PhD project offered by the IMPRS-gBGC in

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Project description

High precision ground-based continuous atmospheric measurements of biogeochemical trace gases are a cornerstone for research on atmospheric transport, biogeochemical fluxes, and human emissions. They complement other types of atmospheric measurements such as ground- and space-based remote sensing and airborne measurements. They record the inter-annual and inter-decadal variability of the atmosphere, and capture less frequent events and the ecosystem’s response to them.
The Benguela Current system off Namibian coast is driving one of the four major eastern-boundary upwelling ecosystems. Oceanic upwelling creates zones of intensive primary production and influences the atmospheric budgets of oxygen and trace gases via the air-sea exchange. Additionally, the southern part of the African continent is subject to intensive emissions from biomass burning.
In 2012, we constructed the Namib Desert Atmospheric Observatory (NDAO) at Gobabeb, Namibia (23.56°S 15.04°E) for continuous measurement of oxygen and biogeochemical trace gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon monoxide).
The candidate will study fluxes of greenhouse and other gases on the southern subtropical African continent, and the air-sea gas fluxes of the nearby Benguela upwelling system and interpret the data in a local and global context with the help of atmospheric transport and inversion modelling. In addition, s/he will acquire knowledge on high precision atmospheric measurement techniques.

Working group and planned collaborations

The successful candidate will integrate the Tall Tower Atmospheric Gas Measurements group in the MPI-BGC Department of Biogeochemical Systems (BSY). Collaborations are planned at department and institute level. Some of the external partners are GEOMAR (Germany), the Gobabeb Research and Training Centre (Namibia), and the GAW Cape Point Atmospheric Observatory (South Africa).

Requirements

Applications to the IMPRS-gBGC are open to well-motivated and highly-qualified students from all countries. Prerequisites for this PhD project are:
  • a Master’s degree in physics, bio(geo)chemistry or other disciplines related to environmental sciences
  • experience in scientific programming and handling of large data sets
  • interest in occasional field work at remote locations
  • hands-on experience with scientific equipment is an advantage
  • very good oral and written communication skills in English

After you have been selected

The IMPRS-gBGC office will happily assist you with your transition to Jena.
The conditions of employment, including upgrades and duration follow the rules of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science and those of the German civil service. The gross monthly income amounts about 2000 EUR, which will cover all your expenses in Germany.
The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. The Max Planck society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.

(a) NDAO – view of the measurement container and the 21 m-tall mast (photo: September 2012); (b) NDAO is located next to Gobabeb, at the contact of gravel plains and sand dunes, about 50 km from the coast (photo: July 2013).
(a) NDAO – view of the measurement container and the 21 m-tall mast (photo: September 2012); (b) NDAO is located next to Gobabeb, at the contact of gravel plains and sand dunes, about 50 km from the coast (photo: July 2013).


>> more information about the IMPRS-gBGC + application