The Biosystems Division at Risø DTU wishes to appoint a PhD student to work within the Ecosystems Programme (ECO). Research in ECO focuses on the interactions between ecosystems, energy production and climate change.

The project
The PhD project concerns long-term climate change effects on dynamics of microorganisms and carbon in the root zone. Climate change including higher temperatures, changed precipitation patterns and elevated atmospheric CO2 is expected to change the intensity and pathways for gains and losses of soil carbon. Previous works have shown that each climate change factor can alter function and composition of soil microbial communities and thereby influence the decomposition of plant litter in the root zone.

The objective of the PhD work is to study carbon dynamics in the root zone as influenced by several years of climatic perturbation to shrub-land vegetation combining extended summer drought, increased temperature and elevated CO2. Your PhD-project will focus on:

  • Analysis of changes in soil microbial community composition by means of signature PLFA and NLFA compounds
  • Use of stable isotope analysis to determine the 13C labeling of the signature compounds and thereby to identify the dominant functional groups
  • Assessment of consequences for ecosystem functioning

Conventional methods to study soil microbial activity and biomass will also be applied. The PhD project is closely linked to CLIMAITE, which is the world’s biggest in-situ experiment to investigate the combined effects of important climate change factors on ecosystem processes and functions (climaite.dk). Co-operation with several other related PhD projects within CLIMAITE is expected.

Qualifications
Applicants to the PhD position must have a Master’s degree or graduate in the very near future (documentation for final thesis and date of examination must be enclosed in the application). Background should be in biology, soil sciences or agronomy.

Terms of employment
The PhD position has a three-year duration. The successful candidate will be employed at Biosystems Division, Risø DTU in Roskilde. The project is embedded in the STAiR research program (stair.agrproject.dk). Main supervisor is Prof. Per Ambus (Risø DTU) and co-supervisor is Prof. Iver Jakobsen (Risø DTU) and an associate supervisor at University of Aarhus. Terms of employment will be in accordance with those of the scientific staff of universities. Matriculation as a PhD student will be in accordance with Ministerial Order no. 18 of 14 January 2008 on the PhD programme at Universities. Employment will be as soon as possible and latest by 1 September 2009.

Application
We must have your online application by 30 March 2009. Please open the link “apply online” and fill in the application form and attach your application, CV and needed documentation.

Further information 

If you need further information concerning this position, please contact Per Ambus, tel. +45 4677 4152 or Iver Jakobsen +45 4677 4154. You can also read more about the Biosystems Division and Risø DTU at risoe.dtu.dk.

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