PhD position in pollinator conservation @ Agroscope – Zurich, Switzerland

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PhD position in pollinator conservation (genetic diversity / ecology)

Project description

Wild bees and other pollinating insects are key components of biodiversity and provide vital pollination services to crops and wild plants. However, they face multiple threats including habitat loss, land use intensification or climate change. The European Horizon 2020 project SAFEGUARD ( aims to better understand these drivers and pressures, their consequences on pollinator populations, communities and the pollination functions they provide, to improve effective conservation measures for pollinators in Europe. The PhD candidate will 1) conduct field work in Switzerland to study effects of drivers on pollinators and 2) assess consequences of drivers and conservation measures on genetic diversity and genetic population structure of bee and other pollinator species, in collaboration with European project partners. Findings will help to develop more effective policies and measures to protect wild pollinators. We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD student to join the dynamic and interdisciplinary SAFEGUARD team at Agroscope (Zürich, Switzerland).


  • Collect field data on pollinators in Switzerland and establish collections of individuals
  • Apply molecular genetic tools to study genetic diversity and genetic population structure of pollinators
  • Statistical analysis of data
  • Publication of results in international journals


  • MSc in biology, ecology, entomology, molecular biology or similar
  • Motivation to conduct field work; ideally experience in collecting data (e.g. insects) in the field
  • Knowledge and experience in molecular biology
  • Experience/ skills in biostatistics and analyses using the software R
  • Good organizational skills
  • Achievement-oriented, communicative personality with a capacity for teamwork
  • Good communication and writing skills (in English and ideally also in German, but this is not a requirement)


Agroscope is an innovative research institute for agriculture and nutrition attached to the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER. It has research stations at a number of sites around Switzerland. The Agroscope Department of Agroecology and Environment in Zürich (Reckenholz) conducts research for an environmental friendly and competitive agriculture. We offer research work in an interdisciplinary project team, competent supervision and a modern research infrastructure. Start date: 1 January 2022, or as agreed. Duration: 4 years.

Place of work Zürich

Salary According to the standards of the Swiss National Science Foundation

Employment level 100%


We look forward to receiving your online application, including CV, academic transcripts and the addresses of 2-3 referees in a single PDF file to For further information, please feel free to contact Dr. Matthias Albrecht (, +41 (0)58 468 74 13) or Dr. Jürg Enkerli (, +41 (0)58 468 72 06).