Studio Animal-Aided-Design is recruiting a postdoctoral Researcher to work at the Terrestrial Ecology Research Group at the TUM School of Science in Freising in the EU-funded research project ECOLOPES, limited to 31 months (100%, approx. 40.1h/week). ECOLOPES is an innovative HORIZON 2020 funded research project proposing a radical change for city development: instead of minimizing the negative impact of urbanization on nature, we aim at urbanization to be planned and designed such that nature – including humans – can co-evolve within the city. We envisage a new integrated ecosystem approach to architecture that focuses equally on humans, plants, animals, and associated organisms such as microbiota. ECOLOPES will provide the technology that will help to achieve this vision.
The advertised position will be critical in implementing the modeling of the vegetation dynamics into the computational architectural tools developed in ECOLOPES, in close collaboration with Dr. Isabelle Boulangeat at LESSEM, INRAE, Grenoble, France.

Your tasks:
Your task will be to model the plant components of the ecolope, i.e. the multi-species living envelope of the new type of building envisioned by the ECOLOPES project. The ecolope will enable the placement and development of soil, growth, and immigration of plants, settlement and reproduction of animals, and the build-up of a healthy microbiota. At its initial stage, the ecolope will be modeled as a seeded substrate where vegetation will develop according to abiotic and biotic conditions, succession dynamics, and management. The development of plant communities will open the ecolope to animal colonization and population dynamics.
The envisioned approach is to model the dynamics of virtual plant communities represented by functional groups on different scales (landscape and local scales) using the dynamic vegetation model FATE-HD.

You will
• identify which types of substrates and which soil variables are important (for vegetation,
microbes, and architecture), and can be accounted for (e.g. water retention, depth, weight,
nutrients, organic matter, soil/substrate structure, pollution level, pH),
• identify which types of human management and usage of plant communities are relevant for
ECOLOPES and how they can get integrated into the model,
• develop the dynamic vegetation model into a practical planning tool on local scale to plan
plant communities and their succession.

In close cooperation with Dr. Isabelle Boulangeat (LESSEM, INRAE, Grenoble) and other partners you will be involved in
• parameterize FATE-HD to building scale, substrate types and soil development
• integrate impact of human management, usage and animal impact into the model,
• develop the dynamic vegetation model into a practical planning tool on local scale to plan
plant communities and their succession.

What we expect from you
• University degree (M.Sc.) and Ph.D. in ecology, biology, environmental planning, landscape
ecology, or a comparable field of study
• Experience in the modeling of plant communities
• Interest and experience in urban ecology welcome
• Interest in interdisciplinary approaches
• Good language skills (English)

Our offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in a motivated international team and in the dynamic Chair of Terrestrial Ecology, in TUM (Freising), or if preferred in Berlin in Studio Animal-Aided-Design. Regarding the salary, we will make you an attractive offer according to your qualifications.
Cooperation partners in ECOLOPES are the Technical University of Munich in Germany, the University of Genua in Italy, the Technical University of Vienna, Austria, TECHNION in Haifa, Israel, McNeel Europe, based in Barcelona, Spain, and Studio Animal-Aided Design in Germany. The Chair of Terrestrial Ecology is an international and dynamic team of about 38 people almost equally shared between postdocs, PhDs, and technical staff. The team works on various topics, including biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, plant-insect interactions, urban ecology, and global changes impacts on biodiversity. Freising is a charming small student Bavarian city in Munich vicinity, very well connected to Munich by train, and a perfect start point to explore Bavaria and Germany.

Please send your application with a short letter of motivation, CV, certificates etc. as well as the contact details of two references per Email to Studio Animal-Aided Design ( by 28th May 2021. Please send all documents as a single PDF document.

Please direct questions about the position to Dr. Thomas E. Hauck ( and/or to Dr. Isabelle Boulangeat (

More information about the project can be found at
Studio Animal-Aided Design
Dresdener Straße 26
D-10999 Berlin

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