Postdoc Experimental plant ecology and nutrient stoichiometry

Updated: 20 days ago

The Faculty of Sciences and Bioengineering SciencesDepartment of Biology, is looking for a postdoctoral researcher

More concretely your work package contains: 

At the Research group ‘Functional Ecology of Plants and Ecosystems’ at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), we are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious postdoc that will work in the EU Biodiversa2021 funded project ‘Protecting plant diversity via stoichiometric nutrient networks across Europe (DiviN-P)‘.

You will work with three other postdocs in a consortium with Utrecht University (UU, The Netherlands), the Italian National Research Council (NRC, Turin, Italy) and University of Alicante (UA, Spain), as well as other universities and stakeholders.

The DiviN-P project aims to identify which European herbaceous plant communities are most vulnerable to species loss and species turnover in response to changes in nutrient supply, nutrient stoichiometry, species invasions and climate change. The project builds on an existing large scale European dataset of nutrient concentrations and plant community composition, which will be expanded to fill in geographical and ecosystem gaps. We will combine three cross-feeding research approaches: synthetic analyses of large field observation datasets and trait data, manipulative field experiments, and modelling of novel species assemblies under scenarios of environmental change.

The VUB postdoc will focus on experimental approaches in mesocosm and field experiments. She/he will experimentally test novel plant species interactions between endangered species of N and P limited habitats in Central/North Europe and potential invasive species shifting northward from South/Central Europe). These experiments will focus on pairwise and multispecies comparisons of plant traits and competitive performance of species under N or P limitation. 

The project is led by Utrecht University. The UU postdoc will extend the database by additional field work across Europe; and will use the extended database to identify nutrient- and other environmental niches for endangered and invasive plant species. The postdoc at UA will also have an experimental approach and will focus on nutrient stoichiometry-drought interactions and its impact on particularly Southern European plant species. The postdoc at NRC will model large scale diversity patterns as influenced by climate change and species invasions. UA will take the lead in engaging nature managers and delivering management and planning recommendations to conservation practitioners and environmental policy makers.

For this function, our Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus (Elsene) will serve as your home base. 

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