PhD position in the Biogeochemistry department


The research in Max Planck Institute for Chemistry addresses the exchange and interactions of trace gases and aerosols between biosphere and atmosphere. Within this framework topics such as trace gas exchange between the soil/vegetation system and the atmosphere are studied applying laboratory methods, field measurements and numerical models. A special focus is the investigation of the Amazon region.

Deposition of peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) to plants


We are looking for an enthusiastic, highly-skilled PhD candidate to investigate the exchange of peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) between plant species and the atmosphere. Since PAN plays an important role in the nitrogen cycle, a deeper understanding of its uptake efficiency in relation to ozone and nitrogen dioxide is required. A special focus of this research is the partitioning of the deposition processes between plant stomata and plant surfaces (influence of liquid water films). Furthermore, PAN metabolization by plants and/or its toxicity is currently not well understood. The research will involve laboratory studies using enclosure systems for direct measurements of trace gas exchange between leaves and the atmosphere in close relation to CO2 exchange (photosynthetic assimilation and respiration), plant transpiration and NO2/O3 uptake.


The PhD student is expected to develop own ideas. A statistical data evaluation and interpretation will be performed and the results will be presented at international conferences and published in scientific journals. She/he should be able to communicate scientific results orally as well as in written form in English.

Preference will be given to candidates with a Master’s degree in biology or environmental sciences or with a comparable qualification. Technical skills and knowledge in programming (e.g., IDL, MatLab) will be an asset.

The Max Planck Society wishes to increase the number of female coworkers, and applications by women are particularly encouraged. The Max Planck Society has set itself the objective of employing more persons with disabilities. Applications from persons with disabilities are explicitly encouraged. The position is available for 3 years.


Applications can be submitted any time and will be accepted until an appropriate candidate is found. Please send your application electronically to Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kesselmeier,, Phone  +49-6131-305-6101 or Dr. Ivonne Trebs,, Phone +49-6131-305-6401. Check for more details here: Max Planck Institute for Chemistry

Applications must include:

1) letter of motivation, 2) curriculum vitae, 3) two recommendation letters, to be sent directly from the referees, 4) copies of academic certificates, 5) non-native English speakers are to supply proof of English language ability.

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