Post-doctoral opportunity in soil element cycles and GHG dynamics

Post-doctoral opportunity in soil element cycles and GHG dynamics

Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) is a research organisation working to promote bioeconomy and sustainable use of natural resources. Luke is looking for a post-doctoral researcher focusing on soil element cycles and GHG dynamics. The application deadline is 27 September 2022, at 4.00 pm Finnish time (EEST).

Work tasks

Luke has an open position for a post-doc researcher in a multidisciplinary research group of more than ten scientists. The group develops sustainable land-use and ecosystem management practices in several ongoing projects, including HoliSoils and SOMPA. The projects comprise field experiments on both peatland forests, where varied management regimes (including continuous cover forestry) are tested, and on mineral soils, where ecosystem processes are studied. The group also develops models to predict the impacts on ecosystem water, carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes, especially focusing on peat soils. The post-doctoral researcher will be engaged in an active international collaboration that aims at improving the scientific knowledge base on soil processes and the effects of management practices on forest soils.

The researcher will study how ecosystem management affects soil element cycles, GHG fluxes and their drivers. The work will be focused on processes in managed peatland forests. The researcher will implement a field experiment, where effects of management practices on soil GHG fluxes and drivers of peat decomposition processes are studied, analyse the obtained empirical data, and participate in developing mathematical models that describe soil processes. The researcher will be responsible for scientific writing and reporting of study results as a lead author.

Qualifications

Luke is looking for a highly motivated post-doctoral researcher with good understanding on biogeochemical cycles, soil processes and their drivers. Knowledge on ecosystem studies, experience in GHG data analysis and understanding of soil processes is essential. The applicant should have knowledge on the controls of soil element cycles and how experiments and soil measurements can inform process models. Understanding of peatland microbial processes is an asset. Competence in scientific writing should be proven by a good publication record.

The applicant should be able to steer their own study and experimental work. Good communication skills, as well as an ability to work as a part of international multidisciplinary research team are needed. Data analysis and programming skills (e.g. R, Python) and understanding of microbial analyses and isotope research are advantages.

How to apply?

The reference number for this position is 30-289-2022.

The application deadline is 27 September 2022, 4.00 pm Finnish time (EEST).

Send your digital application

You may also apply for this position by submitting your application to the address below. The job reference of the role must be cited both in the actual application and on the envelope. Applications will not be returned.

Luonnonvarakeskuksen kirjaamo
Latokartanonkaari 9
00790 Helsinki, FINLAND

Please attach your application letter and CV.

More information

Review on greenhouse gas reporting in European forest soils

Review on greenhouse gas reporting in European forest soils

In the framework of the HoliSoils project, the Thuenen Institute is working on the soil monitoring framework. In particular, their work focuses on reviewing European GHG reporting in forest soils, developing guidelines for harmonized soil sampling methods for future reporting and providing a server for open-access harmonized European maps of forest soil properties. Furthermore, they developed a survey for GHG experts to gain their suggestions for improvement concerning GHG reporting.

Their work mainly focuses on carbon (C) data from forest soils remaining forest soils and differentiates between mineral and organic soils. On this poster, Vera Makowski and Nicole Wellbrock give an overview of the most important findings of the review process and the resultant actions within HoliSoils.

Read more on the full poster

New public consultation for an EU Soil Health Law

New public consultation for an EU Soil Health Law

The European Commission has opened a new public consultation to gather input from citizens and stakeholders on a possible EU Soil Health Law.

As part of the EU Soil Strategy 2030, the European Commission is preparing a new legislative proposal on soil health. Currently, all stakeholders interested are invited to express their views on this initiative by taking part in this public consultation through an online EU survey.

Find out more about this possible soil health law on the European Commission’s website and consult the EU Have Your Say portal to keep up with the developments of the initiative.

Fill out the survey by 24 October 2022!

New publication on how soil recovers from forest fires

New publication on how soil recovers from forest fires

A new article, from the framework of the Holisoils project, sheds light on how forest fires can alter the biological properties of soil.

Soil microbial communities are crucial in the carbon and nutrient cycle of forests, and scientific research has shown that forest fires can cause a change in these communities. This paper studied what effect the temperature of soil has on its microbial functions.

Two hypotheses were tested: whether forest fires reduce the catabolic functional diversity of soil and whether plant growth after a fire enhances soil recovery. Experiments were conducted on forest soil heated at 200°C or 450°C. Samples were also incubated in tubs with or without live grass.

The authors found that soil heating reduces the microbial functions of soil, because it affects the capacity of microbial communities to make use of organic substrates. Although soils heated at different temperatures behaved differently, in both cases forest fires decreased soil functional diversity. At the same time, soil heating enhanced the availability of nutrients, fostering plant growth. Consequently, plant growth helped the functional diversity of soil to recovery. Moreover, this study draws a link between the recovery of soil functional diversity and the recovery of photosynthetic tissues.

Concluding, the paper emphasises that, after a forest fire, the interactions between soil and plants play a key role for the recovery of soil functionality and, therefore, for ecosystem functions.

Read the full article

Reference

Garcia-Pausas, J., Romanyà, J., & Casals, P., 2022. Post-fire recovery of soil microbial functions is promoted by plant growth. European Journal of Soil Science, 73(4), e13290.



Get to know the European Union’s Mission’ A Soil Deal for Europe’

Get to know the European Union’s Mission’ A Soil Deal for Europe’

Soils are crucial for strong biodiversity, functional food systems, clean water, and climate resilience. However, only between 30% and 40% of the soils in the European Union are estimated to be healthy: a careful soil management is therefore necessary to safeguard this precious resource for our future.

To lead the transition towards healthy soils by 2030, A Soil Deal for Europe was established with the goal to set up one hundred living labs and lighthouses. These facilities are places where experts can experiment on the ground and their aim is to co-produce knowledge, test solutions, and determine their value in real-life circumstances.

Moreover, this EU Mission intends to achieve this transition towards healthy soils by funding research and innovations, establish a common European framework for soil monitoring, and raising awareness of the relevance of soils.

Discover more details on living labs and lighthouses, the full list of objectives of the mission and its relevance for the Sustainable Development Goals and the European Green Deal.

Read the Mission Implementation Plan to discover the details on how these goals can be achieved.

HoliSoils celebrates a year of working together for forest soils

Field trip - May2022 -Sarah Adams

The first HoliSoils project meeting and General Assembly took place in Helsinki in mid May 2022.

The project celebrated a year of activities, with scientific presentations from each of the work packages. These included:

  • Analysing soil properties & drivers of microbiological processes
  • Forest soils under different management scenarios in Europe
  • Modelling dynamics of soil properties & element fluxes
  • Harmonised soil monitoring framework for an EU GHG inventory
  • Holistic sustainable soil & forest management strategies
  • Soil resilience & recovery capacity after natural disturbances
Helsinki May 2022 Day one Sarah Adams

The meeting offered the opportunity for the project’s many post-docs to present posters on their areas of study.

Then, a lively communication training session looked at ways partners can engage with project communications on social media and by writing blog posts.

An inspirational field trip took the group to the peatland forests of Ränskälänkorpi, where test sites for the project’s WP4 and WP5 are established. After an introduction to the study designs, there were demonstrations on four of the different types of experiments taking place in the project, on locations around Europe:

  • GHG measurements
  • Soil fauna sampling
  • Infiltration measurements
  • Soil sampling protocol discussion

Do you want to know where the rest of the HoliSoils test sites are located?

The wealth of information and activity shared during the three days’ meeting in Helsinki show that HoliSoils project is well on track and that collaboration is vital for the project’s success.

Browse all the photos from the meeting!

Survey on forest soil greenhouse gas inventories in Europe now launched

Survey on forest soil greenhouse gas inventories in Europe now launched

In scope of the HoliSoils project, the Thuenen Institute (consortium partner) launched a questionnaire to review the different methods of calculating and reporting GHG fluxes in European countries. The aim is to gain knowledge of the applied methods, but also assess uncertainties and challenges of national inventories and pinpoint areas that can be improved. Based on the results of the questionnaire, we want to develop practice-oriented recommendations for improving future forest soil GHG inventories.

The questionnaire is targeted towards national experts specialised in either soil GHG inventory reporting procedures, national soil surveys or soil carbon modelling. For each target audience, a separate survey was created:

  1. GHG inventory reporting procedures
    https://thuenen.limequery.com/735421?lang=en
  2. Soil monitoring programs used for GHG inventories
    https://thuenen.limequery.com/189485?lang=en
  3. Soil carbon modelling approached used for GHG inventories and Forest Reference Levels
    https://thuenen.limequery.com/293423?lang=en

If you are a national expert in the field of GHG reporting, please help us by filling out the questionnaire(s) that applies to you until 22 May 2022.

Please feel free to distribute this news to your colleagues. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us:

Postdoc opportunity in Microbial Ecology of Forest Soils

Postdoc opportunity in Microbial Ecology of Forest Soils

The Laboratory of Environmental Microbiology (Czech Academy of Sciences) is looking for a motivated postdoctoral fellow. The position is offered for an initial period of one year, but may be extended for up to three years. The position is open until filled, starting date is negotiable (expected before 1st September 2022).

About the postdoctoral position

The successful candidate will join the international consortium of the H2020 project “HoliSoils” that explores the effects of forest management on ecosystem processes such as greenhouse gas fluxes, C storage and biodiversity preservation. The person will be involved in the study of the structural and functional response of the soil microbiome to forest management, disturbances and global change across Europe and will have the opportunity to collaborate with a number of leading groups in this research field. In addition, the candidate will be responsible for coordination of experimental work of the project partners.

Qualifications

  • PhD degree in the field of microbiology, mycology, ecology, botany, forestry or similar.
  • Experience in microbial biodiversity or microbial ecology.
  • First-authored papers in leading interdisciplinary journals or high-ranking IF journals in the fields of ecology, microbiology, soil science or forest research
  • Excellence in English and good communication skills
  • Motivation for independent scientific work in the field defined by the aims of the proposal
  • Previous involvement in projects focusing on forests or soils represents an advantage
  • Experience with advanced statistical methods, modelling approaches or large data management represents an advantage
  • During the appointment, the person will be based in the Czech Republic

How to apply?

Please send your Curriculum Vitae, motivation letter and contacts to at least two independent professionals (such as PhD or postdoc supervisors) who can provide reference. Contact person: Petr Baldrian ().

More information

HoliSoils in a nutshell

HoliSoils in a nutshell

Soils are crucial for the global climate and human wellbeing, providing clear benefits for people and the planet in their sustainable management. Knowledge gaps on forest soil processes and the lack of harmonised soil monitoring limits our ability to maintain soil-related ecosystem services and achieve climate policy objectives.

A better understanding of soil processes can support decision making in meeting climate and sustainability goals. This requires harmonised monitoring methods, models, tools and data to develop and inform policies and strategies to meet the SDGs of the UN 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement, as well as the European Green Deal.

Find out how HoliSoils meets this challenge! The HoliSoils brochure is available now for an excellent overview on this exciting project focussing on holistic management practices, modelling and monitoring for European forest soils.

HoliSoils brochure – English (PDF)

HoliSoils brochure – Japanese (PDF)

HoliSoils brochure – Slovak (PDF)

HoliSoils website shines spotlight on forest soils

The website is a focal point for the project and its results towards an improved, integrated, and harmonised monitoring and modelling framework for forest soils across Europe.

HoliSoils website shines spotlight on forest soils

A new website for the Horizon 2020 project, HoliSoils (Holistic management practices, modelling and monitoring for European forest soils), is now online.

An entry point for exploring the project’s activities, resources and results, the website serves as a gateway to the tools, datamodels and maps which are created, collated and updated over the course of this 4.5 year project. HoliSoils incorporates novel methodologies and expert knowledge on analytical techniques, data sharing, soil properties and biodiversity, and model development. It is developing tools for soil monitoring, refining greenhouse gas (GHG) assessment of the land use, land-use change & forestry (LULUCF) sector, enhancing efficiency of GHG mitigation actions, and improving numerical forecasting of soil-based mitigation, adaptation, and ecosystem services.

HoliSoils has a wide spread of test sites to investigate the effects of soil and forest management on soils processes, resilience, and climate change mitigation potential. It will also provide training and capacity building to various stakeholder groups on the results obtained.

The website also provides an insight into the benefits provided by soils for people and the planet. Knowledge gaps on forest soil processes and the lack of harmonised soil monitoring limits our ability to maintain soil-related ecosystem services and achieve climate policy objectives. A better understanding of soil processes will support decision making in meeting climate and sustainability goals.

The project employs a collaborative, multi-actor approach, with a multidisciplinary consortium and diverse stakeholders who are actively engaged in ensuring that HoliSoils results can be effective and appropriate for the people who need and use them. Stay tuned to the HoliSoils website for all project progress on the work together for forest soils.

About HoliSoils

Holistic management practices, modelling and monitoring for European forest soils – HoliSoils – provides an improved, integrated, and harmonised monitoring and modelling framework for forest soils across Europe. The project is funded for 4.5 years through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme and is coordinated by Luke, Finland.