The Department of Biogeochemical Processes at the Max Planck Institute for
Biogeochemistry is offering a position for a Postdoctoral Research Scientist
(100%) as part of the ERC project 14Constraint
“Radiocarbon constraints for modeling C dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems:
from process understanding to global benchmarking”
The residence times of carbon in vegetation and soil are diagnostic
properties of ecosystems in different biomes, determining how long it takes
for fixed CO2 to return to the atmosphere. Belowground processes affecting C
residence times are however still poorly understood. Radiocarbon (14C) is an
important tool to study the flow of carbon through soils and entire
ecosystems. The goal of 14Constraint is to enhance the availability and use
of radiocarbon data as constraints for process-based understanding of the
age distribution of carbon in and respired by soils and ecosystems. A team
of researchers is envisioned who will (1) work collaboratively with others
on building an open community database of 14C data; (2) fill gaps in data
and understanding by making new radiocarbon measurements in soil and
respired CO2, (3) use models to interpret data for improving models of soil
C cycling and (4) produce global data products for comparison with models.
Work description: This postdoc appointment will be expected to contribute
mostly to goals (1), (2) and (3), primarily by making new measurements of
litter and soil C cycling over a wide range of biomes to answer questions
about: the relative roles of climate, vegetation and lithology/mineralogy in
determining the age of C stored in and respired from soil. The postdoc will
work with ~2 PhD students as well as researchers at MPI-BGC and
international collaborators to answer these questions. The ideal candidate
will have interests and/or experience in both measurement and/or modelling
of radiocarbon as a tracer for dynamics of soil organic matter.
Responsibilities will depend on the interests and expertise of the selected
candidate, but will include working with PhD students on the project, and
interfacing with the 14C AMS laboratory in Jena. Some field work (soil
sampling) will be required.
• highly motivated scientist who holds a PhD in earth system science, soil
science, biogeochemistry, ecosystem ecology or a closely related field
• expertise in the measurement and interpretation of radiocarbon and stable
• knowledge of soil processes and sampling/measurement methods
• capacity for teamwork and excellent communication skills
• willingness to design and undertake field sampling campaigns in different
• proficiency in spoken and written English is essential.
The place of work is Jena, Germany. Salary is based on the guidelines for
public service in accordance with the candidate’s experience. The position
is open as early as the 1st January 2017 and will remain open until filled.
Initial appointment will be for two years, with possibility for extension up
to 5 years.
The Max-Planck society is committed to increasing the number of individuals
with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications
from such qualified individuals. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks
to increase the number of women in those areas where they are
underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.
Further information can be provided by:
Susan Trumbore: phone: +49-(0) 3641 57 6110, Email:
email@example.com; she will also be at the Fall AGU meeting.
Applications with a detailed CV (including research qualifications, previous
employments, publication list, and contact details of at least two
references) should be sent until the 20 December to Susan Trumbore, Max
Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Hans Knoll Straße 10, 07745 Jena,
Germany or by E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.