tools for biodiversity protection

  • Master’s or equivalent degree in biology, physics or geology (or related disciplines)
  • Knowledge in data handling using R (or other syntax based languages) and basic statistics. Experience with species distribution modelling and handling of big data sets is of advantage
  • Knowledge in molecular genetics and bioinformatics is of advantage
  • Very good spoken and written English and ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment
  • Great willingness to present and publish research results on international conferences and in international scientific journals

Additional skills and knowledge
  • Willingness to conduct and support fieldwork in the high Arctic

Further Information
Please contact Prof. Dr. Ulrike Herzschuh (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; +49 331 58174-5601) or Dr. Simeon Lisovski (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; +49(331)58174 5635) for further information.

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