PhD position focusing on savanna ecosystem CO2 balance

The Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture (Braunschweig, Germany) offers a fully funded four-year PhD position for a candidate interested in synthesizing datasets from the various eddy-covariance flux tower sites located in South Africa. This project is associated with the subproject that focuses on the land-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases in different land-use systems in South Africa.

The specific focus of the project is in estimating CO2 balances in South African ecosystems by using micrometeorological measurement techniques. The candidate is expected to investigate the biophysical and management-related factors that control CO2 and energy exchange at the near-natural and managed savanna sites, by using statistical analysis tools.

The position is based in our research group at the Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture in Braunschweig. The research group mainly focuses on developing micrometeorological measurement methods of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. The focus of the offered position is on desk-based study and data analysis, although some periods of field work in South Africa are planned.

Main tasks include:

• Quality control and synthesis of various datasets of CO2 and energy exchange of savanna sites
• Analysing the controlling factors of the carbon cycle using statistical analyses
• Assessment of management options for the sustainable use of near-natural savanna ecosystems as well as investigating temporal trends of the carbon cycle
• Assistance in the implementation and organisation of research and field work in Africa
• Writing scientific publications


• University degree (M.Sc. or equivalent) in Agricultural Sciences, Natural Sciences, Soil Sciences, Geoecology, Geography, Biology, Meteorology, Environmental Physics or similar
• Good understanding of the C and N cycles in soils, plants and the atmosphere
• Experience with micrometeorological measurement technologies is desirable
• Comfortable in data handling with knowledge in R, Python, Matlab or another programming language
• Knowledge in savanna ecology is desirable
• Good team spirit, flexibility, high motivation and ability to conduct independent research work
• Scientific curiosity and strong motivation to complete doctoral studies
• Excellent verbal and written English

For a full job description and details on payment and conditions, see the announcement on the institute's website (in German) or the English (inofficial) version behind this link.

Interested applicants are invited to send their application including a brief motivation letter, CV in a tabular form, job references and certificates of completed studies as one single pdf-document with the subject field keyword "CARBOCONTROL" latest by 20.03.2019, preferably by email to ak@  thuenen.  de.