lunes, octubre 19, 2015

Protorosaur phylogeny and palaeobiogeography PHD position in University of Zürich

Protorosaur phylogeny and palaeobiogeography

The Evolutionary Morphology and Palaeobiology of Vertebrates group at the Palaeontological Institute of the University of Zurich invites applications for a PhD position (3 years funding). The successful candidate will work in a Swiss National Science Foundation supported research project under the supervision of Dr. Torsten Scheyer. The PhD project will build upon an existing research program ( and include museum visits world‐wide, palaeontological fieldwork, and lab work. Those interested should check our website for publications and current research projects.

 The current PhD project will involve studying the relationships of diapsid tetrapods (the clade also comprising all living reptiles) with a special focus on protorosaurs, including forms from the Middle Triassic World Heritage Site of Monte San Giorgio, Switzerland/Italy. The resulting cladistic analyses will be used as scaffolding for biogeographic analyses (applying, for example, DIVA and LAGRANGE methods) of the group. Details about the PhD project will be discussed during interviews with the best‐qualified applicants, which are also expected to provide input on the project development. The selected candidate will be expected to help in teaching and writing funding proposals.

The ideal candidate will be a highly‐motivated student of Life‐ or Earth Sciences with a biological or palaeontological background. Excellent writing skills in English are required, German language skills, as well as knowledge on fossil vertebrate/reptile anatomy and statistics is desirable but not mandatory. Perspective students are expected to have received their Masterʹs degree or equivalent by the start of the PhD.

The University of Zurich is one of the top comprehensive institutions in Europe and the city, in close proximity to the Alps, offers the conditions for an excellent quality of life. With a critical mass of researchers in Palaeontology and Evolutionary Biology, the University of Zurich offers an exceptional academic environment for research and study. The Palaeontological Institute and Museum further offers state‐of‐the‐art research facilities in an international and stimulating academic environment.

To apply, please send a letter of motivation (incl. information of previous scientific work and publications if available), a CV, contact details of two referees, and an electronic copy of your MScthesis to Dr. Torsten Scheyer ( Please ensure that all those parts are combined into a single PDF‐file! Review of applications starts on November 20th 2015, but applications will be considered until the position is filled. Applicants should be prepared to be interviewed by the end of November, beginning of December.

STARTING DATE OF PROJECT: January 2016 (negotiable).