Master student internship opportunity

Stable nitrogen isotopes as a tool to evaluate carbon-nitrogen models used for climate projections: more information


Open position 2: modelling postdoc “soil processes”


Job description: Postdoctoral fellowship in modeling phosphorus soil

We are looking for a motivated post doc fellow interested in soil biogeochemistry and land
surface modeling to join our team at LSCE. The increase of atmospheric CO2 and climate change, associated to regional increases in nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) deposition induce a modification of the soil microbial and fungi activities impacting the mineralization of nutrients (N, P) and the stability of soil organic carbon. The post doc will combine two recent developments incorporated in the process-based ecosystem model ORCHIDEE: (a) the explicit representation of phosphorus and nitrogen cycles and their interactions with the environment and (b) a new soil carbon decomposition module including vertical and lateral transport and priming effects. The post doc will incorporate mechanisms related to microbial and fungi impacts on the stoichiometry of mineralization products, and inorganic N and P diffusion in the soil in relation to plant uptake.

The model will be evaluated at sites with long term N and P additions experiments collected in the IMBLANCE-P project, to quantify the importance of limitations from phosphorous
mineralization and diffusion in soil to support primary production and the role of priming in the mineralization and plant uptake of N and P under additional N and P input, elevated atmospheric CO2 and warming. Candidates should hold a PhD in ecology, soil science, Earth System Modeling or environmental.

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Open position 1: modelling postdoc “Amazon carbon sink”


Postdoctoral fellowship in modeling of the phosphorus cycle in the
Amazon forest

We seek a motivated postdoctoral fellow to join a collaborative research effort to understand the role of nutrient limitation in explaining the observed decline of Amazonian

carbon uptake and inter-site variability. In the absence of nutrient limitation, we predict an
increase in the carbon uptake by ecosystems via biomass accumulation due to the CO 2
fertilization, as well as a drought-induced mortality risk, but this is not well captured in models.
The postdoctoral fellow will investigate how productivity and biomass turnover are affected
by the low soil P concentrations in Amazonia and if increasing nutrient limitation can explain the observed trend in Amazon carbon sink and their impact on its future evolution. He/she will make extensive use of the process-based grid-based ecosystem model ORCHIDEE (Krinner et al., 2005), which was recently extended by representations of the cycles of phosphorus and nitrogen, and their interactions with environmental conditions. Model predictions will be tested against the unique long-term observational data acquired in French Guiana over more than 100 ha of permanent forest plots  ( This project is jointly funded by the Imbalance-P ERC-Synergy project (, and by the laboratory of excellence CEBA (Center for the study of Biodiversity in Amazonia;


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Projects dedicated to nutrient cycles


The Amazon Fertilisation Experiment (AFEX):  The Amazon Fertilization Experiment (AFEX) is a large-scale soil nutrient manipulation study to examine how nutrient availability affects carbon cycling in tropical forests. The project is funded by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The AFEX field site is located near Manaus, Amazonas in Brazil.

lead by Patrick Meir

Ecosystem Nutrition: Forest Strategies for limited Phosphorus Resources (SPP 1685): In the first three-year phase of funding the projects focus on testing the overall hypothesis that phosphorous depletion of soils turns forest ecosystems from P-acquiring systems (efficient mobilisation of P from primary and secondary minerals) into P-recycling systems (highly efficient cycling of P).

lead by Friederike Lang

Quantifying the responses of ecosystems and society in a world increasingly rich in nitrogen and carbon but limited in phosphorus (IMBALANCE-P): The project addresses the Earth System management challenge of the elemental imbalance by providing improved understanding and quantitative foresight needed to formulate a range of policy options that will contain the risks and mitigate the consequences of stoichiometric imbalances.

lead by Philippe Ciais, Ivan Janssens, Michael Obersteiner, and Josep Peñuelas

Quantifying the effects of interacting nutrient cycles on terrestrial biosphere dynamics and their climate feedbacks (QUINCY): QUINCY will create a novel, predictive framework founded on the principle of resource optimisation, shifting the paradigm of terrestrial biosphere modelling towards an active biological control of matter flows.

lead by Soenke Zaehle

European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform: Sustainable management of Phosphorus is crucial for agriculture, food, industry, water and the environment. ESPP brings together companies and stakeholders to address the Phosphorus Challenge and its opportunities