For the department of Biogeochemical Processes we are inviting applications for a
Postdoc position on dryland vegetation dynamics (m/f/d)
(full time, two years, extension possible)

Background and position description:
Drylands cover ~45% of global land area, are home to ~40% of the global population and harbor more than 20% of global biodiversity. However, drylands face significant challenges from climate change (e.g. changes in temperature and precipitation patterns) and intensified anthropogenic activities and disturbance (e.g. over-grazing) leading to land degradation and desertification.
Despite the severe consequences, our ability to accurately assess and predict dryland vegetation dynamics remains uncertain, largely due to lack of understanding of the biological and ecological mechanisms/processes driving the spatial-temporal dynamics of dryland vegetation under climate change and land use changes.
In the framework of a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary project between the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry (MPI-BGC) and Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS-RCEES and CAS-ITP), we provide a unique platform for the candidate to integrate knowledge and expertise to assess and predict seasonal to interannual changes in dryland plant carbon-water relations across scales under global environmental change, such as rising CO2, increasing aridity and temperature.

Your tasks:
• participate in joint field campaigns and collect field data and plant/soil samples based on an established network of forest flux stations in Europe;
• analysis and integration of collected data and publicly available databases (e.g., FLUXNET, ICOS, remote sensing dataset);
• co-supervise doctoral students and collaborate with other MPI and CAS institutions to facilitate synergistic developments;
• write and publish manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals

Your profile:
• successfully completed doctorate in ecology, remote sensing, geography, biogeochemistry or environmental science
• basic knowledge of terrestrial biogeochemical cycles and experience in data analysis of observations (e.g., FLUXNET, ICOS, remote sensing dataset)
• one or more of the following would be advantageous: 1) knowledge on plant
ecology/ecophysiology; 2) experience or interest in stable isotopes (e.g., 13C, 18O);
3) radiocarbon
• proven scientific publications in international peer-reviewed journals
• good English writing and communication skills

Our offer:
• work in the attractive international environment of an interdisciplinary research institute of the Max Planck Society as well as in a friendly and team-oriented working environment
• participation in a strongly interdisciplinary research project, with close collaborations with the MPI-BGC Signals Department (Prof. Sönke Zaehle, Terrestrial Biosphere Modelling), CASRCEES (Prof. Bojie Fu, ecosystem service assessment), and CAS-ITP (Prof. Shilong Piao, eddy-covariance fluxes and remote sensing), as well as other MPI and CAS institutions
• top-level research facilities and infrastructure, and excellent technical support

Part-time work is generally possible. The position will be evaluated and graded following the collective agreement according to TVöD Bund; in addition, we will provide a pension plan based on the public service (VBL).
The Max Planck Society (MPS) strives for gender equality and diversity. The MPS aims to increase the proportion of women in areas where they are underrepresented. Women are therefore explicitly encouraged to apply. We welcome applications from all fields. The Max Planck Society has set itself the goal of employing more severely disabled people. Applications from severely disabled persons are expressly encouraged.

Your application:
Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Jianbei Huang ( or Prof. Susan Trumbore, Ph. D. ( for details about the position. Are you interested?
Please send us your application with cover letter, curriculum vitae as well as names and contact information of two references summarised in a PDF file (max. 10 MB) by e-mail to:
or to the
Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
Personalbüro: Kennwort “14/2023”
Hans-Knöll-Straße 10
07745 Jena
by 5th September, 2023, quoting the reference number 14/2023. We ask that you do not use application folders, but only submit copies, as your documents will be destroyed in accordance with data protection regulations after the application process has been completed.

We look forward to receiving your application!

  • Close Date:
  • Additional Dates: —
  • Contact: Jianbei Huang email
  • Link to full posting not provided.