OPEN POSITION: Doctoral student - methane and nitrous oxide exchange of trees

Do you want to be part of our dream team? University of Helsinki is recruiting a doctoral student to work in European Research Council (ERC) and Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE) funded project MEMETRE (From processes to modelling of methane emissions from trees).

The doctoral student will join a multidisci-plinary group of 10 scientists studying the exchange of greenhouse gases methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in forest ecosystems, with the main aim at answering the question: what is the role of trees in the CH4 and N2O exchange of forests. The main aim of MEMETRE is to raise the process-based understanding of CH4 exchange in forests to the level where we can construct a process model for the soil-tree-atmosphere CH4 ex-change. We will achieve this by novel laboratory and field experiment focusing on newly identi-fied processes, quantifying CH4 fluxes, seasonal and daily variability and drivers of CH4 at leaf-level, tree and ecosystem level. The project will narrow down the high uncertainties in boreal and temperate forests for their contribution to the global CH4 budget.

Tasks for the PhD student will be 1) to conduct state-of-the-art laboratory and field experiments on CH4 exchange of trees, utilizing stable and ra-diocarbon isotopes and molecular biology techniques, 2) to analyze data, report and present sci-entific findings, and 3) to actively participate in interdisciplinary group work to guarantee direct in-terplay between the experimental work and modelling.

We are seeking a highly motivated student with background in ecophysiology, plant biology, for-est ecology, biogeochemistry, molecular biology, soil science, or other relevant fields. Interest to-wards a scientific career, work experience in research projects, basic programming skills and an interest towards learning new data analysis tools are assets.

The doctoral student has the possibilities to conduct the Ph.D. studies at one of the University of Helsinki in the Doctoral Programmes: Atmospheric Sciences, Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences , or Sustainable Use of Renewable Natural Resources.
This project is a collaborative project with the research groups of Prof. Jaana Bäck (Ecosystem Processes), and is affiliated to the Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR). We offer an internationally competitive package and access to state-of-the-art infrastructures (such as ICOS, Integrated Carbon Observation System).

To apply, send your

  • motivation letter
  • CV
  • publication list
  • and a minimum of two references (in one pdf-file)

to Mari Pihlatie ( by 15 February 2018. The position can be filled in March 2018, or as soon as suitable for the candidates.

For additional information, please contact Associate Professor Mari Pihlatie,

European Research Council (ERC)