Job announcement
Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz IZW)

Postdoc Position - Quantitative Ecologist

Application deadline: 30.04.2017
[printable version .pdf]

The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz IZW) in Berlin is Germany’s premier wildlife research institute. The Leibniz IZW focuses on the life histories and mechanisms of evolutionary adaptations of mammals and birds, their limits and their conservation in natural and anthropogenically influenced environments.

For an interdisciplinary project, funded through the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), on

“BioD Forex: Multiple taxa BIODiversity thresholds:
Ecological and financial benefits and caveats of FORest EXploitations”

the Leibniz IZW, together with its partner, Assistant Professor Rahel Sollmann, at the Department of Wildlife Fish & Conservation Biology of the University of California Davis, offer the following PostDoc position:

Quantitative Ecologist


The position will be embedded in the Leibniz IZW Junior Research Group Biodiversity and Biogeography of Southeast Asia, which studies the highly threatened mammal community of Southeast Asia using a multidisciplinary combination of state of the art in-situ field research (camera-trapping and leech screening for host DNA), novel molecular tools, advanced computational simulations and modelling, and high-resolution satellite images.

This position will focus on the development and application of modern approaches to analyse survey data for different wildlife communities. Parts of the work will be to develop a unified sampling strategy for multiple taxa (terrestrial mammals using camera-traps, bats, amphibians, plants and arthropods), suitable for data analysis with community models. Development of the sampling strategy should involve simulations and different analytical frameworks such as community occupancy models, joint species distribution models including latent variable models, or a combination of both. Further, the different analytical pathways should be tested on existing datasets.


  • PhD in ecological statistics or ecology with a strong analytical/quantitative focus
    • Experience with occupancy modelling and possibly other hierarchical modelling frameworks
    • Excellent programming and scripting skills in R, BUGS/JAGS (and/or Python, C++)
    • Broad experiences working with wildlife community datasets
    • Understanding of community ecology
    • Strong documented ability to publish in peer-reviewed journals
  • Organisational skills, high motivation and capable to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Proficiency in English

We offer state-of-the-art methodology and a stimulating international research environment in an interdisciplinary, collaborative project. The position is initially limited to 12 months, but could be extended contingent on future funding. Working hours comprise 39 hours per week (100 %), with salary according to TVöD (Bund).

The position will likely (upon final financial approval) start 1st June 2017. Interviews will take place between the 4th and 9th May, 2017 (presumably via skype). The position will be housed at the Leibniz IZW, with possible visits to the lab of Professor Rahel Sollmann at UC Davis.

As a member of the Leibniz Association the IZW is an equal opportunity employer, determined to increase the proportion of women in successful scientific careers, and particularly encourages women to apply. Preference will be given to disabled applicants with the same qualifications.

For enquiries or further questions, please contact the head of the Junior Research Group, Dr. Andreas Wilting, Tel.: +49 (0)30 5168 333, or Assistant Professor Rahel Sollmann. +1 530 752 1437,

Applicants should submit a letter explaining their interests in and particular skills for this position, a CV, copies of relevant degrees and contact details of two people who can provide a reference before April 30th, 2017 via the IZW’s online-job-market (button “Apply online”).

© 24.04.2017 Deutsche Zoologische Gesellschaft e.V., DZG