[ES_JOBS_NET] Postdoctoral Research Associate, Linking root traits and ecosystem processes, Oak Ridge
christin at ucar.edu
Wed Nov 25 14:31:07 MST 2015
*Postdoctoral Research Associate, Linking root traits and ecosystem
Under general supervision, the incumbent will conduct research within
the Terrestrial Ecosystem Science (TES) program at ORNL. Specific
research tasks include woody plant fine-root and rhizosphere responses
to warming and elevated [CO_2 ] at a new climate change experiment in
northern Minnesota, as well as linkages among root dynamics and
ecosystem carbon and water fluxes in a long-running AmeriFlux site in
Missouri. Focused, self-directed research is also expected. This
position resides in the Environmental Sciences Division (ESD) and
Climate Change Science Institute (CCSI) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
The TES program at ORNL is focused on advancing mechanistic
understanding of terrestrial ecosystem processes and applying such
advances to terrestrial biosphere models for simulating impacts of
climate change. The group encompasses multiple disciplines spanning
experiment, data, model and supercomputing to investigate how critical
ecosystems may respond to climate change, and how feedbacks from those
responses affect global climate.
The flagship ORNL-TES ‘/Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and
Environmental Change/’ (SPRUCE) field experiment is located in Marcell,
MN at the southern edge of the boreal forest in a high carbon peatland
expected to be particularly vulnerable to projected changes in climate.
Ten large, open-topped field chambers have been built within a black
spruce – /Sphagnum/ bog ecosystem. Five enclosures are currently being
warmed—above- and belowground—in a regression design (+0 to +9 °C),
while another five are being warmed in the same regression design, and
also exposed to elevated CO_2 concentrations (+500 ppm) to facilitate
understanding of response thresholds of key mechanisms associated with
ecosystem carbon, water and energy fluxes. Additional information can be
found online about the SPRUCE project (http://mnspruce.ornl.gov) or
Climate Change Science Institute (http://climatechangescience.ornl.gov/)
The MOFLUX project is also part of the ORNL’s TES program. The MOFLUX
site has been in operation since 2004, and is located at the University
of Missouri’s Baskett Wildlife Research and Education Area (BWREA) near
Ashland, Missouri. This site is characterized by extremely high levels
of biogenic isoprene emission. It also has the longest known continuous
observation of tree mortality and predawn leaf water potential of
multiple species. The site is located in a key ecotone between the
Eastern Deciduous Forest and Prairie regions and is subject to large
inter-annual variation in summer precipitation and drought intensity.
*Major Duties and Responsibilities:*
•Design and lead experiments focused quantifying root and rhizosphere
traits, and their response to warming and elevated [CO_2 ] (SPRUCE) and
developing relationships among root traits and ecosystem carbon and
water fluxes measured with an eddy covariance system and soil chambers
(MOFLUX). Research will involve multiple trips to northern Minnesota and
also Missouri throughout the growing season.
•Collaborate with internal DOE and external University researchers to
comprehensively assess belowground responses to treatments (SPRUCE
•Develop novel hypotheses and successfully complete self-directed study
of plant, soil, or ecosystem level processes.
•Participate in monthly SPRUCE teleconferences.
•Periodic travel to various conferences for presentation of results and
interactions with other researchers.
•Publication of scientific results in high-impact peer-reviewed journals
in a timely manner.
•Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program
•Maintain strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of
values and ethics.
•A PhD in root ecology, ecosystem ecology, or a closely related field,
completed within the last 5 years.
•An excellent record of productive and creative research demonstrated by
publications in peer-reviewed journals
•Expertise, as measured through first-author publications and/or major
conference presentations focused on root ecology and one or more of the
following disciplines: ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, peatland or
wetland ecology, global change ecology, or ecosystem modeling.
•Expertise in experimental field ecological research and associated
•Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to
communicate in English to an international scientific audience.
QUALIFICATIONS DESIRED: Expertise and experience in minirhizotron data
analysis, quantification of root morphology, anatomy, or physiology,
soil nutrient dynamics, ecosystem carbon and water fluxes, ecosystem
modeling or an appreciation of data-model interactions are strongly
The appointment length will be up to 24 months with the potential for
Applicants cannot have received the most recent degree more than five
years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree
requirements before starting their appointment.
To formally apply, please visit http://1.usa.gov/1SkucPY .
ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants,
including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are
encouraged to apply.
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