02.08.2021

PhD position in phosphorus cycle modelling


We offer a PhD position in phosphorus cycle modelling.

The functioning and the resilience of the terrestrial biosphere, and in particular forest ecosystems, in the light of global climate change is of great uncertainty, among other factors due to the unclear role of phosphorus (P) feedbacks in the system. The availability of P, especially when it is limited, may strongly influence the forests ability to act as a carbon (C) sink due to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), i.e. the CO2 fertilization effect. Global dynamic vegetation models are progressively incorporating P feedbacks but profound mechanistic understanding of the key P-related processes in tropical soils and plants are currently lacking. Tropical ecosystem responses to climate change and eCO2 are therefore poorly constrained by ecosystem models.
You will address uncertainties in P cycle constraints on the CO2 fertilization effect by 1) using available data to increase mechanistic understanding, and 2) translate those into ecosystem model(s) to improve the representation of P cycle processes. Together with the international team, you will apply, evaluate and further develop the dynamic global vegetation model LPJ-GUESS for soil P cycling based on existing data. LPJ-GUESS will be employed to assess the P control on the CO2 fertilization effect at larger scale. Overall, the proposed work will advance our understanding of P control on the terrestrial carbon sink, which is essential in predicting its response to global change. Upon completion, you will have gained expertise in observation- and model-based ecosystem ecology and be part of a diverse international research team.

For more information please contact Dr. Andy Krause.