PhD assistantships (two) in carbon allocation and seasonality of ecosystem processes

Agency:Ecosystem Science and Management Department College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Texas A&M University
Location:College Station, TX

Two PhD assistantships at the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Texas A&M University will be available from September 2017 or January 2018.

(1)   The allocation of resources and growth of different organs is central to ecosystem response and acclimation to environmental conditions and stresses. Recent findings suggest greater and more dynamic changes in the allocation patterns than recognized in most ecosystem models, which could affect their ability to capture interannual difference in productivity. A PhD assistantship is available to collect validation data and apply a newly developed data-based carbon allocation model across a land use gradient in Texas, and across forest ecosystems globally. The ideal candidate should have at least a few of the following skills: solid understanding of ecosystem carbon cycle or plant ecophysiology, carbon flux measurements, soil carbon dynamics, experience working with large datasets, and experience with a computer scripting language (R, python, Matlab, SAS). As periodic fieldwork in distant locations is required, the successful candidate must have or promptly obtain a valid US driver’s license and be willing to travel for up to three weeks at a time.

(2)   The shifting phenological patterns and their ecological significance are well recognized, but the seasonality of biogeochemical processes in ecosystem and Earth System Models is consistently offset compared to observations. Developing explicit phenological metrics for individual processes is seen as a step toward improving our understanding of the seasonal dynamics and climate-driven shifts in ecosystem functioning. The ideal candidate has passion for the topic and experience working with large datasets.


Intellectual curiosity, innate motivation, and passion for the chosen topic. MS in a relevant discipline, and skills listed above. Exceptional candidates with a BS degree and demonstrated excellence in a closely related topic may be considered, as well.


Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until suitable candidates are found. Start date is negotiable any time between 9/1/2017 and 9/1/2018. Please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, copies of academic transcripts, names and contact information of three references, and GRE and TOEFL scores (for international applicants) by e-mail to Dr. Asko Noormets (

All positions are security-sensitive. Applicants are subject to a criminal history investigation, and employment is contingent upon the agency's verification of credentials and/or other information required by agency procedures, including the completion of the criminal history check. Texas A&M AgriLife is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Veterans/Disability Employer.