PhD project: Optimization of artefact-minimized sampling techniques and devices for monitoring of aeration zone fluids, percolates and mobile inventory (International Max Planck Research School, Jena, Germany)
International Max Planck Research School for Globald Biogeochemical Cycles
In cooperation with the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry houses a unique and flexible research program that grants German and foreign students a broad selection of learning opportunities while still maintaining a research focus.
The IMPRS-gBGC offers a PhD program specializing in global biogeochemistry and related Earth system sciences. The overall research and teaching focuses on:
- Improved understanding of biogeochemical processes with an emphasis on terrestrial ecosystems
- Development of observational techniques to monitor and assess biogeochemical feedbacks in the Earth system
- Theory and model development for improving the representation of biogeochemical processes in comprehensive Earth system models
Hydrological Sciences (HS)
Soil System Sciences (SSS)
The thick aeration zone beneath topographic heights (mountain and hillslope areas), comprising variably water-saturated regolith, unconsolidated rock/bedrock and including perched groundwater bodies, are essentially involved in groundwater quality evolution. Yet, due to extremely high technical demands, observation of the aeration zone, its diverse porous media/habitats and transients in fluid/matter transport are only scarcely investigated. In situ-sampling of fluids, percolating water, mobile inventory, and gases in the aeration (vadose) zone always requires invasive access and entails exposure to artificial collection components and disturbed ambient conditions. That generally involves multiple initial and persistent sources for contamination and artefacts. Especially, if sampling of mobile particulates or gases are in focus, drilling procedures and sampling devices are necessarily custom-made for local properties of weathered rock and call for measures to minimize erosion and fouling. This PhD project is dedicated to the optimization of observational techniques to monitor aeration zone fluids and inventory at different sites in Thuringia. Field work comprises geophysical sounding, joint application of a rotary drilling rig, extensive sampling/monitoring campaigns including experimental optimization and hydrogeochemical analysis.
Applications to the IMPRS-gBGC are open to well-motivated and highly-qualified students from all countries. Prerequisites for this PhD project are
- a Master’s degree in (bio(geo)chemistry, environmental science, geosciences, (geo-)ecology, geography, soil science, mineralogy, hydrology) or related disciplines in environmental sciences
- Lab skills
- Basic hydrochemical methods
- Basic microscopic techniques (SEM, OPitcal, PolMi)
- Basic experience in soil physical methods and petrophysical techniques
- Computational skills
- processing and statistical analysis of mixed environmental data sets
- explorative statistics and time series analysis
- GIS, terrain analysis
- Knowledge on soil and rock sampling (core drilling) and classification/description; petrology (carbonate-rock/siliciclastics)
- Interest in field experiments, field sampling, construction works, on-site measurements/-instruments
- excellent oral and written communication skills in English
- Physical fitness
- European driver license
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. 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.
Application deadline for the fully funded PhD positions is August 23, 2021.
Your application consists of three steps:
- Online registration & submission of application documents (June 30 – August 23, 2021)
- (Possibly) Phone or video conference interview (until September 10, 2021),
- Recruitment event in Jena (October 13-15, 2021)
Find out more and apply online: www.imprs-gbgc.de