Quantifying the effects of interacting nutrient cycles on terrestrial biosphere dynamics and their climate feedbacks (QUINCY)
lifetime: Sept. 2015 - Aug. 2020
The research of the Terrestrial Biosphere Modelling (TBM) Group in the BGI department focuses on the development and evaluation of large scale terrestrial biosphere models, and in particular the importance of the biogeochemical nutrient cycles for land-climate feedbacks. A highly important question in this context is the stability of soil organic matter under changing environmental conditions. However, soil processes, their parameterization and soil interactions with vegetation growth are still a major uncertainty in TBMs. Two active areas of research in our department are the effect of altered rhizosphere inputs on the microbial activity and thereby the organic carbon storage, as well as the control that of soil temperature and moisture have on the decomposition process. Our aim is to achieve a better representation of these nutrient and moisture effects on soil carbon storage and turnover in our soil model “COMISSION” (Ahrens et al. 2015), which is linked to the Earth system Model of the Max-Planck-Society.
In this context, we are offering a PhD position on Modelling soil organic matter dynamics, which may focus on one of the following two topics
Project #1: soil moisture effects
Project #2: soil nutrient cycles
Research Environment: The successful applicants will join a young and international team, led by Marion Schrumpf, Markus Reichstein and Sönke Zaehle, in a vibrant research environment, encompassing experimental and theoretical work on the role of the biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in the Earth system. The department has established an extensive network of international collaborations in Europe, the U.S. and Australia. Jena is not only famous for its high-tech industry, internationally renowned research institutions and a modern university, but also for its beautiful natural setting in the Saale valley with its steep limestone slopes. The climate is mild, and a large variety of plants grow in the close surroundings, including wine grapes and wild orchids. The city of Jena has a large active student scene supporting a diverse cultural life.
The conditions of employment, including upgrades and duration follow the rules of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Sciences and those of the German civil service (TVöD-Bund). The Max-Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.
Application: Please send your inquiries and/or applications including a letter of interest, CV, and the names and contact information of two references to Dr. Sönke Zaehle (szaehle -at- bgc-jena.mpg.de), or directly to the institute’s address (S. Zaehle, Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie, Postfach 10 01 64, 07701 Jena, Germany).