PhD position in honeybee ecology

You are here:


Honeybees are fascinating social insects, provide pollination services for major crops and many wild plant species, and beekeeping allows the harvest of honey and other valuable products. Land use intensification, climate change, limited availability of floral food resources, and new pests and parasites have change environmental conditions for honeybees and are linked to periodically occurring high winter losses during the last decades. However, the relative importance and regional variation of these factors is little understood, restricting the implementation of mitigation measure. By using innovative sensor technology, the project aims to reach a more comprehensive understanding of the hibernation and reproduction ecology of honeybee colonies across land use gradients and climatic zones. This PhD project is part of the joint European Era-Net ICT-AGRI-FOOD project BeeConnected with partners from France and Greece.


We are seeking a highly motivated PhD student with strong interest and expertise in insect ecology or agroecology with experience in beekeeping. Applicants should have a MSc. or Diploma degree in biology, ecology, agriculture or related disciplines and skills in several of the following areas: experimental field research (beekeeping, field experiments), practical skills in plant identification, use of GIS, sensor technology and statistical data analysis (preferably in R), and scientific writing in English. A driver license and very good language skills in English are required. The candidate is expected to work both individually and in close collaboration with partners from France and Greece in an interdisciplinary and international project.

The PhD position will be located in the Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology ( at University of Würzburg.

For further information please contact:
Prof. Dr. Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, University of Würzburg (

Salary and conditions:

Salary and benefits are according to public service positions in Germany (TV-L, 65%).

Start date:

1st -15th February 2020. The planned duration of the project is three years. We offer
the membership in an international research team, modern facilities and a structured graduate training program. Würzburg University is an equal opportunities employer and places particular emphasis on fostering career opportunities for women. Qualified women are therefore strongly encouraged to apply. Disabled persons with equivalent aptitude will be favored.

Applications: Please send your application as one single pdf file per email to latest until 11th December 2020. Applications should include a cover letter, a short summary of research interests, CV, complete certificates, and the names (with email addresses) of two potential referees. Interviews of invited candidates will be held via Zoom in the week from 14-18 December.