[ES_JOBS_NET] PhD opportunity - Global forests and drought

Thomas Alan Miller Pugh T.A.M.Pugh at bham.ac.uk
Mon Nov 21 09:53:01 MST 2016

Hydraulic failure and recovery of trees under climate change (University of Birmingham, U.K.)

The mechanisms by which trees dies from drought have long been controversial, but recent evidence strongly indicates that hydraulic failure, i.e. a stress-induced inability to transport water through the plant, is a major cause. There is evidence that trees may maximise their competitiveness by running very narrow safety margins with respect to drought, yet it is possible that the incredible diversity of tree species in some forests will prevent a wholesale forest die-off under climate change. This doctoral project focuses on trying to understand whether future droughts are likely to cause widespread global tree mortality. The student will develop and apply a state-of-the-art global ecosystem model to assess rates of tree mortality under environmental change, and the impact that such mortality has on ecosystem services such as water cycling and global carbon storage. There will be the opportunity to work with field data from an internationally significant new experimental woodland at the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR), and on international case studies.

The student will become a member of a young and dynamic team of researchers at the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research, where they will benefit from the exciting research opportunities and international activity resulting from the huge recent investment in the first temperate forest FACE (Free Air CO2 Experiment; http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/bifor/face/index.aspx), which has recently been established at Birmingham. The student will have the opportunity to build strong links in the global ecosystem modelling community, working closely with multiple European partners.

For more information please see:

Application is to the CENTA Doctoral training scheme. Successful applicants from the European Union will receive an annual tax-free stipend (14 296 GBP), payment of tuition fees and a research training support grant of 8 000 GBP. Note that healthcare provision is automatically included in the UK system at no extra cost.
The deadline for applications is 23rd January 2017.
Applicants are advised, in the first instance, to contact Dr Tom Pugh (t.a.m.pugh at bham.ac.uk<mailto:t.a.m.pugh at bham.ac.uk>) in advance of submitting a formal application to CENTA.
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