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"Es geht um die Balance zwischen Freiraum und Lernen"
An interview with an apprentice trainer and her last apprentice in the Thünen-Institute in Waldsieversdorf
(in German)

(Source: Wissenschaft erleben 2013/2)

Job Offers

Job offers of the Thünen Institute

Researcher (f/m/d) geoecology, environmental sciences "VESBO-MOD"

The Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture of the Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries in Braunschweig (Germany) invites application for a 

Researcher (f/m/d)

geoecology, environmental sciences

with 65 % of the regular weekly working time, limited to three years, in the research project „Impact assessment of vascular plant encroachment on water and carbon cycling in a Sphagnum dominated bog - VESBO“. The project is supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Rewetting of previously used raised bogs is an effective, cost-efficient and widely used measure for greenhouse gas emission reduction and biodiversity conservation. The success of this measure is increasingly threatened by the encroachment of multi-layered tree and grass communities. The causes and effects of this encroachment on the water and carbon cycle are largely unknown.

The position is directed to applicants who, in addition to their employment, wish to pursue their own academic career, in particular their doctorate. In this context, the Thünen Institute for Climate-Smart Agriculture cooperates with various universities.

Project aims:

  • the mechanistic analysis of evapotranspiration and carbon exchange of a re-wetted, Atlantic-temperate raised bog under vascular plant encroachment in direct comparison to a site with near-natural vegetation
  • the partitioning of ecosystem fluxes and annual balances into moss, grass, tree and soil contributions depending on dynamic environmental conditions
  • the characterization of the contribution of the plant functional group to mass and energy fluxes of the bog ecosystem with regard to restoration and emission mitigation measures under changing climatic conditions

The position is based in a working group at Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture conducting research on national and international level in the area of organic soils. The project is being carried out in cooperation with the Department of Ecosystem Physiology of the University of Freiburg and the Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE). The place of work is Braunschweig. We offer a comprehensive job dealing with a current research topic that includes process-based soil-plant-atmosphere exchange modeling (SVAT), challenging data analysis, and field and laboratory work.

Detailed tasks:

  • Adaptation of the used SVAT model to the conditions of the test sites with special consideration of the multi-layered vegetation cover including bryophytes as well as the soil physical properties of the peat
  • Modeling water and carbon fluxes of the two study sites using eddy covariance and chamber flux data to derive ecophysiological parameters of the involved plant functional groups
  • Partitioning of the atmosphere exchange at the ecosystem level in peat, moss and vascular plant contributions as well as quantification of the annual balance with propagation of parameter uncertainties
  • Assessment of vascular plant encroachment on rewetted raised bog ecosystems with respect to emission reduction and nature conservation targets, as well as the evaluation of common conservation measures
  • Contribution to field and laboratory work
  • Writing scientific publications


  • University degree (Univ.-Diplom or M.Sc.) in the field of geoecology, hydrology, agriculture, environmental or soil science or related subjects
  • Profound knowledge in biogeochemistry, plant physiology or soil science
  • Sound knowledge of a programming language, preferably Python
  • Knowledge of peatlands or greenhouse gas emissions from soils are beneficial
  • Willingness to conduct physically demanding field work during field trips over several days
  • Team spirit, flexibility, high motivation and the ability to work independently
  • Scientific curiosity and willingness to work on a doctoral thesis
  • Excellent communication and writing skills in English, German language skills are desirable
  • Driving licence

The salary is based on the collective agreement for civil service (TVÖD). Depending on the fulfilment of personal and tariff requirements the salary accounts for 65 % of level E13 TVöD.

The Thünen Institute supports gender equality at work and encourages female candidates to apply for this position.

Equally qualified applicants with disabilities will be given preferential treatment. Only a minimum physical aptitude is expected from them.

For further inquiries please contact Dr. Arndt Piayda (, +49 531-596 2638) or Dr. Bärbel Tiemeyer (, +49 531-596 2644).

Applications with the usual documentation (CV, cover letter, certificates) including the keyword ‘VESBO-MOD’ shall be sent (preferably by email as one pdf file) until 28.07.2019 to

Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut

Institut für Agrarklimaschutz

Bundesallee 65

38116 Braunschweig

Information on Artikel 13 DSGVO:

pdf document:

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