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Research assistant (HiWi)

50%, 19 Hours/week - (4-5 months starting 2 January 2021)

within project:

CAP4GI: Leverages and potentials in the Common Agricultural Policy for improved support of Green Infra-structure, biodiversity and ecosystem services
Background:
  • Agricultural intensification and abandonment are key drivers of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, by generating hostile landscapes that isolate (semi-)natural habitats prohibiting the movement of animals and plants among them.
  • The EU recently announced a “Green Deal” and a Biodiversity strategy, calling to enhance landscape connectivity and establishing a “Green Infrastructure”, e.g. by restoring landscape features and expanding organic farming areas.
  • With circa €60 billion/year, the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a key factor shaping Europe’s agricultural lands. The CAP has a huge potential to help maintaining and restoring landscapes and to support developing a Green Infrastructure, yet this potential remains unfulfilled due to inappropriate policy design and implementation.
  • The ongoing reform to shape the CAP beyond 2020 offers a revised set of instruments to improve environmental performance. The upcoming changes present both opportunities and risks, requiring novel, effective approaches to ensure farmers can potentially take their role as stewards of the environment.
  • The project CAP4GI aims to identify existing and emerging opportunities and barriers for the CAP to promote Green Infrastructure, and with it, to address challenges for biodiversity, ecosystem services and human wellbeing.
  • Phase 1 of the project will identify and engage relevant stakeholders, scientists and policy makers; explore how Individual-based- and Agent-based simulation models can assist decision-making by various end-users; and develop a prototype modelling framework to aid participatory decision-making processes.
  • An assistant is sought to participate in Phase 1 of the project.
Main activities:

The successful candidate will:

  • review and assess existing modelling approaches addressing the questions a) how policy and markets shape agricultural landscapes; b) what are the consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem services; and c) how can this knowledge help landscape-oriented planning of the CAP’s implementation.
  • interview model developers and end users to understand which models are being effectively used, and under which conditions,
  • develop relevant sections of the proposal for Stage 2, and
  • continue developing the outcomes into a scientific publication.
Requirements / expected profile:
  • B.Sc. or preferably M.Sc. in a related research discipline (e.g. ecology, geography, environmental data analysis)
  • Experience in working with Agent-based- and/or Individual-based models desirable
  • Experience with statistical programming and/or GIS can be beneficial but not essential.
  • Interest in nature conservation and in policies, such as the Common Agricultural Policy and the Habitats Directive, is beneficial but not essential.
  • Experience in working within an interdisciplinary context.
  • Interest and experience in teamwork, and the capacity to communicate with various people and stakeholders groups such as farmers and policy makers is beneficial.
  • High proficiency in both German and English (written and verbal) is beneficial.
  • Place of work is at Leipzig, but home- or remote-office may be possible.
The position may offer you:
  • The opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary, young, international and dynamic research team at the interface between science, policy and civil society
  • The potential for a scientific publication.
  • A good chance for longer-term employment as a PhD or a Post-doc in Phase 2 if successfully funded.
  • Starting date should optimally be January 2021.
  • The call is open until the position is filled.
  • Applications should be sent a.s.a.p. (and optimally by 30.10.2020) to guy.peer@idiv.de with the headline “Application for HiWi in project CAP4GI”.
Applications should include:
  • A brief cover letter describing motivation, research interests and relevant experience
  • Short Curriculum vitae listing relevant skills and qualifications, and (if available) a list of publications
  • A scan of BA and M.Sc. certificates
  • List of three referees. Reference letters are welcome but not required
  • For questions please contact Dr. Guy Pe’er ( guy.peer@idiv.de ).

Master thesis: Management practices of farmers for pollination and pest control (m/w/d)

Erhebung von Daten zur Landnutzungsintensität und landwirtschaftlichem Management auf Landschaftsebene auf 12 Versuchsflächen in Sachsen-Anhalt.

Die Arbeitsgruppen Ökosystemdienstleistung und Biozönoseforschung am Department Ökosysteme der Zukunft bieten eine Abschlussarbeit bzgl. der Untersuchung der Auswirkungen von Landnutzungsintensität auf insekten-relevante Ökosystemleistungen (Bestäubung und biologische Schädlingskontrolle) an.

Ihr Aufgabengebiet:
  • Entwicklung eines Fragebogens zur Erhebung von Landnutzungsintensität und Einstellung von Landwirt*innen gegenüber Insekten-basierten Ökosystemleistungen (Bestäubung und biologischer Schädlingskontrolle)
  • Eigenständige Durchführung der Befragung
  • Auswertung der Ergebnisse
  • Je nach Vorlieben kann der Schwerpunkt der Arbeit selbst ausgestaltet werden
Ihre Stärken:
  • Student*in der Umweltwissenschaften, Agrarwissenschaften, Geographie, Sozialwissenschaften, Politikwissenschaften oder ähnlichem
  • Verlässliches und selbstständiges Arbeiten
  • Erfahrung mit der Erstellung von Fragebögen
  • Erfahrung mit der Programmiersprache R ist wünschenswert
Unsere Stärken:
  • Eine enge und gute Betreuung
  • Spannende Einblicke in die Arbeit eines führenden Forschungsinstituts
  • Eine hervorragende technische Ausstattung, die ihresgleichen sucht
  • Die Mitarbeit in interdisziplinären, multinationalen Teams
  • Die Möglichkeit, eigene Ideen und Impulse von Anfang an einzubringen 
Die Bewerbung sollte enthalten:
  • kurzes Anschreiben, in dem Motivation, Forschungsinteressen und einschlägige Erfahrungen beschrieben werden
  • kurzer Lebenslauf mit Auflistung relevanter Fähigkeiten und Qualifikationen und (falls verfügbar) eine Liste von Publikationen
  • Scan der BA- und M.Sc.-Zertifikate
  • Liste mit drei Referenzen. Referenzschreiben sind willkommen, aber nicht erforderlich.
  • Bei Fragen wenden Sie sich bitte an: Dr. Maria Felipe-Lucia maria.felipe-lucia@idiv.de
Publication bibliography

Albrecht, Matthias; Kleijn, David; Williams, Neal M.; Tschumi, Matthias; Blaauw, Brett R.; Bommarco, Riccardo et al. (2020): The effectiveness of flower strips and hedgerows on pest control, pollination services and crop yield: a quantitative synthesis. In Ecology letters 23 (10), pp. 1488–1498. DOI: 10.1111/ele.13576.
Brühl, Carsten; Zaller, Johann G. (2020): Meinungsartikel Rückgang der biologischen Vielfalt. Inwiefern ist eine unzureichende Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung von Pestiziden mitverantwortlich? In Mitt Umweltchem Ökotox 26 (1), pp. 3–7.
Bundesministerium für Umwelt; Naturschutz und nukleare Sicherheit (Eds.) (2019): Aktionsprogramm Insektenschutz. Gemeinsam wirksam gegen das Insektensterben.
Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und nukleare Sicherheit (9/4/2019): Aktionsprogramm Insektenschutz. Available online at https://www.bmu.de/fileadmin/Daten_BMU/Pools/Broschueren/aktionsprogramm_insektenschutz_kabinettversion_bf.pdf, checked on 10/2/2020.
Connelly, Heather; Poveda, Katja; Loeb, Gregory (2015): Landscape simplification decreases wild bee pollination services to strawberry. In Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 211, pp. 51–56. DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2015.05.004.
Hallmann, Caspar A.; Sorg, Martin; Jongejans, Eelke; Siepel, Henk; Hofland, Nick; Schwan, Heinz et al. (2017): More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas. In PloS one 12 (10), e0185809. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185809.
Hevia, Violeta; García-Llorente, Marina; Martínez-Sastre, Rodrigo; Palomo, Sara; García, Daniel; Miñarro, Marcos et al. (2020): Do farmers care about pollinators? A cross-site comparison of farmers’ perceptions, knowledge, and management practices for pollinator-dependent crops. In International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 43 (3), pp. 1–15. DOI: 10.1080/14735903.2020.1807892.
Holzschuh, Andrea; Dormann, Carsten F.; Tscharntke, Teja; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf (2013): Mass-flowering crops enhance wild bee abundance. In Oecologia 172 (2), pp. 477–484. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-012-2515-5.
Jankielsohn, Astrid (2018): The Importance of Insects in Agricultural Ecosystems. In AE 06 (02), pp. 62–73. DOI: 10.4236/ae.2018.62006.
Kleijn, David; Winfree, Rachael; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Carvalheiro, Luísa G.; Henry, Mickaël; Isaacs, Rufus et al. (2015): Delivery of crop pollination services is an insufficient argument for wild pollinator conservation. In Nature communications 6, p. 7414. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8414.
Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Vaissière, Bernard E.; Cane, James H.; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Cunningham, Saul A.; Kremen, Claire; Tscharntke, Teja (2007): Importance of pollinators in changing landscapes for world crops. In Proceedings. Biological sciences 274 (1608), pp. 303–313. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2006.3721.
Lorna J. Cole; David Kleijn; Lynn V. Dicks; Jane C. Stout; Simon G. Potts; Matthias Albrecht et al. (2020): A critical analysis of the potential for EU Common Agricultural Policy measures to support wild pollinators on farmland. In Journal of Applied Ecology 57 (4), pp. 681–694. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13572.
Marselle, Melissa R.; Turbe, Anne; Shwartz, Assaf; Bonn, Aletta; Colléony, Agathe (2020): Addressing behavior in pollinator conservation policies to combat the implementation gap. In Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.13581.
Munyuli, Théodore (2011): Farmers’ perceptions of pollinators’ importance in coffee production in Uganda. In AS 02 (03), pp. 318–333. DOI: 10.4236/as.2011.23043.
Mupepele, Anne-Christine; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Lakner, Sebastian; Plieninger, Tobias; Schoof, Nicolas; Klein, Alexandra-Maria (2019): Insect conservation in agricultural landscapes: An outlook for policy-relevant research. In GAIA - Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society 28 (4), pp. 342–347. DOI: 10.14512/gaia.28.4.5.
Schoof, Nicolas; Luick, Rainer; Paech, Niko (2020): Respekt für das Insekt? Analyse des Aktionsprogramms Insektenschutz der deutschen Bundesregierung unter besonderer Beachtung transformativer Zugänge. In Zeitschrift für Naturschutz und Landschaftspflege 95 (7), pp. 316–324.
Sutter, Louis; Albrecht, Matthias (2016): Synergistic interactions of ecosystem services: florivorous pest control boosts crop yield increase through insect pollination. In Proceedings. Biological sciences 283 (1824). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.2529.
Tarakini, Gugulethu; Chemura, Abel; Musundire, Robert (2020): Farmers’ Knowledge and Attitudes Toward Pollination and Bees in a Maize-Producing Region of Zimbabwe: Implications for Pollinator Conservation. In Tropical Conservation Science 13, 194008292091853. DOI: 10.1177/1940082920918534.