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Aquatic systems such as lakes, reservoirs, ponds and ditches, are important greenhouse gas emitters, particularly of methane (CH4). Aquatic bioturbators, notablybottom-dwelling organisms including benthic fish and macroinvertebrates, are known to control ecosystem processes in the sediment. Still, there are many open questions with respect to how bioturbators control CH4 production and consumption (biological effects) and transport through the sediment (physical effects). Knowledge about the role of bioturbators with contrasting activities is therefore essential to understand GHG dynamics in aquatic systems. As one of the two PhD Candidates, you will contribute to expanding this knowledge.
The Department of Aquatic Ecology and Environmental Biology is looking for two PhD candidates on the project 'Bioturbators drive greenhouse gas emissions from shallow inland waters'. The PhD candidates will jointly design and conduct a range of experiments to assess bioturbator effect on GHG emission in relation to bioturbator traits. The first PhD candidate will focus on overall CO2 and CH4 emissions and the underlying microbial processes in experiments and inland waters in the Netherlands. The second PhD candidate will focus on physical effects of bioturbation - particularly on gas bubble formation and release - and its consequences for greenhouse gas emissions. The latter PhD candidate will incorporate the project findings in an existing sediment-water CH4 flux model. Both PhD candidates will use state-of-the-art experimental mesocosm setups at Radboud University (Nijmegen, Netherlands) and at the University of Koblenz-Landau (Germany). Both PhD candidates will have a 10% teaching load.
We are seeking two enthusiastic, highly motivated candidate ecologists with a strong and proven interest in aquatic ecology and/or ecosystems ecology. You should have an MSc degree (or equivalent) in ecology, microbiology, environmental sciences, or a related field, and be willing to spend approximately 6 months in Landau (Germany). You are pro-active, curious, results-oriented with attention to detail, and can perform well in a project team. We specifically look for persons with an appetite for experimental work. PhD candidate 1 requires a driving licence to be able to travel to field sites. Previous experience with experiments, molecular techniques (DNA extractions, qPCR) and biogeochemical analyses (Greenhouse gas measurements, porewater and sediment analyses) is preferred. For the position of PhD candidate 2, previous experience with modelling, or the willingness to learn this, in programming languages such as R, Python or Matlab would be an asset. The successful candidates for both positions have experience with the statistical analysis of ecological data sets, and are keen to develop expertise in multivariate statistics and ecological modelling. You need to be proficient in written and verbal English.
Fixed-term contract: 4 or 5 years.
Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen
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