This PhD project addresses the interactive effects of climate change and plant species invasion on plant and microbial trait diversity and ecosystem processes along elevational gradients in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand, with a particular emphasis on mycorrhizas and plant root traits. The study engages with the Warming and Removals in Mountains (WaRM) network ( http://classenlab.com/our-research/warm/) a global collaboration of research sites with common experimental methods to assess the effect of warming and species interactions on alpine ecosystems. The PhD student will have opportunities to engage with this international network. The PhD student will conduct annual field campaigns of approximately 6 weeks during the peak flowering period to monitor plant community composition, soil microbial properties and net ecosystem carbon exchange, for 3 years.
Applicants must have excellent academic records to be competitive for a Victoria University of Wellington PhD scholarship (minimum GPA 8 on a 9 point scale), and meet all other entrance requirements to the PhD programme at VUW (https://www.victoria.ac.nz/study/apply-enrol/admissions). Applications for this position are open to individuals of any nationality or gender. It is the successful applicant’s responsibility to secure a student visa to New Zealand. Good health and physical fitness are requirements of the field work component of the project. A strong background in Plant Ecology and some experience with molecular technologies are viewed favourably as are practical skills related to remote field work.
To apply: Email a brief cover letter (1 page max) outlining your PhD research interests, a short CV and copies of your academic transcripts to julie.deslippe (at) vuw.ac.nz
The successful applicant will be funded through a competitive Victoria University of Wellington PhD scholarship. Applicants must have excellent academic records to be competitive, minimum GPA of 8 on a 9 point scale.