PhD Researcher Position in Ecological Modelling

A position as a PhD researcher is to be filled in the Institute for Environmental Sciences (RPTU Campus Landau) for a fixed term of 3 years, starting no later than 1 October 2024, to work in Ecological Modelling.

The fixed-term employment is provided through a tax-free scholarship amounting to €1750 (tax-free) unless otherwise agreed.

The Project

The increasing use of chemicals in society has led to the exposure of ecosystems to increasing mixtures of substances. While most ecotoxicological studies examine the effects of a few substances on individual species over a short time period, the exposure situation in the ecosystem is dynamic, involving a variety of substances with different temporal concentration profiles affecting communities with dynamic interactions.

The aim of this research project is to predict the effects of chemicals on communities based on the exposure profile. The intended research activity will help acquire the necessary qualifications for a PhD. The project is jointly supervised by Dr. Jürg Spaak and Prof. Dr. Ralf B. Schäfer, experts in environmental modelling and ecotoxicology.


  • Developing ecological models based on existing models
  • Developing exposure scenarios for ecological models using real exposure
    patterns to substances with different modes of action
  • Writing up results and publishing them in international journals


  • A successfully completed degree from a university or comparable higher education institution (excluding a Bachelor’s degree) in a relevant field, such
    as ecotoxicology, biology, chemistry, ecology, environmental sciences,
    physics, mathematics, or computer science
  • Solid knowledge in one or more of the following areas: ecological modelling,
    theoretical ecology, stress ecology, ecotoxicology
  • Experience in programming (preferably with R or Python)
  • Interest in independently handling a scientific project, publishing the results,
    and obtaining a PhD based on this


Applicants should send their documents (cover letter, CV with academic background and overview of software skills, certificates, and the names of 3 references) or questions directly to Dr. Jürg W. Spaak at

Applications received by 7th July 2024 will be given preferential consideration. If you submit your application after this date, it can only be considered if the position is still vacant at that time. After the application process is completed, the application documents will be destroyed in accordance with data protection regulations. We do
not send confirmations of receipt.