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Stefan Williner

Stefan Williner

Ackerstrasse 113
CH-5070 Frick

Phone +41 (0)62 865-7278
Fax +41 (0)62 865-7273


The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau or FiBL) in Frick, Switzerland is one of the world’s leading centres for research and information dissemination on organic agriculture. Its greatests strengths are a highly skilled and competent multi-disciplinary research team, the rapid transfer of knowledge from research to extension, and practical application of agricultural techniques by collaborating farmers.

The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) in Frick, Switzerland is one of the world’s leading organic farming research and technology transfer centres dedicated to sustainable agriculture with 150 staff members. It focuses on applied soil and crop sciences, socio-economic, livestock and veterinary research and the dissemination of scientific results. Starting January 1, 2015 FiBL’s Department of Soil Sciences is looking for a

PhD student in soil ecology of urban gardens

The interdisciplinary research project „BetterGardens“ combines social science, economy, biodiversity and soil biology to investigate the framework conditions related to urban gardens. The research work on soil processes and the soil samples will focus on gardens in Zurich – some activities (MSc studies) are foreseen in gardens of Berne and Lausanne. In detail, earthworm biomass and species will be analysed as well as soil microbial biomass, activities and diversity. Moreover the decomposition of plant materials will be investigated in selected gardens in close cooperation with the garden owners. In this project soil chemical and physical assessments (pollutants, compaction, and disturbance) will be measured in addition to classical and modern soil biological techniques.

You will

  • investigate soil quality in private, family and allotment gardens
  • communicate and collaborate with garden owners
  • cooperate closely with another PhD student at WSL in the area of above ground biodiversity

We expect

  • an MSc degree in agronomy, environmental sciences, geography or applied biology
  • advanced knowledge of uni- and multivariate statistics.
  • driving license
  • very good German and English skills with the ability to publish in both languages
  • sufficient spoken French to support the project

You can expect

  • to become member of a dynamic, inspiring and interdisciplinary team
  • a work place close to nature

The project starts January 1, 2015 and will last for a period of three years. Remuneration according to the guidelines of the Swiss National Science Foundation. The working place is at FiBL Switzerland, CH-5070 Frick.

Are you interested? For questions to this offer call Dr. Andreas Fliessbach

Please submit your job application including CV, statement of research interests, copy of certificates and addresses of 2 – 3 potential referees by November 30, 2014 to  stefan.williner(at)fibl.org.