July 2014
Message 38

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[Met-jobs] Post-doc Opportunities at the University of Minnesota (USA)

From "Roger Brugge" <>
To "" <>
Date Tue, 15 Jul 2014 08:34:26 +0000

Forwarded from CLIMLIST...

Post-doctoral positions (3 years) on Earth Systems Modeling

We are seeking applications for three post-doctoral associates at the
University of Minnesota for a DOE-supported project in Earth systems
modeling. The applicants will work with Drs. Peter Reich (Department of
Forest Resources, U of Minnesota), Peter Thornton (Oak Ridge National
Laboratory), Arindam Banerjee (Department of Computer Science, U of
Minnesota), Jens Kattge (Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry), and
Owen Atkin (Australian National University). The appointments have
available funds for three years, with appointments initially for one
year with potential for renewal depending on performance. Start dates:
October 1 or as soon thereafter as possible. Required qualifications:
Ph.D. in ecosystem ecology, ecophysiology, ecosystem physiology,
biogeochemistry, computer science, systems modeling, or other relevant

This project will advance global land models by shifting from the
current plant functional type (PFT) approach to one that better utilizes
the variability of plant traits, including how they vary with key
drivers such as temperature, moisture, and atmospheric CO2. Land surface
models have developed to include mechanistic representations of
vegetation physiology, C and nutrient dynamics in plants and soils, how
they respond to changing climate and chemistry, and how those changes
might feedback to influence changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases
themselves. Our work will address these processes. The trait-based
approach will improve land modeling by: (1) incorporating global
biogeographical patterns and heterogeneity of traits into model
parameterization, thus evolving away from a framework that considers
large areas of vegetation to have near identical trait values; (2)
utilizing what is known about trait-trait, -soil, and -climate relations
to improve algorithms used to predict processes at multiple stages; and
(3) allowing for improved treatment of physiological responses to
environment (such as temperature and/or CO2 response of photosynthesis
or respiration). The work will focus on the Community Land Model (CLM),
but may involve work with other models as well.

The three postdocs will work together as part of a larger team, but will
have different responsibilities. The expertise required and components
each will be responsible for include:

Position #1: Develop reliable methods of estimating continuous trait
values for diverse vegetation types, species mixtures, climate zones,
and climate conditions. Required expertise: applied math (e.g., for
trait data assimilation and uncertainty analyses; parameter estimation;
trait mapping). This postdoc will work most closely with Banerjee,
Kattge, and Reich.

Position #2: Develop an approach to incorporating trait data to replace
PFT-based trait assignments, including how these traits vary with key
drivers (e.g., temperature, moisture, and atmospheric CO2). Required
expertise: plant physiology and ecosystem ecology; with quantitative
skills to identify and interpret key traits, trait relationships, and
other physiological and ecosystem processes, and to conceptually develop
parameterization schemes and modified model algorithms. This postdoc
will work most closely with Reich, Atkin, and Thornton.

Position #3: Hands-on coding of CLM model, implementation of model runs
(CLM), and evaluation of model output in relation to empirical data
(e.g., flux data) or comparison model output. Required expertise:
quantitative analysis of ecosystem dynamics, computer model development
and application, experience working with large multi-dimensional
datasets. This postdoc will work most closely with Thornton, Kattge, and

Questions should be addressed to Dr. Peter Reich, <>. To
apply, send electronically a statement of research interests, a CV, and
three letters of recommendation to Cindy Buschena, <>,
with the subject line: Earth System Model Post-Doc Search. Review of
applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is

Peter Thornton
Climate Change Science Institute / Environmental Sciences Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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