Apply now! 3-years PhD position – Analysing historic vegetation changes in Europe

The Division of BioInvasions, Global Change & Macroecology at the University Vienna
( is offering a PHD-position on analysing historic changes in vegetation composition and richness in Europe.

Plot-based vegetation samples document plant species diversity and community composition at a given location at a given time. Such data allow for a wide variety of research questions to be addressed, and accordingly. The mobilization of vegetation-plot data, and their compilation in large repositories such as the European Vegetation Archive (EVA, and the global vegetation database sPlot ( have substantially expanded the availability of these types of data. Recently, ReSurveyEurope ( – a new data source of resurveyed vegetation plots in Europe, has been established. Version 1.0 of ReSurveyEurope contains 283,135 observations (i.e. individual surveys of each plot) from 79,190 plots sampled in 449 independent resurveys. ReSurveyEurope is a powerful new resource to address a wide range of research questions on fine-scale changes in European vegetation.

In addition, a bilateral Austrian-Czech project (GRACE) led by Adam Clark, with project partners Petr Keil, Hana Skokanová, and University Vienna has recently been funded. The GRACE project studies how historic changes in landscape composition and structure influenced grassland plant communities across the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, with a particular focus on the present-day border region between Austria and the Czech Republic. ReSurveyEurope and GRACE interact closely, and the PhD position is intended to use opportunities created by these two initiatives / projects to analyse historic vegetation changes. The work of the PhD-candidate will mostly consist of preparing and analysing existing re-surveyed plot data. In addition, it will involve some sampling of additional vegetation plot data for GRACE. The PhD-candidate will also closely collaborate with a recently funded Biodiversa+-project (MOTIVATE) that is based on data from ReSurveyEurope.


  • Analyse historic changes in vegetation composition and diversity in Europe by using plot data from ReSurveyEurope
  • Analyse vegetation changes in Central Europe within the GRACE project

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