PhD Opportunity ~

17 de noviembre de 2010

PhD Opportunity

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning in European forests

FunDivEurope is an exciting new EU project exploring the relationship
between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in European forests.
Concern over the ecological sustainability of forest monocultures has
initiated a trend in many industrialized nations towards replacing
single-species stands with mixed-species forests, in the hope that
increasing species diversity will enhance functioning and increase
stability. Yet very little research underpins this aspiration; only
20 studies have ever looked at the relationship between tree species
richness and some measure of productivity, and available research
suggests an idiosyncratic and often complex relationship between
diversity and productivity in forests. There is some indication that
mixes of complementary functional types yield higher productivity,
illustrating the importance of niche complementarity and facilitation,
but differences between monocultures and mixtures depends on species
composition and environmental conditions. Researchers in FunDivEurope
will set up a systematic network of observational plots and utilize
existing experimental studies to quantify biodiversity-ecosystem
functioning relationships within nine countries spanning Europe. It
will be the largest experimental and observational platform in forest
ecosystem research anywhere in the world. I am looking for a PhD
student to work within the “provisioning and supporting services”
component of the FunDiv project. The student will be based in the
Department of Plant Science, University of Cambridge, and will focus
on carbon storage, stem wood productivity, wood density and species
responses to climate change. In addition, he/she will use remote
sensing imagery (= lidar ) to examine variation in forest structure.
Applicants from any EU country are welcome to apply. They must have a
strong background in ecology and enjoy working for extended periods
in remote field sites. Given that several other researchers will be
involved with the work-package (measuring leaf and fine-root
productivity, light absorption, decomposition, nutrient cycling and
freshwater provisioning) the student must demonstrate an ability to
work well in a team. Statistical analyses of large datasets,
including remote sensing datasets, is essential, so experience with
GIS, R and databases would be desirable. If you are interested in
applying then contact me immediately by emailing The student would start in October 2011. The
application process must be completed by 5 December 2010 and so a
measure of urgency is required.

Dr David Coomes

Forest Ecology and Conservation Group
University of Cambridge
For information on Cambridge Conservation Initiative

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