Project background:
Over the last 3 decades, the EU has funded numerous projects for wetland restoration in favor of the European pond turtle. Yet the results of these measures need to be more intensely promoted. A key question remains unanswered: what are the most effective wetland restoration methods suitable for sustainable maintenance and recovery of the European pond turtle and associated wildlife throughout Europe?
EMYS-R consolidates an existing international network of researchers and stakeholders to share complementary knowledge on past, present and future wetlands, biodiversity and their management. It is a 3-year participatory action-oriented research project based on seminal theories in humanities, social and natural sciences. It aims at testing the hypothesis that higher degrees of wetland restoration can compensate for limited capabilities of captive bred turtles to settle in the wild, and assess how specifically such conservation actions benefit society by bringing together people and nature.

Your tasks:
The successful PhD candidate will be involved in the ecological assessment of wetland restoration, turtle reintroduction and consequences on local biodiversity including non-target species. While based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, the candidate will spend a substantial amount of time at the German and French field sites, and will also be traveling to trainings and meetings in Poland and Latvia, contributors of the EMYS-R consortium.

More specifically, the successful candidate will conduct the following tasks:
• Data collection: behavioral (animal-borne data loggers including GPS and time-depth-acceleration recorders), biometric/demographic (capture-mark-recapture protocols) and ecological (water, sediment,turtle-centered prey-predators feces samples) on the German study site in Neuburg am Rhein
• eDNA Metabarcoding of environmental (water and sediment) and ecological (turtle prey-predator feces) samples
• bioinformatic analyses of metabarcoding sequences for genomic biodiversity monitoring and food web analyses
• Data analyses of existing and formerly collected time series on turtle behavior, biometry and demography
• Support and then lead field sessions in Neuburg am Rhein
• Support with public perception seminars and workshops in Neuburg am Rhein
• Literature review on German-written grey literature about wetland renaturations and turtle reintroductions
• Writing scientific publications, contributing to national and international conferences, as well as to internal reports and international guidelines.

Your profile:
• Master degree in Biology, Ecology, Environmental Sciences, or equivalent
• Programming experience with manipulating large database (Metabarcoding sequences, behavioral long time series)
• knowledge in R, MatLab and Linux desirable
• Experience in the molecular genetic lab
• Experience with Metabarcoding desirable
• Mastering multivariate statistics
• Interest in interdisciplinary approaches
• Proven capabilities in implementing field protocols in remote places in autonomy and within a team
• Able to team up within a large international consortium
• Professional communication skills within the scientific consortium, but also with local stakeholders
• Fluent (speech and writing/reading) in German and English
• Ideally you are owner of the driving license B, are easy with wetlands and are able to swim

EMYS-R is a Biodiversa funded project (2022-2025) gathering a consortium from France, Germany, Latvia and Poland, led by Dr Jean-Yves Georges (CNRS, IPHC, Strasbourg, France) and Dr Kathrin Theissinger (TBG, Senckenberg, Frankfurt, Germany). The PhD candidate will be internationally co-supervised by Drs Theissinger and Georges, and will be invited to apply for double PhD degrees in both Frankfurt and Strasbourg universities.

Salary and benefits are according to a full-time public service position in Germany (TV-H E 13, 65%). The contract should start as soon as possible – but no later than April 1st, 2022 – and will initially be limited for 3 years.
The Senckenberg Research Institutes support 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 is in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Please send your application, mentioning the reference of this job offer (ref. #12-21008) before 14.01.2022 by e-mail (attachment in a single pdf document) and including a cover letter detailing research interests and experience, a detailed CV and a copy of your certification to:
Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung
Senckenberganlage 25
60325 Frankfurt am Main

For more information contact
Dr. Kathrin Theissinger (
Dr Jean-Yves Georges (

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