The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) with its 1,100 employees has gained an excellent reputation as an international competence centre for environmental sciences. We are part of the largest scientific organisation in Germany, the Helmholtz association. Our mission: Our research seeks to find a balance between social development and the long-term protection of our natural resources.
The Department ofAquatic Ecosystem Analysis is offering positions for Master
thesis to commence at the earliest convenience.
Master thesis: Can the addition of available carbon strengthen the uptake of nitrogen and phosphorus in streams?Agriculture and urban sources export nitrogen and phosphorus with negative effects on rivers, lakes and estuaries, especially due to the increased number and intensity of algal and cyanobacteria blooms. These negative effects may be reduced by bacterial retention of nitrogen and phosphorus in streams. However, carbon availability may limit this removal, since microorganisms only take up nitrogen and phosphorus efficiently when sufficient carbon is available. Since human sources mostly export nitrogen and phosphorus but not carbon, it is likely that not enough carbon is available, and that streams may leak nitrogen and phosphorus to downstream ecosystems. Within this master thesis, we will investigate this hypothesis using small flow chambers and add reactive carbon to stream water and sediment to assess, whether we can influence the uptake of nitrogen and phosphorus. The master thesis will take place at the UFZ in Magdeburg and can be written either in German or in English.
Collaborators: Helge Norf (UFZ) & Marc Stutter (James Hutton Institute, Scotland)
- Sampling of water from streams
- Indoor experiments on the uptake of nitrogen and phosphorus
- Analysis and interpretation of the experimental outcomes based on the scientific literature
- You are studying Environmental Sciences/ Chemistry, Geoecology, Ecology, Chemistry, or similar
- You are interested in the human impacts on carbon and nutrients in aquatic ecosystems
- You are reliable and a team player
- You are proficient in English
- Strong supervision and help in all phases of the master thesis
- Clearly defined experiments and goals to ensure a successful thesis
- Excellent technical equipment and a friendly open atmosphere
- Participation in a study at the forefront of stream ecology, biogeochemistry and ecological stoichiometry