University of Bern
Institute of Plant Sciences, plant eco & Botanic Garden
Prof. Dr. Markus Fischer

Ex-situ plant conservation and re-introduction

PhD position

2 PhD student or 1 part-time (50-70%) postdoc positions in ex-situ plant conservation and re-introduction at the Botanical Garden of the University of Bern, Switzerland.

In the context of a new 4-year-project aiming at the ex-situ conservation and re-introduction of many threatened Swiss plant species, we are looking for a PhD student and a part-time postdoc.

The research tasks will be mainly experimental and comprise:
• establishing long-term ex-situ cultures and reintroduced populations
• studying risks of ex-situ conservation, such as adaption to garden conditions, or loss of genetic diversity
• addressing the relevance of several population biological and environmental factors for plant performance (including population size, genetic variation, inbreeding and outbreeding depression, phenotypic plasticity, plant and habitat characteristics)

Further tasks will comprise:
• strengthening a network of relevant actors within and outside academia
• developing guidelines allowing practitioners to implement the findings
• publishing the findings in both, peer-reviewed scientific journals as well as popular scientific outreach media

• have a MSc/PhD degree in ecology, conservation biology of related field
• are highly motivated for experimental population biology and conservation biology
• have excellent field botanical, population biological, experimental, statistical, and writing skills • are independent and at the same time excellent team players
• are committed to excellent science and conservation
• are fluent in English (excellent (Swiss) German or French is a plus, and so is a driver’s licence)

The work will be done in close collaboration with the team of the Botanical Garden ( and the Plant Ecology team of the Institute of Plant Sciences (

We offer an excellent scientific and conservation biological environment and network. Insight into multi-disciplinary projects from basic research to applications. 

Starting date is 8 January 2018 or earlier. Applications will be reviewed from 30 September 2017 until the position is filled.

Please send your application with a motivation letter, a curriculum vitae, relevant certificates, a list of publications, and names and contact details of three references as single pdf-file by email (with “Ex-situ job” as subject line) to Prof. Dr. Markus Fischer at

Job advert [PDF / 126 KB]