PHD on Measurements of nitrous oxide fluxes at the farm and field scale, CEH Edinburgh, UK

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an important greenhouse gas and agricultural soils are the largest source. Flux measurements are usually made using small chambers and then scaled up to the field, farm and even national scale using very simple mathematical equations. This process is highly uncertain and needs to be verified by more sophisticated measurements. The objectives of this PhD project are to verify the upscaling from small plots to the field and farm scale.  You will do this by comparing small chamber measurements with field scale eddy covariance measurements using a quantum cascade and tunable diode laser spectrophotometer over a grazed grassland very close to our institute. In addition N2O emissions across a farm will be monitored over two years using the novel fast chamber approach and farm data (management, soil, climate, livestock) will be collated for each field and building. Total farm emissions will be generated by measurement and simple modelling.

This work is part of a DEFRA funded project to improve our agricultural nitrous oxide emission inventory

This studentship is open to UK and EU applicants. Knowledge and interest in environmental physics would be helpful. You will be based at CEH Edinburgh and supervised by Dr U Skiba (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology), Dr R Rees (Scottish Agricultural College) and Prof J Moncrieff (University of Edinburgh).

If you are interested please send an expression of interest and CV to by 14th February 2011