The Terrestrial Ecology Section at the Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen is seeking a PhD student to study how the anatomy of arctic plants and the emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are linked to each other and affected by climate change. BVOCs participate in many atmospheric reactions and can thereby produce feedback on global warming. Knowing that the BVOC emissions from the Subarctic are highly temperature sensitive, and that the Arctic is being exposed to a rapidly progressing climate warming with 2-10°C temperature increases in the next 100 years, it is urgent to collect data on BVOC emissions from arctic ecosystems. The PhD position is part of a larger project that will use long-term climate change-mimicking field experiments in Greenland to assess effects of multiple factors of climate change on BVOC emissions. Plants adapt to altered environmental conditions by modifying their anatomy, and these changes may influence BVOC emissions. By coupling BVOC measurements and the study of plant tissues by microscopy, it is possible to assess whether climate change is affecting BVOC synthesizing plant tissues or the release of BVOCs from the leaves. For further information on the project contact Associate Professor Riikka Rinnan at firstname.lastname@example.org. The work will be carried out in the newly renovated facilities of Department of Biology in Copenhagen with field work periods in Nuuk and Zackenberg Research Station in northeast Greenland during summer. Microscopy will be done in collaboration with University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland. The start date for the position is April 1, 2012 or as soon as possible thereafter.
We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate with an MSc in biology, environmental science or a related field (the degree obtained by March 31, 2012). Further requirements include demonstrated experience in arctic field work and fluency in written and spoken English. Experience in VOC and other trace gas flux measurements, gas chromatography and microscopy are assets.