University of Bern: Professor of Geography and Sustainable Development

University of Bern: Professor of Geography and Sustainable Development


Professor of Geography and Sustainable Development (open rank),
specialised in natural resources and land systems

The Institute of Geography ( at the Faculty of Science of the University of Bern invites applications for the position of Professor of Geography and Sustainable Development. In this position, the appointee will lead the research unit on Natural Resources and Land Systems, and also take an active share in the work of the interdisciplinary Centre for Development and Environment ( of the University of Bern as well as the International Graduate School North-South ( She/he is expected to start on 1 February 2016.

The successful candidate is expected to have a background in physical geography and a track record of integrative research on natural resources, land systems, and/or field experimentation in land degradation. She/he should have demonstrated experience in diverse research methodologies including disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary approaches, and contributes to the Institute’s and the Centre’s existing focus on generating systems, target, and transformation knowledge. She/he should also be capable of developing internationally competitive research programmes, cooperating with institutional partners both in the global North and South, and attracting substantial external funding. The appointee will be expected to teach undergraduate level courses in German or English, while graduate level courses will be mostly in English.

In her/his research the new colleague will focus on degradation and sustainable use of natural resources such as soil, water, and vegetation; and/or on processes of land use and land cover change driven by competing land claims by a range of stakeholders from the local to the international levels (telecoupling); and/or on the implications of such processes for ecosystem service provision and human well-being. The professor is expected to contribute to solving problems of global change and developing strategies, technologies, and landscape management innovations to increase the sustainability of natural resource use and land use. To this end, she/he will cooperate closely with the existing research units of the Institute and the Centre for Development and Environment, as well as participate in (inter)national networks and relevant global policy debates.

Teaching will be at the PhD, Master’s, and Bachelor’s levels (including field courses and excursions); it will focus on integrative analysis of landscapes and their land resources, address processes of changing ecosystem service provision, present experimental results and experience with sustainable land management, and examine a variety of land use systems in concrete contexts.

Open rank calls for a professorship offer the possibility of adapting the offer to a suitable candidate’s past achievements and expected future competences. The position may rank from tenure track assistant professor to full professor (Extraordinariat or Ordinariat).







The application should include a letter of motivation, a CV with a short research plan for the next 5 years, a list of publications, funding history, a list of previous teaching activities, and the names and contact information for three references as a single PDF file. Applications from women are strongly encouraged. The starting date for the position is 1 February 2016.

Applications should be submitted by 29 August 2014 as one PDF file to, and should be addressed to the Faculty of Science, University of Bern, Prof. Gilberto Colangelo, Dean, Sidlerstrasse 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.