June 2011
Message 11

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[Met-jobs] PhD fellowships for research on Global Biogeochemical Cycles (Jena, Germany)

From Anna Görner <>
Date Mon, 6 Jun 2011 15:02:40 +0200

Dear list members,

The IMPRS-gBGC located in Jena, Germany, offers fellowships to outstanding students interested in research on biogeochemical cycles in the Earth system. 
The school offers excellent research possibilities for students to obtain a PhD degree in a 3-years graduate program. 

The elements key to life such as carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen are continuously exchanged among the land, ocean and atmosphere in what are known as global biogeochemical cycles. Research in the IMPRS discovers how these cycles function, how they are interconnected, and how they can change with climate or human activity. Students can choose research that combines field observations, laboratory methods development, manipulative experiments, and numerical modelling to tackle current questions in global biogeochemistry. Students will also benefit from a three-month external research visit, specialised courses in e.g. statistics, Earth observation, modelling and analytical techniques, as well as in soft skills. 

Individual PhD projects deal with various aspects of global biogeochemical cycles:

  • Quantifying global carbon cycle processes using atmospheric carbonyl sulfide measurements
  • Ground based remote sensing of greenhouse gases
  • Quantitative network design for a greenhouse gas observing system

Biosphere & Ecosystem
  • One million years of carbonate alteration and mobilisation, modified by microbial activities
  • Carbon allocation and respiration in plants
  • Combining ecosystem fluxes with plant characteristics
  • Plant defense mechanisms in the context of general pattern of plant characteristics
  • Drivers of terrestrial carbon and water cycles across different time-scales
  • Combining remote sensing and in situ data for biosphere model improvement
  • Global functional classification of biogeochemical and biophysical ecosystem behavior
  • Towards an improved representation of ecosystem functioning in the modelling of interactions of climate with terrestrial biogeochemical cycles
  • Towards a quantification of uncertainties in modelling the interactions between the climate system and global biogeochemical cycles

Soils, soil microbiology & soil hydrology:
  • Role of geogenic CO2-exhausts for the formation and stability of soil organic matter
  • Interactions between polysaccharides and mineral surfaces
  • Effect of biodiversity on soil organic matter storage
  • Isotopomics- look in the dark


  • Transfer of environmental and climatic signals into maar lake sediments
  • Learning from the past - multi-proxy approach to reconstructing late Quaternary Monsoon dynamics on the Tibetan plateau
  • Unraveling monsoon dynamics on the Tibetan Plateau using lake sediments

We are currently accepting applications for PhD scholarships. 

Please apply online at 

On this site, you will also find details on the IMPRS program, examples of research projects, the application procedure, and information on living in Jena (a dynamic city of science in beautiful landscape). 

The online application closes on July 15, 2011. Successful applicants are expected to join us in autumn/winter 2011 and will be offered financial support of roughly 1100 Euros/month to cover their basic living expenses. There are no tuition fees. Handicapped persons with comparable qualifications receive preferential status.

Applications for the program are open to well-motivated and highly-qualified students from all countries. A prerequisite is a diploma or master of science degree in geophysical sciences, environmental sciences, biological sciences, physics, chemistry, computer sciences or related fields, including a corresponding thesis. Proficiency in English is required since English is the official language of the program.

Anna Goerner
Hans-Knöll-Str. 10, 07745 Jena, Germany
phone:   +49 3641 576260

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