Join the EcoMod Lab

Open PhD student position in the EcoMod research group, with Prof. Dr. Pantel.

Project title: Mathematical and statistical models for the study of eco-evolutionary dynamics (EcoEvoStat)

Project Description: Organisms can respond to environmental change not only via ecological processes (such as movement, range shifts, or potentially extinction) but also via rapid evolution occurring over just a few generations. These eco-evolutionary dynamics result in novel patterns of population genetic structure and biodiversity, and are often difficult to detect in natural systems. The goal of this project is to develop novel statistical models that can use observed data (either from simulations, controlled experiments, or from field surveys of natural populations) to detect the impacts of phenotypic evolution for population and community ecological dynamics, and to detect the signature of dynamic eco-evolutionary feedback loops in natural systems. The project will make use of theoretical models of eco-evolutionary dynamics and computational statistics in a Bayesian framework, and models will also be fit to experimental and observational datasets.

The PhD student hired for the project will work with Prof. Dr. Jelena H. Pantel at the University of Duisburg-Essen. They will thus join a new research team operating at the interface between statistics, ecology, and evolution, at one of the best young universities in Europe. UDE offers numerous opportunities for training and competencies required for both a successful project and for a future career path. Please inquire to learn more about mentoring at UDE. We will also work closely with collaborators at the University of Konstanz (Prof. Dr. Lutz Becks), where a long-term outdoor mesocosm experiment has been set up to determine how eutrophication impacts coexistence and coevolution in freshwater invertebrate communities.

Requirements: A master’s degree in Biology. Master’s degree holders in other relevant subjects such as Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, Environmental Science, or Data Science may be considered as well. Candidates should have an interest in both ecology / evolutionary biology and statistics, and should have demonstrated experience in computational biology. The successful candidate will work with some combination of R, Python, C++, and MATLAB. Knowledge of (and enthusiasm for) advanced statistics (e.g. Bayesian, multivariate) is important for this position. Knowledge of English is expected for the position as well (inquire to discuss this in more detail).

Application: To apply, send the following documents as a single PDF file to jelena.pantel[at]

  • Cover letter, including statement of motivation (1 page)
  • Curriculum vitae (including list of publications and/or contributions to previous research)
  • Certificates of education (bachelor and master diplomas)
    In addition, arrange to have 2 letters of recommendation from University faculty / scientists sent to
  • The letter can be in any format, but for more guidelines see:

Further details: Starting date as soon as possible (January-March 2023). Salary classification 13 TV-L 65% (contact for more information about this if needed).