PhD student in atmospheric and biogeosciences

20000€ per year + benefits
Aug 07, 2018
Sep 06, 2018
Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

PhD project at the Institute of Ecology, University of Innsbruck:

Using isotope measurements to understand the impact of drought and rewetting on N2O production pathways in Alpine grasslands

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a strong greenhouse gas and an important ozone-depleting substance. Increasing summer drought and climate change is having a large effect on Alpine grasslands, altering fluxes and production pathways for N2O and other trace gases. This PhD project aims to measure natural abundance isotopic composition of N2O (14N14N16O, 14N15N16O, 15N14N16O and 14N14N18O) emitted from grasslands using cavity ring-down spectroscopy coupled to automatic chambers. The PhD student will investigate the impact of experimental drought treatments, both directly in the field (Kaserstatt Alm, Stubaital and other Austrian sites) as well as with soil monoliths for laboratory treatments. The PhD student’s work will be complimented by N-labelling studies and NanoSIMS analysis as well as genetic investigations into microbial ecology conducted by postdoctoral researchers at the University of Innsbruck and at partnering international institutes.

The ideal candidate will have a Master’s degree or equivalent in environmental/atmospheric sciences or a related field, and a high level of English language proficiency. The candidate should have an interest in operating state-of-the-art analytical techniques in the field, and a demonstrated enthusiasm for programming for automation and data analysis is an advantage.

The PhD student will be based at the University of Innsbruck. The planned work will be embedded within the group’s activities, which focus on the impact of climate and land use change on ecosystem functioning ( The student will have the opportunity to work within a motivated and experienced team and build an international network through collaborations within the project, as well as participation in national and international conferences. The position is fully financed for three years with a starting date between December 2018 and February 2019.

If you are interested, please contact Eliza Harris ( with an application or any questions regarding this position. Applications should include a motivation letter, CV, copies of degrees and academic records, and contact details for at least two referees. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.