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PhD position in „Impact of pesticides on soil life and soil fertility”

Department of Agroecology & Environment
WorkplaceZürich-Affoltern, Zurich region, Switzerland
Duration3 Years
Start1st of August 2018, or as agreed

Agroscope is an innovative research institute for agriculture. Agroscope is part of the Swiss federal administration and is attached to the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. It has numerous research stations around Switzerland and the head office is in Liebefeld, Bern.
The Department of Agroecology & Environment performs research for an environmental friendly and competitive agriculture. The PhD position is situated in the research group Plant-soil Interactions focusing on plant-soil-microbe-interactions, soil biodiversity, the development of sustainable/ecological farming systems, soil ecosystem services and soil ecological engineering. The Plant-soil Interactions group is a dynamic group consisting of staff, technicians, PhDs, students & guests with app. 20-25 members.
The work on analytic chemistry will be conducted in the research group Environmental Analytics. Other research groups of Agroscope (NABO, Ecotoxicology, Molecular Ecology and Plant Protection Chemistry) will also contribute actively to the project in the form of a research council.
The PhD student will be enrolled at the University of Zurich with Prof. Dr. Marcel van der Heijden.


  • Investigation of the impact of pesticides on soil ecosystems and soil functioning
  • Planning and execution of lab, greenhouse and field experiments
  • Extraction of pesticides from soil samples and analysis with LC-MS
  • Processing, quality control and analysis of generated data
  • Publication of scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals and presentation of results at international conferences
  • Knowledge transfer to farmers, policy makers and other stakeholders


  • highly motivated postgraduate student with a MSc degree in agronomy, biology, chemistry, geoscience or environmental sciences
  • basic knowledge on ecotoxicology and/or soil biology
  • knowledge and lab experience in analytic chemistry, particularly LC-MS, are desirable
  • team-minded and dedicated personality
  • knowledge of two official Swiss languages and English, work languages are German and English

We offer

We offer you a relevant and multidisciplinary position in a dynamic research group. Your work contributes to the further development of a sustainable agriculture and a healthy environment. Agroscope has excellent research facilities with well-equipped laboratories, greenhouses, climate chambers and agricultural fields. You will enjoy flexible working hours and good employee benefits.


If this challenge appeals to you and meet the required profile, please send your application including the addresses of two references to florian.walderagroscope.admin.ch, Ref.-Nr. 34716.
For further information, please feel free to contact Dr. Florian Walder, Project Leader, Tel. +41 58 480 8759 or florian.walderagroscope.admin.ch, and Prof. Dr. Marcel van der Heijden, Head of the Plant-soil Interactions research group, Tel. +41 58 468 7278 or marcel.vanderheijdenagroscope.admin.ch (please do not send applications to this e-mail).

Web www.agroscope.ch/soil-ecology
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In your application, please refer to myScience.ch
and reference  JobID 39838.