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18 PhD positions in the area of tree biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research within the International Research Training Group TreeDì (Germany/China) - University of Chinese Academy of Sciences

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18 PhD positions in the area of tree biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research within the International Research Training Group TreeDì (Germany/China)

University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) in cooperation with Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and its partner universities Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU) and University of Leipzig (UL) are jointly starting the new International Research Training Group TreeDì – Tree Diversity Interactions: The role of tree-tree interactions in local neighborhoods in Chinese subtropical forests. TreeDì offers 18 positions for doctoral researchers, each 9 on the Chinese and German side.

General information about TreeDì and the open positions can be download at bottom (PDF)

Project 1 TreeDì – Doctoral Researcher on ‘Belowground productivity and complementarity’

  • Research Topic: (1) to test whether local species richness can improve fine-root production, (2) to test whether different species compositions affect fine-root turnover and distribution patterns, (3) to find the connection between below- and aboveground processes (i.e. how do above and below functional traits affect belowground production).
  • PIs: Prof. Dr. Keping Ma, Dr. Xiaojuan Liu
  • Based on UCAS (Beijing)
  • Applications are accepted until 31 January, 2018, 12:00 pm Beijing Time
  • Starting date:  2018 Fall

Project 2 TreeDì – Doctoral Researcher on ‘Root and mycorrhizal traits driven by local neighbourhood, resource patchies and large-scale resource variability’

  • Research Topic: (1) to characterize tree species by their root morphological and anatomical root traits, (2) to assess the response of root and mycorrhizal traits to resource patches, different tree neighbourhoods, and site-scale resource gradients, (3) to test whether complementary traits translate into enhanced tree productivity.
  • PIs: Dr. Zeqin Ma, Dr. Wensheng Bu
  • Based on UCAS (Beijing)
  • Applications are accepted until 31 January, 2018, 12:00 pm Beijing Time
  • Starting date:  2018 Fall

Project 3 TreeDì – Doctoral Researcher on ‘Seasonal complementarity of tree growth’

  • Research Topic: (1) to analyse whether complementarity in seasonal growth (warm wet versus cold dry season) translates into neighbourhood productivity, (2) To analyse whether the start of growing season of trees affects neighbourhood productivity.
  • PIs: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zhiyao Tang
  • Based on UCAS (Beijing)
  • Applications are accepted until 31 January, 2018, 12:00 pm Beijing Time
  • Starting date:  2018 Fall

Project 4 TreeDì – Doctoral Researcher on ‘Associational effects mediated by parasitoids’

  • Research Topic: This project will focus on lepidopteran leaf miners and their parasitoids to provide detailed insight into the structuring of, and the associational effects mediated by, herbivore-parasitoid networks of tree species pairs. This will be achieved by analyzing tree moth larvae-predator-parasitoid networks of both tree partners in TSPs near to interaction points. Further, we are interested in assessing how the incorporation of a reference phylogenetic framework might benefit the description of the trophic communities. Diversity can be both described and understood using a phylogenetic framework (Andújar et al. 2015), although there are indications that more comprehensive reference data can improve accuracy in these approaches (Erickson et al. 2014, Chesters 2016*).
  • PIs: Prof. Dr. Chaodong Zhu
  • Based on UCAS (Beijing)
  • Applications are accepted until 31 January, 2018, 12:00 pm Beijing Time
  • Starting date:  2018 Fall

Project 5 TreeDì – Doctoral Researcher on ‘Effects of leaf pathogens on leaf litter decomposition’

  • Research Topic: (1) to study the temporal course of fungal species composition, in parallel with, (2) the leaf chemical composition, (3) to study leaf decomposition rates and to relate them to species leaf litter composition, pathogen load and local neighbourhood diversity.
  • PIs: Prof. Dr. Xiaoyong Cui
  • Based on UCAS (Beijing)
  • Applications are accepted until 31 January, 2018, 12:00 pm Beijing Time
  • Starting date:  2018 Fall

Project 6 TreeDì – Doctoral Researcher on ‘Complementarity in nitrogen uptake by roots’

  • Research Topic: Because isotope labelling will be used, in the first phase glasshouse experiments will be done with pots using the same tree species as we have in the field. This project aim at: (1) characterize the N acquisition strategies by different tree species, including mycorrhiza and root nodules for legumes, (2) explore how tree species and soil microbes acquire available N via chemical, temporal and spatial niche differentiation, and (3) examine if tree species can benefit from the common mycorrhizal network, and (4) to analyse the degree of complementarity in N uptake in local neighbourhoods over different soil depths and seasons.
  • PIs: Prof. Dr. Xingliang Xu, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Naili Zhang
  • Based on UCAS (Beijing)
  • Applications are accepted until 31 January, 2018, 12:00 pm Beijing Time
  • Starting date:  2018 Fall

Project 7 TreeDì – Doctoral Researcher on ‘Mycorrhizal and endophytic fugal communities of TCPs’

  • Research Topic: (1) to analyse how root associated bacterial and fungal communities of TSPs respond to the neighbourhood diversity and environmental conditions, and (2) to assess the link between root associated microbial communities and root traits, nitrogen acquisition and exudation profiles.
  • PIs: Prof. Dr. Liangdong Guo
  • Based on UCAS (Beijing)
  • Applications are accepted until 31 January, 2018, 12:00 pm Beijing Time
  • Starting date:  2018 Fall

Project 8 TreeDì – Doctoral Researcher on ‘Microbial function potential and its linkage with ecosystem functioning’

  • Research Topic: (1) to identify the functional diversity of soil microorganisms involved in nitrogen cycling processes, (2) to link microbial functional diversity with corresponding ecosystem functioning by measuring soil extracellular enzyme activities and ecosystem process rates, and (3) to determine the response of microbial functional gene diversity and corresponding ecosystem functioning to the functional dissimilarity of the local tree neighbourhood.
  • PIs: Prof. Dr. Yanfen Wang, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kai Xue
  • Based on UCAS (Beijing)
  • Applications are accepted until 31 January, 2018, 12:00 pm Beijing Time
  • Starting date:  2018 Fall

Project 9 TreeDì – Doctoral Researcher on ‘Modelling forest community dynamics and neighbour TSP competition’

  • Research Topic: (1) modeling the change between TSP partners and the whole patch change through time, (2) simulating tree interactions for forest development, and (3) using the models to understand the dynamic interactions of trees in mature forests (Bugmann 2001; Perry & Enright 2006).
  • PIs: Prof. Dr. Weiguo Sang
  • Based on UCAS (Beijing)
  • Applications are accepted until 31 January, 2018, 12:00 pm Beijing Time
  • Starting date:  2018 Fall

FOR APPLICATION:

For positions on the Chinese side, submit your application only in English to treediapply@ucas.ac.cn

Applicants can apply for up to three positions, with tailored motivation letter for each position. Please note that Chinese applicants will still need to follow the normal student recruit procedure as instructed on the following website: http://admission.ucas.ac.cn. International applicants will need to follow the procedure on the following website: http://english.ucas.ac.cn/index.php/admission/international-students/phd-programs

Attachment: General information about TreeDì