PhD position (m/f/d) in “Seed dispersal by frugivorous birds and rodents”

Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung

Frankfurt am Main

The Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN) is a member of the Leibniz Association and is based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. SGN conducts natural history research with almost 800 employees and research institutions in six federal states. Within SGN, the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) explores the interactions between biodiversity, climate, and society.

Senckenberg BiK-F invites applications for a PhD position (m/f/d) in “Seed dispersal by frugivorous birds and rodents” (65%, part-time)

We are seeking a candidate (m/f/d) with a strong background in tropical ecology and a keen interest in studying interaction networks between plants and animal seed dispersers. The position is part of the DFG Research Unit 5207 „Reassembly of species interaction networks”.

You will investigate the temporal dynamics of seed-dispersal networks along a gradient of tropical forest recovery. For this, you will collect interaction data between plants and frugivorous birds and rodents in the Chocó rainforests in Ecuador. You will further record functional traits of plants and animals and conduct an on-site experiment of seed rain and seedling recruitment.

You will join a highly international and dynamic working environment at SBiK-F and form part of a large collaborative research team ( We expect the candidate to collaborate with members of the whole project team. The position involves extended stays and independent field work in the study area. It also comprises strong quantitative components, e.g., analyses of ecological networks and trait-based analyses.

Position requirements

  • Master degree in Ecology or a related field
  • Strong quantitative skills and programming skills in R
  • Experience with field work in remote and/or tropical areas
  • Ability to work under physically demanding conditions
  • Strong interest in the analyses of ecological networks and functional traits
  • Prior taxonomic knowledge of Neotropical plants and birds is beneficial
  • Excellent English communication skills (written & oral), basic Spanish skills advantageous

Salary and benefits are according to a public service position in Germany (TV-H E 13, 65%). The contract should start on November 1st 2021 and will be restricted to 3 years, with a possible extension for 1 additional year. SGN supports equal opportunity of men and women and therefore strongly invites women to apply.

Equally qualified handicapped applicants will be given preference. The place of employment will be Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The employer is the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung.

You would like to apply?

Please include the reference to this position (ref.#11-21011) in the subject line and include a cover letter describing your motivation to apply, a detailed CV, full credentials/certificates (including a full transcript of records of your MSc degree) and contact details of two academic references, as well as a copy of your most important publication and/or a summary of your Master thesis.

Please submit your application by 25 June 2021 via e-mail as a single PDF file to:

Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung
Senckenberganlage 25
60325 Frankfurt


For scientific enquiries please contact Dr. Matthias Schleuning and Dr. Eike Lena and

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Bewerbungsende: 25.06.2021