The PhD candidate has to derive statistical and mechanistic relationships describing the phenology of trees grasses and shrubs in savanna areas of northern Africa. This work involves the generation of a conceptual model in the computing language Matlab in which the (assumed) relationships from the literature or other models have to be implemented relating the phenology to the soil water content, and the climatic conditions. This model needs furthermore to be parameterized and validated with ground data from a number of flux sites as well as remotely sensed NDVI data. The parameterized and validated model needs to be implemented into the LPJ-GUESS model, and a number of simulation runs on Linux based computing clusters have to be performed and evaluated.
Master in Physics or Physical Geography and Ecosystem analysis with specialization on Biogeochemical cycles or climate change. Substantial knowledge required also in the fields of hydrology, ecology and soil science.