|Salary:||£36,333 to £43,155 per annum (Grade 7)|
|Placed On:||28th March 2023|
|Closes:||17th April 2023|
Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (PDRF) to work with Professor Philip Wookey for a period of up to 42 months on the ‘MYCONET’ project. This NERC funded project aims to understand how the highly organic soils of northern latitudes respond to increased abundance of trees and woody shrubs. MYCONET will focus on the role of the 'mycorrhizosphere' in determining the carbon balance of these important soil carbon stores. The overarching hypothesis of MYCONET is that associated changes in the mycorrhizosphere with tree and shrub establishment could, paradoxically, result in net losses, rather than gains, of soil carbon (C) over timescales of relevance to the Climate Emergency.
In the project, the PDRF will apply ground-breaking techniques in the use - and innovative experimental deployment – of natural abundance (and depleted) radiocarbon (14C), together with metagenomics, soil and root-tip enzyme assays and soil organic matter (SOM) analyses, to quantify and understand the processes and dynamics of the mycorrhizosphere and how these affect soil organic C stocks. The research will focus on the process of 'priming', and the specific role of mycorrhizal fungi in this, and related, processes. The MYCONET team will measure these processes both in situ (in the Arctic and the UK uplands) and in controlled experiments, as part of an integrated package of mechanistic studies, soil profile analysis and dynamic SOM modelling, to quantify and understand how priming works, and the implications for SOM dynamics, ecosystem C fluxes, and nutrient cycling.
By applying ground-breaking techniques MYCONET has potential to transform our understanding of plant-soil interactions and the role of mycorrhizal fungi in SOM dynamics. The knowledge gained could significantly improve regional and global modelling of climate-biogeochemical interactions, with a focus on the indirect effects of shifting plant communities. The project has relevance for the pan-Arctic 'shrubification', as well as for ecosystems being managed for C-sequestration in the Scottish Uplands.
Tackling the project’s aims will be through close collaboration with the broader UK and international MYCONET team. The PDRF will be central to the project team and will work with the Principal and Co-Investigators, and Project Partners, to produce the scientific and the societal impact deliverables.
Description of duties
For further information, including a full description of duties, essential criteria and details on how to apply, please see Vacancy details | University of Stirling
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