Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry is looking after a PhD in a quantitative science (e.g. geo-ecology, environmental science, biology, or applied mathematics), preferably in the field of ecophysiology and/or ecosystem modelling, substantial experience in large-scale biosphere modelling and scientific programming, as well as an interest in applying your expertise to terrestrial ecology and numerical, global ecosystem modelling. Detailed knowledge of the terrestrial carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles and their response to elevated CO2 is an asset.
The QUINCY project, funded through a Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council, aims to provide reliable estimates of this constraint based on a novel way to think about modelling plants and their interactions with soil biota. QUINCY will target the two major failings of the state-of-the-art modelling approaches, namely by explicitly representing the fundamental trade-offs in plant growth strategies under varying nutrient and water vailability, and the interactions of vegetation and soil biota and their effects on soil carbon and nutrient turnover.