The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national centre for geosphere research. As a member of the Helmholtz Association we are part of the largest German scientific organization. With around 1,300 employees (including our guests) we develop a sound understanding of the systems and processes of the solid Earth as well as strategies and options for action to face global change and its regional impacts, to understand natural hazards and reduce associated risks, and to assess the influence of humans on the Earth's system. The German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) hosts a vibrant, international research community with broad interests in earth surface and solid-earth sciences, with strong connections to partner institutions focused on climate, ecological, marine, and polar research.
As a partner in Geo.X, the GFZ has access to an excellent network of other geoscience institutions in Potsdam and Berlin. This largest regional concentration of geoscientific competence in Europe offers first-class cooperation and development opportunities.
There is now strong evidence for links between tectonic uplift, landscape evolution and evolution of life at the Earth’s surface. Examples include the distribution of micro-endemism in the lemur population in Madagascar (Horvarth et al, 2008), or the evolution of biodiversity in the Amazon Basin in relation to the Andean uplift (Hoorn et al, 2010). Although much advance has been made in modelling landscape evolution and speciation in response to external forcings (mostly climate), few models exist that can predict the evolution of life on an evolving landscape. In the past four years, large datasets have been gathered on tectonic uplift of the Andes, the resulting landscape evolution and climatic response and the evolution of the biota in the Atacama Desert. Yet, few attempts have been made to quantify the links between these different parts of the Earth system and their co-evolution over the past 20 Myrs. We propose to synthesize these results by further developing and using a new speciation model that we have coupled to a landscape evolution model.
This project is part of a Collaborative Research Center (CRC 1211) titled "Earth Evolution at the Dry Limit" between several German universities, including the University of Cologne (CRC lead institution), the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences Potsdam (host institution for this project) and the University of Bonn (co-supervisor institution for this project). The CRC objectives are to study the mutual evolutionary relationships between Earth‐surface processes and biota in arid to hyper‐arid conditions, where both biota and Earth-surface processes are severely limited, predominantly by the availability of water. The focus is on the Atacama Desert of South America and the Namib Desert of Southern Africa.
The postdoctoral position will be hosted at the GFZ in Potsdam in the Earth Surface Process Modelling (ESPM) group of Jean Braun, where numerical models are developed and used to investigate a wide range of physical, chemical and biological processes and interactions occurring at the Earth’s surface that are driven by tectonic processes and modulated by climate (https://github.com/fastscape-lem). The ESPM section hosts approximately 15 researchers (PhD students, Postdocs and senior scientists) from diverse backgrounds and with varied research interests. The postdoc is also expected to collaborate with and visit (perhaps 2-3 times per year for several days) Dietmar Quandt’s group in the Nees Institute for Biodiversity of Plants at the University of Bonn, where a large fraction of the phylogenetic data has been generated.
|Starting date:||1st January 2021|
|Fixed term:||4 years|
|Working hours:||full-time (currently 39 h/week); The position is, in principle, suitable for part-time employment.|
|Salary:||This position has been assessed as being salary group 13 according to "TVöD Bund (Tarifgebiet Ost)". The salary group will be determined by the conditions of the collective wage agreement and the appropriate personal qualifications.|