Thursday, 31 March 2011

Ph.D. in Soil Ecology

Collaborating research teams at University College Dublin (Ireland) and Wageningen University & Research Centre (the Netherlands) invite applications from outstanding graduates with a background in ecology, soil science, environmental science or a related discipline to undertake research towards a doctoral degree (PhD) in a project titled:

“Soil fauna functions in soil structure, water regulation and nutrient cycling”.

This project will focus on the biophysical and biochemical functions of earthworms in soil in different land use and tillage systems. Experimental work will involve a range of approaches, including mesocosms and stable isotope tracers to quantify the fate of nutrients; mini-lysimeters for hydrological measurements, and earthworm population and macropore assessments in tilled and non-tilled agroecosystems. Field work will entail research periods at a partner field site in France.

This is a unique opportunity for a highly-qualified candidate to study for a double-award PhD degree in an international setting. The student will be registered at University College Dublin for the first two years and at Wageningen University for the final two years of the project. The minimum qualification for applicants is a MSc degree (or equivalent 5-year degree) in a relevant discipline and certified English language competence (the project will be conducted through English).

The student will be supervised jointly by Prof. Tom Bolger and Dr. Olaf Schmidt (University College Dublin) and Prof. Lijbert Brussaard and Dr. Jack Faber (Wageningen UR). The gross value of this studentship is €24,000 per year for up to 4 years, commencing on 1st June 2011 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Application Procedure

Candidates who wish to apply for this position are requested to download, complete and submit the dedicated application form for this project, available at:

Further details are contained in this form.
Closing date for receipt of applications: Monday, 18th April 2011.
Recruitment will continue after this date until the position is filled.

This studentship is part of the EcoFINDERS Project: “Ecological Function and Biodiversity Indicators in European Soils” funded under the EU’s 7th Framework Programme.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Donate your organs after your death

Miriam, D. and her mother in Uni Klinikum, Goettingen. We have a great respect for the child, her mother and father. They were so caring and selfless persons, they didnot want the lost of other happiness to gain smiles on their faces. Waited almost six months for the transplantation. (I am sorry, I didnot ask for their permission to put this photo here: source
Photo: people who were transplanted different organs in their lifetime. Baby Miriam is quite grown up now! We wish all the best in their life. (Persons with transplanted heart, lung, kidney, lever are living with very healthy and respectful life). Lots of thanks to University medical Hospital Goettingen, Germany.
करीब तीन बर्ष अगाडि जर्मनीको एउटा सानो शहर गोट्टिङेन को अस्पतालमा एक्जना आफ्नो मुटु हटाएर कृतिम मुटु ले बचिरहेकी सानी नानी भेट भयी । उस्का बुवा आमा सित पनि भेट भ्यो ! आपसी दु:ख र पीडा साटासाट गरियो । उनीहरु छोरीको जीवन को लागि मानव मुटु कुरी रहेको तर तेस्को लागि अर्को तेही उमेर को दानी बच्चाको मृत्‍यु भएको हुने पर्ने हुन्थ्यो जुन हामी चाहदनौ भन्थे ! आफ्नो ह्रिद्य को टुक्डा जोगाउन अर्काको ह्रिद्यको टुक्डा टुटेको हेर्न सक्दिन भन्थे । कारीब दुई महिना जती को अस्प्ताल बसाइमा एक् दिन उनिहरु निकै खुशी ले उफ्री रहेक थिए, के भयोर भनी सोधेको बेलायतमा एक्जना बच्चाको मुटु पाइयो। २-३ दिनमा छोरी को शरीरमा यस्को प्र्त्यारोपण हुन्छ भन्थे । हामी पनि उन्को खुशीमा खुसी मनायौ ! २-३ दिन पछी दिन भरिको अपरेसन पछी उन्को छोरीको शरीरमा नयाँ मुटु रखियो । केहीदिन पछी उनीहरु तन्दरुस्त भएर घर फर्के । हामी पनि केही दिन पछी आफ्नो समस्या समाधान गरेर घर फर्कियौ ! हाम्रो कारीब २ महिन को उपचार र उनिको छ महिना को उपचार विश्वप्रसिध यस् अस्प्तालमा करीब करीब निसुल्क जस्ताइ गरी सम्पन्न भयो ! आज उनी ५-६ बर्ष को तन्दरूस्त भएकी छन ! अरु बच्चा जस्ताइ सामान्य देखिन्छिन !

मनिस प्रया सबै अङ हरु आफ्नो मृत्‍यु पछी अरुको लागि काम लाग्न सक्छ ! तेसैले आफ्नो मृत्‍यु पछी आफ्ना काम लाग्ने अङहरु जस्ताइ आँखा, मुटु, कलेजो, फोक्सो, म्रिगौला आदी आदी दान गरौ ! मेरो आज जन्मा दिनको उपलक्ष्य मा मेरो मृत्‍यु पछाडि मेरा काम लाग्ने कुनै पनि अङ स्वास्थ्य सस्था लाई दान दिने घोषणा गर्दछु ! शायद यो उधारो दान वास्तवीक्तामा परणीत भएको मैले देख्न पौने छैन तर पनि मेर आफन्तजनहरु लाई यस्को जानकारी गरयी सकेको छु ! र तपाईं हरु जस्ता शाहीर्द्य मीत्र हरुलाई पनि यस्को लागि अनुरोध गर्दछु ! On this 39th birthday of my life, today I declare about the donation of my internal organs to the needy people after my death, timely or untimely, with natural cause or with any accident! Let's join our hands to make this a very successful camapaign. Read more...

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

12 PhD graduate research assistantships and post-doctoral research associate (Bonn, Germany)

Patterns in Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere System monitoring, modelling
and data assimilation

The TR32 is an interdisciplinary collaborative research center including the universities of Aachen, Bonn, Cologne and the Research Centre Jülich(Germany). The TR32 comprises a broad range of natural scientific disciplines and deals with patterns in state variables, and mass and energy fluxes in the coupled soil-vegetation-atmosphere systems due to complex exchange processes and interactions. We are currently announcing a number of PhD graduate research assistantships and post-doctoral research associate.

PhD students will be part of the newly established TR32 Graduate School.

-Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Soil Water Processes
1 PhD's position

-Characterizing spatio-temporal patterns of water and C-fluxes at field-scale
1 PhD's position

-The role of soil heterogeneity on field scale evapotranspiration:
3D integrative modelling and upscaling of root water uptake.
2 PhD's positions

-Soil moisture content estimation by inverting surface and borehole ground penetrating radar data
1 PhD's position

-Spatio-temporal variability of catchment properties and their effect on water, solute, and CO2 fluxes from the micro- to the mesoscale
2 PhD's positions

-Scale consistent two-way coupling of land-surface and atmospheric models
1 PhD's position

-CO2 and water flux estimation by four-dimensional variational assimilation of in situ and remote sensing data
2 PhD's positions

-Development and maintenance of two-way coupled Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere System
2 Postdoctoral research positions

Every PhD's graduate research assistantship is for a 3,5 years period and is remunerated with a 75%-TV-L E13 Position.

The postdoctoral positions are also for a duration of 3,5 years and we offer an experience commensurate salary.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the positions have been filled.

For more information, you are kindly invited to visit this website

Sunday, 20 March 2011


Thursday, 10 March 2011

PhD position available in Soil Science

The Silviculture Institute at Freiburg University is offering a PhD position to carry out a research project on Development of methods to characterise plant available phosphorus in large scale forest soil inventories.
The position is anticipated to start in June 2011 and can be filled for three years. Payment is subjected to the German standard tariff (up to 65% TVL13). The PhD position will be integrated in the research group of Prof. Jürgen Bauhus at the Institute of Silviculture
( The project is funded by the federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection through the von Thünen-Institute and will carried out in collaboration with the forest experimental stations in Freiburg and Göttingen.

Previous nation-wide forest soil inventories have indicated that a significant proportion of forest stands may be P limited. However, this assessment is based almost solely on leave and needle tissue concentrations. So far, only total soil P has been determined in these large scale inventories. Determinations of P fractions of different availability for plant uptake are commonly very onerous and expensive and have therefore not been included in a standard analytical protocol. This limits the interpretation of trends in P availability in forests and the analysis of possible causes for changes. Therefore, this project aims to develop alternative methods to quantify soil P fractions based on their spectral properties. Specifically, this project will assess the Hedley fractionation method to quantify soil P pools of different availability in German forest soils. It will further attempt to predict these P fractions on the basis of their spectral properties.

Your tasks:
· Selection and acquisition of soil samples from existing inventories for analysis of P fractions.
· Determination of soil P fractions using the Hedley fractionation method.
· Development of models to predict P pools in forest soil samples based on spectral properties.
· Interpretation of P pools and their temporal changes in the context of additional information from inventories (other soil properties, nutrient cycling, weather, etc.).
· Conduct of greenhouse study to examine the change in P pools under the influence of plant P uptake.
· Writing of publications and project reports.

The laboratory work that is part of this project will be supported by technical staff.

Your profile:
· Excellent Master or Diploma degree (or equivalent) in Soil Science, Biology/Ecology,Forestry or Environmental Sciences with a background
in soil chemistry, nutrient cycling, and forest ecology.
· Competencies in wet chemistry laboratory methods and near-infrared spectroscopy desirable.
· Willingness and ability to work in a team.
· Flexibility and ability to work under pressure.
· Working knowledge of statistics and fluency in English.
· Preparedness to travel for field work, project meetings, conferences etc.
· Current driver’s license for motor-vehicle.

The University of Freiburg aims to increase the proportion of women in academic positions and therefore welcomes in particular applications by females. Disabled persons with equal qualifications will be preferably employed. Applications must include a motivation letter, CV, copies of certificates, copies of publications or theses, and names and contact details of two academic referees. Please submit applications until the 30. April 2011 as a single PDF file to

Further information will be provided by Prof. Dr. Juergen Bauhus (Tel. 0761-2033678, or Dr. Martin Kohler (Tel. 0761-2033673, Email: m artin.kohler @