PhD Program in Ecology

Doing a PhD research project in the joint University of Zurich and ETH Zurich Program in Ecology, in one of the internationally acclaimed research groups, enhances a student’s PhD experience. 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.

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Featured PhD Project: Fall 2019

Esteban Guevara

Effects deforestation might have on interactions between hummingbirds and plants

Esteban Guevara

Hummingbird in the Andes of Ecuador Esteban Guevara )

Drivers of global change, like land-use change, influence the abundance and distribution of organisms which could potentially disrupt trophic interactions, like those occurring among hummingbirds and their food plants. Esteban Guevara, PhD candidate in Ecology, will investigate the effects that deforestation might have on interactions between hummingbirds and plants. This mutualistic relationship is widely observed in the tropical Andes and is the basis of pollination for hundreds of plants.  Esteban Guevara´s research project will apply trait-based, Bayesian and network approaches combined with field experiments to understand changes in the functional diversity of hummingbirds and plants, beta-diversity of species interactions and changes in network structure across gradients of land-use in the Andes of Ecuador.

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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.