PhD Program in Ecology

Completing a PhD research project in the joint University of Zurich (UZH) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, PhD Program in Ecology, in one of the internationally acclaimed research groups, enhances a student’s PhD experience. Students of this program are enrolled at either the UZH or the ETH. The program offers research training in the interdisciplinary field of ecology, general skills training for academic and non-academic excellence, and opportunities to interact with other doctoral students. The program includes a curriculum of at least 12 ECTS credits, teaching experience, and is usually completed within three to four years (full-time). It offers yearly graduate schools, courses on subject specific matters and on methods that are of direct use to the work of doctoral students. Additional courses on transferable skills prepare students for professional life, whether this is in an academic institution or not. Research seminars foster international collaborations and the exchange of experiences among doctoral students and experts from different fields of ecology.


Anubhav Gupta

Inference of species interactions and prediction in changing environments


A food web prediction from the allometric diet breadth model (©  Anubhav Gupta )

To know the network of interactions among species in a food web is a key question in ecology. As a result, diverse sources of data such as abundance of species, gut contents, stable isotope composition of tissues have been used to infer the network. Anubhav Gupta, PhD candidate in Ecology, is understanding the effect of data composition and diversity on the goodness of predicting food web structure by a model known as allometric diet breadth model (ADBM). Anubhav implements a Bayesian approach known as approximate Bayesian computation. He will also look at changes in food web across an environmental gradient which is temperature.


Photography for Scientists
Science and science communication rely heavily and extensively on photography. In this course organised by the PhD Program in Ecology, student scientists were taught how to be more "visually literate", empowering them to more effectively communicate their science.

Filmmaking for Scientists
In this course organised by the PhD Program in Ecology, students learnt how to prepare their own documentary films, including how to deal with camera and lighting, screenwriting/storyboard and film editing. At the end of the workshop, the PhD students prepared a short documentary film.