Master Thesis "Effects of traffic, floral resources, and landscape structure on pollinator communities"

The Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research GmbH – UFZ
June 12, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
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The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) with its 1,100 employees has gained an excellent reputation as an international competence centre for environmental sciences. We are part of the largest scientific organisation in Germany, the Helmholtz association. Our mission: Our research seeks to find a balance between social development and the long-term protection of our natural resources.

The job

Heterogeneous landscapes and a higher diversity of local floral resources can positively impact pollinators at different scales, by providing additional and improved nesting and foraging habitats. Despite facing multiple threats (e.g. climate change, land-use intensity, habitat loss and pathogens), pollinators are also vulnerable to high road traffic and road types. Busy roads can increase the risk of collisions between vehicles and pollinators, particularly for smaller insects. Road types that have broader and more floral-rich road verges may exhibit greater pollinator diversity, but may also increase the likelihood of vehicular collisions with pollinators. Within the EU-Project Safeguard, we will provide an exciting opportunity to improve our understanding of the influence of traffic on pollinator diversity and insect mortality to help guide management and conservation efforts to better support pollinator communities.

Your tasks
  • To conduct plant-pollinator network surveys and pollinator transects in Saxony-Anhalt
  • To estimate flower cover along the pollinator transects
  • To assess insect mortality using sticky traps fixed to a car
  • To measure insect body size in the lab
  • To disentangle the effects of landscape structure, local floral resources and traffic on pollinator communities and insect mortality
  • We offer
  • Great insights into work of a leading research institute
  • Individual supervision with the possibility to work independently
  • A topic with high chances of future scientific outcomes
  • Work in international teams in a well-equipped institute
  • Your profile
  • Bachelor in Ecology, Biodiversity, Agriculture or related disciplines
  • Background in entomology, community ecology, environmental sciences
  • Experience in field work and in the statistical software R (advantageous)
  • Experience in GIS (advantageous)
  • Botanical knowledge and experience in handling pollinators (advantageous)
  • Driving license (required)
  • Good English proficiency
  • From this employer

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