Postdoc position “Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning in river networks”
Fluvial ecosystems are an important element in the global carbon cycle metabolizing large amounts of terrigenous organic matter (tOM). This contributes to CO2 evasion fluxes that are under continuous reevaluation at the global scale. In contrast, research on the underlying processes is concentrated at the local ecosystem scale. This scale-gap seriously hampers process understanding across scales, limits upscaling accuracy, and reduces our scope of reaction strategies. The ERC Starting Grant Project FLUFLUX (“Fluvial Meta-Ecosystem Functioning: Unravelling Regional Ecological Controls Behind Fluvial Carbon Fluxes”) aims to develop a deeper mechanistic understanding of fluvial carbon fluxes by investigating ecological processes at the intermediate ‘regional' scale of the ‘fluvial network‘. In particular, respiration of tOM is hypothesized to be an interactive product of organismic diversity and resource diversity, which both follow conspicuous patterns in river networks. From an ecological perspective, river networks may be aptly termed ‘fluvial meta-ecosystems”.
The aim of the open Postdoc position is to investigate selected ecosystem functions and biodiversity/resource diversity as the underlying drivers at the level of whole river networks. Of interest are biodiversity of both microbial and invertebrate communities degrading dissolved and particulate organic matter resources. Research tasks include designing and carrying through fieldwork, analysis of biodiversity by molecular biological tools (metabarcoding), analysis of organic matter resource diversity and measurements of ecosystem functions (decomposition of organic matter). Research work will include close cooperation with and guidance of at least one PhD student.
This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and