PhD project offered by the IMPRS-gBGC in Jan 2024


Unravelling ecohydrological ecosystem responses to environmental conditions

Jacob Nelson , Martin Jung , Markus Reichstein , Anke Hildebrandt

Project description

Flux towers measure the exchange of carbon, water, and energy between land and atmosphere at hundreds of locations worldwide. While these data have already been revolutionary for global ecosystem research, there are still a number of open questions around how ecosystems respond to temperature, water and light, and why different ecosystems respond differently.
This project aims at synthesizing ecosystem responses to environmental conditions with a focus on carbon-water cycle interactions using globally distributed flux tower data. The analysis will capitalize on recent advancements of data access, processing, and curation, as well as on methodological advancements in explainable AI. The project could be shaped by combining exploratory and hypothesis-driven analysis on what drives differences of ecosystem limitations and responses, and carbon-water relations, across time and between sites.

Working group

The PhD candidate will work in the Department of Biogeochemical Integration at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry and is expected to graduate at the Friedrich Schiller University, Jena. The working group covers long-standing expertise in the overall topic, data streams and methods: ecohydrological ecosystem responses (Anke Hildebrandt, Jacob Nelson, Markus Reichstein, Martin Jung), flux tower data (Jacob Nelson, Markus Reichstein, Martin Jung), advanced statistical techniques and synthesis (Martin Jung, Jacob Nelson, Markus Reichstein).

Requirements for the PhD project are

Applications are open to highly motivated and independent students from any country who have:
  • A Master's degree in geoecology, geography, or disciplines related to environmental sciences.
  • A passion for data analysis
  • At least basic understanding of ecosystems’ carbon and water cycles
  • Interest or experience in quantitative data analysis, e.g. machine learning
  • Good English written and communication skills.
The Max Planck Society (MPS) strives for gender equality and diversity. The MPS aims to increase the proportion of women in areas where they are underrepresented. Women are therefore explicitly encouraged to apply. We welcome applications from all fields. The Max Planck Society has set itself the goal of employing more severely disabled people. Applications from severely disabled persons are expressly encouraged.

>> more information about the IMPRS-gBGC + application