Graduate assistant (PhD student) position in Spatial Modelling of Alpine Soil Microbiota

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Graduate assistant (PhD student) position in Spatial Modelling of Alpine Soil Microbiota



UNIL is a leading international teaching and research institution, with over 5,000 employees and 15,500 students split between its Dorigny campus, CHUV and Epalinges. As an employer, UNIL encourages excellence, individual recognition and responsibility.


Our ECOSPAT group ( is part of UNIL’s Department of Ecology and Evolution (DEE), a well-funded and vibrant institute. ECOSPAT is specialized in spatial ecology and biogeography, with a particular focus on species distribution modelling and mountain environments.

Job information

Expected start date in position : as soon as possible / to be agreed

Contract length : The initial contract is for 1 year, renewable twice for 2 years, up to a maximum of 5 years in total

Activity rate : 85%

Workplace : University of Lausanne, Dorigny

Your responsibilities

Applications are invited for a graduate assistant (PhD student) position in the group of Prof. Antoine Guisan, ECOSPAT lab within DEE at UNIL.
Most of the research time will be dedicated to spatial modelling of soil microbial taxonomic units in an ongoing research project in the Alps, with soil barcoding data already available. Graduate assistants (assistants diplômés) in our department assist in teaching and supervise master students (up to 30% of the activity). At least 55% or the working time is devoted to personal thesis research.

Your qualifications

  • Master in Ecology, Biogeography, Microbial ecology, or equivalent, and have a fair basic knowledge of soil metabarcoding data, and how to use them for modelling
  • Basic to good skills in spatial modelling, computer, programming, GIS, statistics, numerical simulations, and in particular species distribution modelling
  • Willingness to conduct modelling research with a large existing set of soil microbial data sampled in the Western Swiss Alps of Vaud (
  • Good knowledge of microbial ecology and related DNA data is a clear advantage

What the position offers you

We offer a nice working place in a multicultural, diverse and dynamic academic environment. Opportunities for professional training, a lot of activities and other benefits to discover.

Contact for further information

Prof. Antoine Guisan:

Your application

Deadline : 31.01.2021

Please, send your full application in Word or PDF. It should include a motivation letter, CV with potential mention of existing and ongoing publications, and the names and contact details of 3 reference persons.

Only applications through this website will be taken into account.

We thank you for your understanding.

Additional information

UNIL is committed to equal opportunities and diversity.

UNIL supports early career researchers.