Post-doc Researcher in Forest Ecosystems

Prague (CZ)
16 May 2018
End of advertisement period
15 Jun 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Post-doc Researcher in Forest Ecosystems: Dendroecological perspectives on temperate mountain forest dynamics of Central and Eastern Europe

Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, is searching for 1 researcher (Post-Doctoral Position) to new project: “Supporting the development of international mobility of research staff at CULS Prague”, reg. no. CZ.02.2.69/0.0/0.0/16_027/0008366.
The aim of the project, co-financed by EU, managing authority Operational Program Research, Development and Education, is to support the development of international mobility of research staff at CULS Prague.

Job description:

We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher to join our team within the Forest Dynamics Lab of the Department of Forest Ecology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences in Prague, Czech Republic. The task is titled “Disturbance regimes as drivers of structural variability, carbon dynamics and biodiversity at the stand and landscape levels in primary mountain forests in central and eastern Europe.”

Disturbance plays a dominant role in shaping the structure and function of forest ecosystems, but quantification of disturbance effects is typically limited by missing information on a location’s history and a region’s disturbance regime. Our lab uses tree-ring data to reconstruct site histories, providing insight into how forest characteristics recover from disturbances of variable severity. We are particularly interested in linking patterns in the severity and frequencies of disturbance to variation in tree size structure, carbon dynamics and biodiversity.

The Carpathian forest region is ecologically unique in maintaining two co-mingling monospecific forest types broadly distributed across gradients of external drivers. The task will link biomass and biodiversity indicators to disturbance histories in primary forests that permit such direct contrasts of endogenous and exogenous drivers. The task will therefore provide novel insights on whether the predictions of present biomass and forest biodiversity indicators can be improved by more accurately partitioning the relative importance of exogenous and endogenous drivers. At the same time, this task will be the first to reconstruct biomass trends in large patches of primary forests in central and eastern Europe, while most other studies tend to be based on national forest inventories in managed forests, which greatly limits the ability to infer the long term dynamics of forest development. The task will be organized into interlinked work packages subdivided into research questions focusing on quantification of the main drivers of forest dynamics and biomass and biodiversity indicators responses. 

WP 1. Drivers of disturbance dynamics 
WP 2. Tree growth history and forest biomass
WP 3. Stand structural diversity and biodiversity indicators

The successful candidate will have access to a completed database of 20 000 tree cores collected from 1000 forest plots distributed throughout remaining patches of old-growth forest is central and eastern Europe. Plots are distributed in a hierarchical design (i.e. plots nested within stands, within landscapes throughout the Carpathian mountain range). The aim of the design is to partition the effects of disturbance effects at a variety of scales, from local variation among neighbouring locations due to smaller-scale gap dynamics to more extreme events impacting entire landscapes. 
The selected candidate will be expected to lead projects using available tree-ring data to link tree growth, disturbances and biomass dynamics to abiotic and biotic factors. Responsibilities will predominantly be data analysis and manuscript preparation. Opportunities to visit some of our impressive field locations will be available, but the candidate is not expected to participate in data collection.

We are a young and energetic research team with close collaborations with international partners. Opportunities exist for international exchange visits and meetings. To obtain more information about our team, visit

Type of employment: Temporary position – until 07/2020 
Working hours: Full time
First day of employment: 09/2018
Number of positions: 1
City: Prague
Country: Czech Republic

Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences,
Kamycka 129, Praha 6 Suchdol, 16521, Czech Republic


•    The applicant should have a PhD or other appropriate level 8 of ISCED (International Standard Classification of Education) qualification completed within the last 7 years in environmental or related sciences (biology, ecology, geography, forest sciences)
•    The applicant has worked outside of the Czech Republic for at least 2 years as a researcher (0.5 contract or more) or has studied doctoral studies during the last 3 years.
•    The applicant has already published 2 peer-reviewed research outputs during the last 3 years.
•    All research activities will be conducted in English, knowledge of the Czech language is not required. Excellent English communication and writing skills on the level of native speaker is essential.

Position duration, starting date and salary: 

The duration of the position is 23 months, starting in September 2018.  The gross monthly salary starts at 62,000 CZK (circa 2,437 EUR) including health insurance and social security cover. The starting monthly salary represents double of the median salary in the Czech Republic. To compare living costs see here:

Required application documents: 
•    Diploma (and its nostrification, if necessary) 

•    Professional résumé (CV), including a list of publications 
•    Internship plan – availability, schedule of activities
•    Confirmation of 2 years professional activity outside of the Czech Republic within the last 3 years and/or Ph.D. programme documents (confirmation can also be included in the résumé - CV) 
•    A brief description of the research that the post-doc will work on, including justification for the study and its contribution to the field
•    Applicant should provide a short statement outlining why he/she believes him/herself to be suitable for the position. 
•    Applicant should include contact information for two references, one being the current or most recent employer.

Selection procedure:

Selection will be based on the relevance of candidates’ professional interests and experience, as well as excellence in research achievements.

Application deadline:

Please apply before 15 June 2018 by sending all required documents to Application review will begin immediately. Successful candidates will be contacted by middle of July 2018. The second round of the interview will take place in the form of a video call.

We offer:

•    Working on a temporary contract (23 months, start in September 2018),
•    Work full-time employment (1.0)
•    Salary: at least 2 437 € (Advantage: Low living expenses in Prague)
•    Place of work: Kamýcká 129, 16500 Prague – Suchdol, Czech Rep. (EU)
•    Benefits of the CULS employee
•    Work in a dynamic, international, cooperative and high professional quality team
•    Extend research networks by participation in international conferences and presentation of research findings
•    Working in English