June 2015
Message 12

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[Met-jobs] PhD position in Jena, Germany: Nutrients and soil carbon turnover

From "Roger Brugge" <>
To "" <>
Date Wed, 3 Jun 2015 13:29:16 +0000

SUBJECT: PhD Student position at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry

Nutrients and soil carbon turnover

Soil organic matter (OM) is an important source for nutrients. Soil OM 
mineralization by microorganisms releases available nutrients, but it is also 
an important source of the greenhouse gas CO2. Environmental changes, like 
climate change, elevated CO2, or N deposition, affect both, plant litter input 
to soils and OM mineralization rates. In order to understand the response of 
soil OM storage and greenhouse gas production to these changes, it is important 
to understand the links between carbon and nutrient cycles.

Therefore, we would like to better understand how plants and microorganisms 
interact in their competition for nutrients in soils. We aim at studying the 
effect of nutrient availability on carbon and nutrient fluxes in soils, 
including priming effects. These include root production and turnover, litter 
decomposition, soil respiration, nutrient mineralization, and the stoichiometry 
(C/N/P) of plants, microbes and extracellular enzymes for nutrient acquisition. 
To trace carbon and nutrients in soils, both, stable isotopes and 14C will be 
used. The study will be part of a large-scale N and P fertilization experiment 
in a Spanish savanna-like ecosystem (Dehesa) where responses of trees and 
grasses can be compared. We hypothesize that fertilization will reduce the 
belowground carbon investment by plants as well as soil carbon mineralization, 
and that this effect will be stronger for grasses with a higher nutrient demand 
than for trees. The PhD will be imbedded in this larger project studying the 
response of ecosystem fluxes and plant phenology to nutrient additions.

We are looking for a highly motivated and team-oriented PhD student interested 
in a scientific career. Your background should be in soil science or soil 
ecology, certified by an MSc in soil science, environmental science, 
geoecology, biogeoscience or another soil related discipline. Additional 
expertise in field and lab work and in statistics and R programming is highly 
desired. Good knowledge of the English language is necessary, German is not 

We offer the challenging, dynamic, international and multidisciplinary 
environment of the Max Planck Institute. Funding will be for 3 years. PhD 
students will be offered an additional training program within the 
International Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles 
(IMPRS-gBGC, to develop a broad 
understanding of the Earth system.

The Max-Planck-Society aims to employ more women in this area and therefore 
particularly welcomes applications from women. Handicapped applicants with 
equal qualifications will be given preferential treatment.

Evaluation of applications will start on June 27, 2015, and continue until the 
position is filled.

Please send your application including a letter of interest, CV, and the names 
and contact information of one or two references to Dr. Marion Schrumpf either 
via email to<>, and 
Dr. Mirco Migliavacca (<>) 
or directly to the institute’s address Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie, 
Postfach 10 01 64, 07701 Jena, Germany.


Mirco Migliavacca
Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
Department Biogeochemical Integration
Hans-Knöll-Str. 10
D-07745 Jena

group's page:

Attachment: PhDJobAdvert_MPI.pdf
Description: PhDJobAdvert_MPI.pdf

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