PhD Studentship in Department of Environment, Earth and Ecosystems
Open University - Faculty of Science
Based in Milton Keynes3 year PhD studentship to start 1st October 2012
Main supervisor: Emma Sayer
Co-supervisor: Vincent Gauc
Feedbacks between increased plant growth and soil carbon storage in forests under global change
- Work on rapidly advancing area of ecosystem science with field work at different sites across the UK;
- Carry out cutting-edge multi-disciplinary research that could have important implications for global climate change;
- Training in state-of-the-art techniques in ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry and microbial ecology.
Specifically, the project will address:
A. What are the mechanisms controlling the occurrence of priming effects?
B. What regulates the intensity of priming effects?
C. How do priming effects measured in the laboratory incubations compare to those measured under natural conditions in the field?
This will be achieved through a series of laboratory experiments and mesocosm studies. Microcosm experiments will be set up in the lab to determine mechanisms and measure changes in microbial community composition and activity. Mesocosm experiments will be established in different forest stands to determine relationships between priming effect intensity and substrate/site characteristics. A comparison of results from the lab and field experiments will determine the representativeness of laboratory incubations for predicting the occurrence of priming effects in forests under global change.
You will receive training in a wide range of techniques in field ecology, microbial biology and biogeochemistry, which will enable you to effectively develop and conduct research spanning these disciplines.
The department has a thriving postgraduate community and the postgraduate training programme provides a full range of courses covering: research techniques, scientific methods, information technology, communication and interpersonal skills, which are tailored to the needs of each student. Details of the Department and the Science Faculty can be found on http://www.open.ac.uk/science.
Closing date: 15 June 2012
Interview date: week commencing 9 July 2012
Informal enquiries regarding the studentship can be made to the first named supervisor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application forms, including a full CV of academic background, suitability for the position and names and addresses of three academic referees, should be sent by email to email@example.com or by post to Astrid Peterkin, Science Deanery, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA.