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PhD Position on Methane Fluxes

Job / Project Description 
The Global Biogeochemical Cycles group of the Department of Earth Sciences at VU University Amsterdam has a PhD position available in studying methane emissions from lakes in the Arctic (e.g. Siberia) as they are affected by climate change. Emission of methane from lakes is an important component of the methane budget of the Arctic and is intimately related to the number and dynamics of small and larger lakes. In this project we will obtain methane concentration (and flux) observations and sediment cores from a set of lakes to characterize their isotopic composition and longer term emission rates. This information and the process models that will be developed will be used in Earth Systems models that quantify the Arctic methane climate feedback. The Earth System Science Centre Netherlands (ESSC) funds the position by its recently funded Gravity program: Reading the Past to Project the Future.

The overall objective is to take measurements of CH4 concentration in selected lakes in the Far North East Siberia, where the group runs an observatory in collaboration with Yakutian counterparts. The analysis will also involve isotopic variability in organic material from sediment cores (13C). The candidate expected to help further developing a model to predict CH4 and CO2 budgets and emissions from thaw lakes thus linking current day observation to recent (Holocene) past.

We offer a challenging PhD-position for a researcher: 
• With a degree in biogeochemistry, earth sciences or ecology; 
• With demonstrated technical skills in data acquisition and scientific computing; 
• Preparedness to work for some time in harsh environmental conditions in remote places; 
• Knowledge of Russian language or willingness to acquire basic skills in Russian is a recommendation.

The person qualifying for the position is expected to have: 
• Research interests in detection and modelling of GHG emissions from terrestrial surfaces, the carbon budgets of thaw lakes, and modelling to extrapolate current observations into recent past. The PhD is part of a small team that runs the site and performs eddy covariance and GHG research in the area: team playing skills are required.

Contact Information:
Name: Fenny Bosse