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PhD Student: The role of biopores and heterogeneous water supply for root growth and related nutrient acquisition

Advertising institute: IBG-3 - Agrosphere
Reference number: D072/2014, Natural Sciences / Environmental Sciences

For our Institute of Bio- and Geosciences - Agrosphere (IBG-3), we are seeking a

PhD Student
(with a degree in Natural Sciences / Engineering Sciences)
for a three-year project.

The Institute of Bio- and Geosciences – Agrosphere (IBG-3) conducts research to improve our understanding of hydrological and biogeochemical processes in terrestrial systems. Studies focus on the fate and behaviour of anthropogenic and geogenic substances, the analysis of exchange processes and nutrient dynamics in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. A combination of experiments, modelling and innovative observation technologies is used to bridge the gap between model, process and management scale. Its research contributes to the sustainable and resource-conserving use of soils and water and to the quantification of the effect of climate and land use change on terrestrial ecosystems. We offer a competent and interdisciplinary working environment, as well as an excellent framework in the areas of experiments and modelling.

This PhD position is part of a DFG funded joint research project dealing with the role of biopores and heterogeneous water supply for root growth and related nutrient acquisition. Particular focus is to explore the role of the subsoil in plant resource acquisition. The task of this project is to use and further develop a 3D detailed mechanistic model of root growth, water flow and nutrient transport within the soil-root system in order to explain observations based on the available data from the joint research group.

For further information visit our website or contact Prof. Jan Vanderborght, Phone: +49 2461 61-2281, e-mail: .

Your Profile:

  • MSc degree (or equivalent) in natural or engineering sciences with an overall grade of at least good; preferable with knowledge about soil science and soil physics.
  • Ability to write scientific papers for publication in scientific journals.
  • Since the work involves cooperation with several research institutes, good communication and organisational skills are essential.

We Offer:

  • Working in an interdisciplinary environment as well as excellent facilities for experimental and numerical simulation studies,
  • Opportunities of being part of the national and international scientific community. PhD students are encouraged to attend international conferences and a three months research stay abroad with a cooperating partner is planned.
  • Specialized courses, summer schools, seminars by renown experts

Equal opportunities are a cornerstone of our staff policy for which we have received the "TOTAL E-QUALITY" award. Therefore applications from women and disabled persons are welcome. Payment of the PhD fellow will be based on salary grade 13/2 Collective Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD). Depending on the candidate's profile and the subject of his/her PhD thesis an additional allowance may be granted (up to 75% TVöD EG 13).

Please send your application in electronic form - quoting the reference number - with the relevant documentation to:

Mr. K. Beumers
Institut für Bio- und Geowissenschaften
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
52425 Jülich