Two IGSSE Project Teams of the 13th cohort currently offer PhD positions. Find here all details for a scholarship in project team cellMATh and ECOSERV.

1 PhD position in project team 13.04 cellMATh

The Chair of Mathematical Modelling, group Mathematics in Life Sciences, at the Technical University of Munich (Prof. Dr. Christina Kuttler) is looking for a PhD candidate to work on the project cellMATh: Quantifying Effects of Extracellular Matrix Mechanical Properties on Tumor Growth, in collaboration with the Chair of Numerical Analysis of the Technical University of Munich and the Institute of Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) at UT Austin.

The ideal PhD candidate should have background in mathematical modeling, and/or numerical analysis and uncertainty quantification. Ability and willingness to work and collaborate in an interdisciplinary research team is essential. The candidate is expected to apply and develop Bayesian inversion techniques for parameter estimation in mathematical models for tumor growth, as well as to participate in the development of these models.

The PhD program requires a research stay of at least 3 months at the ICES institute of UT Austin. No teaching duties are required.
Interested candidates with a Diploma / Master degree in Mathematics or a related field are invited to send curriculum vitae, transcript of records and two contacts for recommendation letters to Prof. Dr. Christina Kuttler. Applications will be considered until the position is filled. For further information contact Prof. Kuttler.

1 PhD position in project team 13.10 ECOSERV

In the last decades there has been enormous progress in understanding how land use/land cover, biodiversity, or climate affect ecosystem service provisioning, i.e. the goods and services that mankind receives from ecosystems. However, studies have shown that there is a wide variety of responses of different ecosystem services to changes in different drivers. Such heterogeneous results can derive from (1) limitations in the sets of ecosystem services considered and unclear relationships between these services, (2) restricted knowledge about biodiversity distributions in the real world and biodiversity-ecosystem service relationships, and (3) limitation in consideration of spatial structure. What is needed is a combination of experimental and big data approach, i.e. ecological synthesis, to integrate data on biodiversity, ecosystem functions, ecosystem services, and their drivers such as land use to generate insights that are both general and robust. In the recently started research project “Drivers of Ecosystem Services in Heterogeneous Landscapes (ECOSERV)", data from projects in Germany and Brazil will be used to answer the following questions: (1) For which ecosystem services are negative trade-offs particularly eminent? (2) How does landscape structure affect biodiversity and ecosystem services provisioning? And, (3) Can we identify critical thresholds and the risks of regime shifts related to drivers of landscape structure, such as land use changes and climate change?

Your profile

  • Full university degree (Diploma/M.Sc.) in in biology, ecology or a related discipline.
  • Interest in biodiversity, ecology, community ecology
  • Sound knowledge of statistical analysis (preferably R).
  • Fluent in English, in reading and writing
  • We expect the candidate to have good communication skills and the ability to work in a team.

Your tasks

You will be a team member of the ECOSERV group, which consists of PhD-students in the Terrestrial Ecology Research Group at TUM and several members of the landscape ecology group of Prof. Jean Paul Metzger at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. You will investigate trade-offs between ecosystem services and analyse limits and possibilities for the maximization of ecosystem multifunctionality.

Our offer

  • Stimulating working environment and an interdisciplinary and international research team.
  • A stipend of €2000 per month. The contract for the position will be limited to 36 months
  • A 3-month-visit to the landscape ecology group in São Paulo, Brazil.

TUM is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified women are therefore particularly encouraged to apply. Applicants with disabilities are treated with preference given comparable qualification.


Please send your application, including a cover letter, a detailed CV, contact information of two referees, and your master thesis (or equivalent) as soon as possible (latest by 10th of October 2018) in the form of a single pdf-file to Sebastian T. Meyer. Appointment date is as soon as possible.  For further inquiries, please contact Dr. Sebastian T. Meyer or Prof. Wolfgang W. Weisser.