Three PhD-scholarships at Universität Hamburg
Project Summary WEPSS
Salt marshes are highly dynamic ecosystems in the transition zone between marine and terrestrial environments and characterised by a complex interplay of abiotic and biotic factors. They are a vital habitat for many plant, bird and invertebrate species, including soil fauna, and therefore, they play an important role in biodiversity conservation. In addition, salt marshes are recognized for their high potential for ecosystems services such as carbon sequestration.
Ecological research in the Wadden Sea salt marshes has previously mainly focussed on effects of livestock grazing; yet, we also need to understand how the valuable and sensitive salt marshes are affected by the on-going global change. The aim of this project is to better understand effects of warming on the interplay between plants and soil, and ecosystem functions in Wadden Sea salt marshes. To do so, a world-unique ecosystem warming experiment has been installed at Hamburger Hallig including experimental passive aboveground and active belowground heating in three vegetation zones. We will study how plants (PhD-student 1) and soil fauna (PhD-student 2), as well as their interactions, are affected by natural abiotic conditions and by experimental warming. Furthermore, we want to investigate how this interplay in turn affects critical ecosystem functions and services, especially in relation to greenhouse gas emissions (PhD-student 3). Overall, our results are expected to contribute to the development of sustainable management strategies for salt marshes in the Wadden Sea National Parks in times of climate change.
Applications should include a motivation letter (max. 2 page), curriculum vitae along with contact details of two referees (names and e-mail addresses), and copies of degree certificate(s). Please combine all documents into one single pdf-file. Please specify whether you apply for the topic (1) plant ecology, (2) soil fauna, or (3) soil science. The application deadline is 31.03.2018. Please send applications to: firstname.lastname@example.org