Call for PhD Candidate


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Call for PhD Candidate


Woody invasive alien species in Ethiopia: assessing their impacts on ecosystem services and rural livelihoods on watershed level

Background: CABI Switzerland, in collaboration with Swiss, Ethiopian, Kenyan, Tanzanian and South African research institutions, is implementing a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC). This project aims to help mitigating the effects of woody invasive alien species (IAS) on biodiversity, ecosystem services (ES) and human well-being in selected study areas in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. To achieve this goal, we will generate and share knowledge on invasion processes and on context-dependent effects of woody IAS. Additionally, we will elaborate sustainable control measures and develop and document Sustainable Land Management (SLM) strategies that mitigate the negative effects of woody IAS in Eastern Africa.

PhD Position: Within this project, an exciting PhD position is available at the Haramaya University ( The PhD aims to assess invasion impacts on ecosystem services (ES) and rural livelihoods. Specific goals of the study include: (1) calculate the cover-impact response curves for ES and biodiversity indicators at local scale using key woody IAS; (2) assess the socio-economic impact of woody IAS on rural livelihood at local scale. The candidate is expected to assess the impact of woody IAS on biodiversity, ES and livelihoods in East Africa using standard quantitative and qualitative techniques; conduct standardized small-scale impact studies with key woody IAS in the three case study areas, measuring multiple impact variables including indicators of ES and biodiversity; compare ecosystem-specific and woody IAS-specific impact responses.

The PhD candidate will be based at Haramaya University ( He/she will have to conduct extended field research in Awash, Baringo and Usambara.

Required competences

  • Master degree in Agricultural Economics or related fields
  • Excellent skills in impact analysis
  • Experience with stakeholder or institutional analysis are an asset
  • High social competences in interacting with stakeholders at different levels
  • Excellent skills in oral and written communications (English)
  • Great interest in working with an interdisciplinary and international team
  • Willingness to travel and work in the field for extended periods

What the research project offers

  • Work in a strong international team
  • Training in inter-and transdisciplinary research
  • PhD salary negotiable, secured for the duration of the PhD, expected to be completed in 3-4
  • Field expenses and travel allowances
  • Supervision by experts from Haramaya University and the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE;, Switzerland.

Application: Please send a CV, academic transcript, contact details for at least two academic references, and a brief outline of research interests to Dr. Jema Haji ( Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until 31, December 2014. Informal inquiries are welcome. Short-listed candidates will be contacted immediately after the deadline to set up interviews. The envisaged start date for the project is March/April 2015.

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