Max Planck Gesellschaft


The BGC-MDI group has a strong commitment to undergraduate and graduate education. We offer student projects in terms of internships and opportunities for Bachelor, Master, Diploma, and PhD theses. Please have a look at our ongoing research projects and more importantly check if we have specific opportunities for students posted here . If you share our enthusiasm for one of these topics, feel free to contact the corresponding researcher(s) for more information.

A summary of ongoing, and completed student projects is listed below:

PhD theses


Bernhard Ahrens Explaining variability of soil organic carbon stability between and within soil profiles. Institute of Soil Science, Leibniz Universität Hannover
Ekaterina Bogdanovich Societal attention to extreme weather events
Jasper Denissen Multi-variate Analysis of Land-Atmosphere Interactions in a Changing Climate
Lucia Muriel Eder Effects of elevated CO2 on soil organic matter turnover and nutrient uptake, Institute for Geography, University of Jena
Lina M. Estupiñan Suarez Understanding the temporal filtering of climate variability by terrestrial ecosystems in the neotropic
Naixin Fan Environmental controls of ecosystem turnover times
Milan Flach Detecting anomalies in ecosystem functioning
Julia Joswig Global gradients in plant functional traits
Theertha Kariyathan Biogeochemical insights from multi-tracer atmospheric flask data
Guido Krämer Developing an Earth System State Indicator
Basil Kraft Modelling ecosystem fluxes and states from Earth observation with recurrent neural nets.
Christopher Krich Using complex networks for understanding land-surface interactions
Çağlar Küçük Ecohydrology from space
Hoontaek Lee Carbon-water interactions across scales
Wantong Li Identifying hydro-meteorological controls on global photosynthesis and vegetation feedback on surface water deficit
Nora Linscheid Ecological process understanding across time scales
Yunpeng Luo Unexplored drivers of plant phenology: Beyond climate
David Martini Relationship between Ecosystem Functional Properties and Sun-Induced Fluorescence in time and under different nutrient conditions
Kendalynn Morris effects of nutrient availability on partitioning of soil respiration between plants and soil microbes
Jacob Nelson Water flux patterns and partitioning
Daniel Pabón Upscaling Plant Functional Proptieres
Marleen Pallandt-Vermeulen Modelling the role of soil moisture dynamics on soil organic matter decomposition
Sinikka Paulus Land - atmosphere interactions in seasonally dry systems using lysimeter data
Christian Requena Deep learning approaches for analyzing spatio-temporal memory effects in Earth System data
Tina Trautmann Vegetation impacts on variability of global water resources
Siyuan Wang Global Vegetation Dynamics
Weijie Zhang Plant water use across the globe


Knauer, Jürgen (2019). Integrating observations and models to understand ecophysiological controls on terrestrial water-carbon coupling (PhD Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena.
Urbazaev, Mikhail (2019). Estimation of forest structure parameters in Mexico by integration of remote sensing and forest inventory data (PhD Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. Retrieved from Thesis (hosted by MPI)
Besnard, Simon (2019). Controls of forest age and ecological memory effects on biosphere-atmosphere CO2 exchange (PhD Thesis), Wageningen University. Retrieved from Thesis (hosted by wur)
Meyerholt, Johannes (2018). Systematic assessment of uncertainty in coupled carbon-nitrogen cycle models and their climate feedbacks (PhD Thesis), Johann Wolfgang Goethe - Universität Frankfurt.
Musavi, Talie (2018). The imprint of plants on ecosystem functioning (PhD Thesis), Universität Leipzig. Retrieved from Thesis (hosted by MPI)
Boese, Sven (2018). Semi-Empirical Water-Use Efficiency Models from Local to Global Scale (PhD Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena.
Sippel, Sebastian (2017). Climate extremes and their impact on ecosystem-atmosphere interactions (PhD Thesis), Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich. Retrieved from Thesis (hosted by ETH Zürich)
Thiessen, Stefany (2017). The impact of physical and biological soil factors on carbon turnover in soil - an introduction story (PhD Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena.
Thurner, Martin (2016). Carbon stock and carbon turnover of boreal and temperate forests (PhD Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. Retrieved from Thesis (hosted by dbt)
Ekici, Altug (2015). Process oriented representation of permafrost soil thermal dynamics in Earth System Models (PhD Thesis), Universität Freiburg (Switzerland). Retrieved from Thesis (hosted by MPI)
Forkel, Matthias (2015). Controls on Global Greening, Phenology and the Enhanced Seasonal CO2 Amplitude: Integrating Decadal Satellite Observations and Global Ecosystem Models (PhD Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. Retrieved from Thesis (hosted by dbt)
Zscheischler, Jakob (2014). A global analysis of extreme events and consequences for the terrestrial carbon cycle (PhD Thesis), Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich. Retrieved from Thesis (hosted by ETHZ)
Braakhekke, Maarten C. (2014). Mechanistic modelling of the vertical soil organic matter profile (PhD Thesis), University Wageningen. Retrieved from Thesis (hosted by wur)
Görner, Anna (2011). Improving data-oriented light use efficiency models of gross primary productivity with remotely sensed spectral indices (PhD Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. Retrieved from Thesis (hosted by dbt)
Lasslop, Gitta (2010). Model data fusion for terrestrial biosphere models with carbon and water cycle observations (PhD Thesis), Universität Hamburg. Retrieved from Thesis (BGC Technical report)
Carvalhais, Nuno Miguel Matias (2010). Iberian Peninsula ecosystem carbon fluxes: a model-data integration study (PhD Thesis), Universidade Nova Lisboa. Retrieved from Thesis (hosted by University of Lisboa)
Mahecha, Miguel (2009). Ecosystem-atmosphere exchanges on multiple time scales (PhD Thesis), Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich. Retrieved from Thesis (hosted by ETH Zürich)
Wutzler, Thomas (2007). Projecting the carbon sink of managed forests based on standard forestry data (PhD Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. Retrieved from Thesis (hosted by dbt)

Diploma / Master theses


Ali Raza Exploring the role of climate for population density and vegetation
Christoph Niemann Integration of river discharge data into macro-scale hydrological modelling. GIScience, Friedrich-Schiller University Jena


Bogdanovich, Ekaterina (2018). Retrieval of structural properties of vegetation in a Mediterranean ecosystem using TLS (Master Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. Retrieved from Thesis (hosted by MPI)
Rost, Manuel (2017). Change of carbon and nitrogen contents and their respective isotopes d13C, ?14C and d15N in soils of the Hainich Nationalpark (Master Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. Retrieved from Master Thesis (hosted by MPI)
Deggelmann, Alice (2017). Plastizität von Blatt- und Blütenmerkmalen im Hinblick auf eine bildgestützte Bestimmung von Blütenpflanzen (Master Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. Retrieved from Master Thesis (hosted by MPI)
Trautmann, Tina (2016). Macroscopic diagnostic modeling of the hydrological cycle: Understanding the dynamics of water pools in snow affected regions. (Master Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. Retrieved from Master Thesis (hosted by MPI)
Knauer, Jürgen (2014). Modeling the response of water and carbon fluxes to atmospheric dryness in the land surface scheme : JSBACH: Evaluating alternative process representations using multi-biome eddy covariance data (Master Thesis), Universität Bayreuth. Retrieved from Master Thesis (hosted by MPI)
Sippel, Sebastian (2014). Evaluating the carbon dynamics of biogeochemical models using statistical complexity measures (Master Thesis), Universität Bayreuth.
Brockmann, Thomas (2013). Evaluation of a Global Vegetation Model By Analysis of NDVI Browning Trends from Multi-Scale Earth Observation Data in Boreal Evergreen Needle Leave Forests (Master Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena.
Thomas, Eric (2012). Reproducing FAPAR dynamics of Africa, based on climate, land use, and soil data using random forest (Master Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena.
Menzer, Olaf (2011). Gaussian process regression for uncertainty estimation on ecosystem data (Diploma Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. Retrieved from Thesis (hosted by MPI)
Ahrens, Bernhard (2011). Constraining a simple soil organic carbon model with 14C data (Master Thesis), Universität Bayreuth.
Buttlar, Jannis Frederick von (2010). Identification of patterns in ecosystem-atmosphere exchange fluxes measured at flux tower sites with statistical methods (Diploma Thesis), Universität Bayreuth.
Angermüller, Friedrich J. (2009). Influence of driving forces and ecosystem parameters on carbon uptake from weekly to interannual time scales (Diploma Thesis), Universität Bayreuth.
Biswas, Sumalika (2009). Tree height and biomass retrieval from airborne and satellite LIDAR data. (Master Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena.
Dass, Pawlok (2009). Vegetation changes in the higher latitudes of Northern Eurasia – ist relation with climate change (Master Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena.
Fürst, Lina Martha Maria (2009). Characterizing global spatiotemporal patterns of the fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (Diploma Thesis), Universität Bayreuth.
Kuglitsch, Franz Gunther (2007). Determinanten der Wassernutzungseffizienz in Europa und deren Veränderung bei verschiedenen Klimaszenarien (Diploma Thesis), Universität Wien.

Bachelor / Magister theses


Graefen, Hanna (2020). Heatwaves inducing droughts and vice versa (Bachelor Thesis), Justus Liebig Universität, Gießen.
Xinyuan, Hou (2019). Tracing large-scale fires from vegetation and soil moisture across different climate regimes (Bachelor Thesis), TU Freiberg. Retrieved from Master Thesis (hosted by MPI)
Adamczewski, Ruth (2017). The relation between carbon assimilation in beeches and extracellular soil enzyme activities in a mesocosm experiment (Bachelor Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. Retrieved from Bachelor Thesis (hosted by MPI)
Zhendova, Petrumila (2016). Are classical climate classifications appropriate for understanding vegetation patterns? (Bachelor Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena.
Hasenheit, Marius (2012). Vergleich eines Bodenfeuchte-Satellitendatensatzes mit einem Index für Wasserverfügbarkeit in Europa (1991 - 2010) (Bachelor Thesis), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. Retrieved from Thesis (hosted by MPI)
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