Postdoc 3 of 3: Integrating food security and biodiversity conservation: case study in Ethiopia

Applications for this position have now closed.


Leuphana University Lüneburg (foundation under public law), Faculty of Sustainability, is offering a post as

Postdoctoral Research Associate (social/ecological sciences)
– Wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeiter/in, salary group E 13 TV-L, full time –

starting at the earliest on 1 December 2014, for a duration of up to 4 years. The position is part of a new, interdisciplinary project funded by the European Research Council entitled:

Identifying social-ecological system properties benefiting biodiversity and food security

This position will focus on:

Integrating food security and biodiversity conservation: case study in Ethiopia

Ensuring food security and halting biodiversity decline are two of the most urgent (and interconnected) challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. Taking a social-ecological systems perspective, this new project seeks to identify synergies between food security and biodiversity conservation. A multi-scale approach will be used to balance the trade-offs between depth and generality. First, we will develop a global database of social-ecological systems, relating their general properties to indicators of food security and biodiversity. Second, we will conduct in-depth workshops on 15-20 social-ecological systems worldwide to reveal in more detail the causal linkages between system properties, food security and biodiversity. Third, we will conduct an in-depth empirical case study on food security and biodiversity in Ethiopia. Further details are available at:

We work within a vibrant, interdisciplinary environment with many links to many other research groups around the world, including Addis Ababa University (Dr. Feyera Senbeta) and Stockholm University (Dr. Kristoffer Hylander).

Tasks and responsibilities for this position will include: (1) Empirical fieldwork in Ethiopia on social and/or ecological questions; (2) Supporting field logistics and stakeholder engagement in Ethiopia; (3) Co-supervision of PhD students conducting their research on the same study system in Ethiopia; (4) Data analysis as needed; (5) Preparation of manuscripts; and (6) Assisting with the dissemination of research findings, especially in Ethiopia.

Essential selection criteria are: (a) Fluency in at least one Ethiopian language; (b) Strong publication record relative to opportunity; (c) Expertise in relevant social sciences or applied ecology, and willingness to engage with both; (d) Empirical fieldwork experience; (e) Experience with qualitative or quantitative data analysis, or both; (f) strong organizational skills; (g) Ability to work, at times, independently and with minimal supervision; (h) Ability and willingness to co-supervise PhD students; (i) Ability and willingness to work collaboratively in a team, including with people of different nationality, religion, gender and ethnicity; (j) Ability and willingness to engage and communicate with a wide range of stakeholders; (j) Willingness to assist with a moderate amount of teaching; and (k) PhD or equivalent doctoral degree.

Additional desirable selection criteria are: (l) Expertise in using GIS.

Please address all selection criteria under clearly labeled headings in up to one short paragraph each. Please also send a motivation letter stating why you are interested in the position, a CV (including publications), copies of relevant certificates and transcripts, and the names of up to three academic referees.

Application deadline: 10 July 2014

Please submit all materials in PDF format (preferably as a single merged file) with the subject “Food & Biodiversity PD3” to and cc

You may submit hard copy applications (not preferred!) to Leuphana University Lüneburg, Personalservice, Katrin Severloh, Scharnhorststr. 1, 21335 Lüneburg, Germany.

For questions, please contact Prof. Joern Fischer (

Leuphana University Lüneburg is an equal opportunity employer committed to fostering heterogeneity among its employees. Applications by qualified individuals of all backgrounds are strongly encouraged. Disabled applicants with equal qualifications will be given priority consideration.

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