selected candidates will have the opportunity to work in an exciting and international environment.
PhD studies will focus on the following research areas:
- Nitrogen (N) cycling in legume-based cropping systems: this topic will focus on biological N fixation and its contribution to crop quality and soil fertility. Field and lab-based analyses will include the assessment of geochemical N fluxes in tested cropping systems with the overall goal to identify those particular legumes providing the best short- to long-term productivity potential under local soil and climatic conditions.
- Carbon (C) cycling in legume-based cropping systems: this topic will focus on the contribution of identified legumes to C sequestration and energy provision for microbial processes (with close links to N cycling). On basis of field and lab-based analyses, the focus will be carbon use efficiency of decomposing soil microbes as regulated by biochemical quality and hence decomposability of organic inputs deriving from tested legumes.
- Biophysical modelling of legume-based cropping systems identified according to farmers’ requirements will allow comparative analyses of their benefits and trade-offs under various management options. Scenarios will include crop rotations and intercropping, inputs, timing of management (cropping, manure application) and different legume types. Biomass formation, soil C sequestration and N cycling will be evaluated for each scenario. Model parameters will be measured in field experiments representing the main system options. In a following step, LegumeCHOICE uses the outputs of the biophysical model to give recommendations for legume-crop combinations considering long-term sustainability of the systems.
- Strong knowledge of and affinity to crop and/or soil sciences as well as soil biology.
- Strong knowledge of studying terrestrial N and C cycling as well as biochemical quality of plants.
- Experience in performance of greenhouse and field experiments is an asset.
- For the modelling study, good mathematical skills and experience in biophysical modelling are required,
- Good working knowledge of English is a must.
- Intercultural competence and willingness to stay at University of Hohenheim for academic (PhD study program) and research work.
Candidates will be based at the Institute of Plant Production and Agroecology in the Tropics and Subtropics under the supervision of Professor Dr Georg Cadisch, Dr Frank Rasche and Dr Carsten Marohn. Logistics of field trips to target countries will be supported by local research partners.
Earliest start of studies is 01 October 2014, duration is 36 months.
Dr Frank Rasche, phone: +49-711 459 24137, email: email@example.com
Your application should be sent electronically to Gabriele_Kircher@uni-hohenheim.de with only ONE pdf document as attachment including your motivation letter and research ideas to the research topic selected, CV, BSc/MSc-study transcripts and three recommendation letters.