Candidates joining the competition should meet the following requirements :
Conditions of employment :
Project aims :
This project aims at closing the critical knowledge gaps in nitrogen soil-water-air cycle by tracing the path of fertilizers in agricultural ecosystems.
Nitrogen, as important nutrient for plants, is added to arable soils as fertilizer, however, is not only assimilated by plants, but also transformed by soil microorganisms and released to the atmosphere in gaseous form or leached to groundwaters.
These may cause not only a loss of more than a half of the added nitrogen but also severe environmental problems, groundwater pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Mitigation of these problems is difficult since the understanding of the complex nitrogen transformation processes in soils and waters is still limited, N2 emission, not measureable due to high atmospheric background, is still a big unknown and precludes closure of the N balance.
This project comprises an attempt to quantify unknown N fluxes with aid of isotope techniques. Stable isotope analyses provide an unique tool for getting insight into particular biochemical processes, which can be distinguished by different isotope fractionation.
Quite innovative and perspective tool are the isotopomer analyses of N2O, which comprises not only nitrogen and oxygen isotope values, but also the site specific N analysis, which differentiate the isotope enrichment on different N positions in the linear N2O molecule.
This tool enables assessment of N2O fraction reduced to N2, hence may help in quantification of the main missing compound in the N balance.
N2O isotopomer analyses will be combined with isotope analyses of mineral nitrogen compounds in soil and groundwaters, including ammonium, nitrate and nitrite.
Nitrite isotope analyses in soil is an absolutely novel idea, which may open new interpretation perspectives. All the results will be combined together into N cycling model.
In this Project two PhD positions are planned and the specific direction of the PhD thesis will be adapted to interests and skills of the PhD student in the frame of wide scope of the Project (may concentrate on field studies or laboratory experiments, soil or water analyses, development of new analytical methods, as well as creating computer models).
Task of the PhD student :
Required documents :
6. a certified copy of the diploma PhD degree