PhD project offered by the IMPRS-gBGC in

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Project description

The distribution and the development of different plant forms and their functional properties is controlled by local environmental conditions, because plants adapted to them. How plants distribute the available carbon, nitrogen, and other elements to their different compartments and organs (e.g. leafs vs roots) should drive the distribution of biomass within the vegetation and ultimately plant functional properties. These functional properties in turn govern the sensitivities of the ecosystems to changes in climate, and knowing those is essential for global modeling. This PhD will focus on linking allocation strategies with vegetation functional properties and on developing associated modeling approaches to study global carbon-water cycle interactions on different time-scales. The modeling work will integrate various observational data streams using formal optimization approaches. The PhD will take advantage of global databases of plant traits (TRY), allometric relationships, ecosystem level carbon and water fluxes (FLUXNET), as well as satellite products of biomass, leaf area index, and others. 


Applications to the IMPRS-gBGC are open to well-motivated and highly-qualified students from all countries. Prerequisites for this PhD project are:
  • a MSc degree with a strong quantitative background and interest in global ecology (e.g. geo-ecology, environmental sciences, biology, applied mathematics, physics, or computer science)
  • experience in terrestrial ecosystem or hydrological modeling
  • statistical methods and scientific programming
  • 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.

Global distribution of water and energy use efficiency [Reichstein et al., PNAS, 2014].
Global distribution of water and energy use efficiency [Reichstein et al., PNAS, 2014].

>> more information about the IMPRS-gBGC + application