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PhD Student - Grazing Systems

Workplace1725 Posieux, North Romandie, Switzerland
DurationThe post is for a fixed term of 4 years
Job Start1st March 2024

Agroscope is looking for a:

PhD Student - Grazing Systems

Agroforestry for forage production could be a promising solution to provide additional tree-based forage, especially during summer, when risks of drought-induced decrease in forage production are the highest. Indeed, many tree species can be more resistant to drought than herbaceous species, with leaves of excellent forage quality. The aim of this PhD thesis is to evaluate the potential of fodder tree hedgerows to provide supplementary tree-based forage in late summer along a climatic gradient. Specifically, it includes the monitoring of fodder tree growth/survival and photosynthetic activity, the determination of foliage production, nutritional value and digestibility, the evaluation of ecosystem services and the assessment of the palatability and selection by different livestock categories.

About us

Agroscope is the Swiss federal centre of excellence for research in the agriculture and food sector. Its researchers carry out their work at a number of sites in Switzerland. Headquartered in Bern-Liebefeld (from 2025: Posieux, Canton of Fribourg), Agroscope is attached to the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER.


  • Measuring fodder tree growth (number of branches and diameter) and leaf production, as well as assessing the photosynthetic activity of five different tree species.
  • Taking samples of fodder tree leaves to determine plant functional traits and analyse nutritional value, digestibility and gas production when tree leaves are added to the animal diet.
  • Sampling soils to evaluate carbon storage associated with the fodder tree hedgerows.
  • Testing the selection and appetence of the fodder tree species by different livestock species (cattle, goats, horses).
  • Evaluating and interpreting the data; communicating the results in the form of scientific articles and contributions at conferences.


  • Master from a University/ETH/UAS or equivalent diploma in Agricultural/Animal Sciences, Ecology or another relevant discipline
  • Good knowledge of data management and statistical analysis
  • Experience and interest in field work in temperate grasslands (few months per year from April to October). Great interest in the fields of agronomy, ecology and agroforestry.
  • Very good communication, teamwork and work-organisation skills for managing a network of experimental sites in Western Switzerland (French-speaking area).
  • Knowledge of two official Swiss languages; very good knowledge of spoken and written English.

We offer

We offer you a varied job in an interesting field of work as well as thorough training and mentoring. A modern research infrastructure, flexible working hours and good employee benefits are further benefits of this post.

Contact and Address

If this challenge appeals to you and you meet the requirements profile, we look forward to receiving your online application at www.stelle.admin.ch, Ref. No 7848.

Have we piqued your interest? Would you like further information on this post? Pierre Mariotte (Tel. +41 (0)58 468 65 82, pierre.mariotteagroscope.admin.ch), the Deputy Head of the Grazing Systems research group, would be pleased to assist you.

Start date: 1st March 2024. The post is for a fixed term of 4 years.

The Federal Administration is attentive to the different needs and backgrounds of its employees and promotes diversity. Equal treatment is a top priority.


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In your application, please refer to myScience.org and reference JobID 2728219.