Two fully funded PhD vacancies studying tropical peatlands

Based at the Carbon and Wetlands Group - as part of the prestigious STARS PhD program at Charles University in Prague.

Tropical peatlands are among the most carbon dense ecosystems globally (Honorio-Coronado et al., 2021) but their distribution and below-ground carbon stocks remain highly uncertain, with recent estimates of the latter ranging from 70 to 288 Pg C (7 to 29 times annual fossil fuel emissions) (Ribeiro et al., 2021). South America is the greatest remaining knowledge gap in our understanding of tropical peatland distribution. We also lack an understanding of the long-term drivers of tropical peat (and carbon) accumulation and models capable of representing the unique characteristics and dynamics of tropical peatlands, limiting our ability to predict their vulnerability to climate and land-use change.

PhD1 will be focused on the collection and analysis of new peat cores using paleoenvironmental proxies, to understand the long-term drivers of tropical peat and carbon accumulation in South America, and in turn the impact of climate and land-use change. Their work will also inform parallel development of a dynamic tropical peat model (below). The successful applicant will have an MSc level degree in one of the following fields (or equivalent/ similar field): Ecology, Environmental Science, Soil Science, Botany, Earth Science, Palynology. More details here.

PhD2 will develop models to predict the spatial and temporal variation in tropical peat (and carbon) in South America, and to understand the vulnerability of these ecosystems (and huge carbon stores) to climate and land-use change, building on the work of Hastie et al. (2019, 2022). More details here. The successful candidate will have an MSc level degree in one of the following fields (or equivalent/ similar field): Data Science, Physical Ecology/ Geography, Earth Science, Physics, Remote sensing. They will also have experience in at least one common scientific coding language (e.g. MATLAB, R, Fortran, Python).

It is expected that both PhDs will contribute to field work in Guyana (and possibly Suriname). Applicants from everywhere welcome. Salary up to 28,000 CZK per month depending on performance/ activities. Application deadline - 13th March 2023. The successful candidates will be expected to start in October 2023.

Please apply here:

Please address any queries/ questions to Dr Adam Hastie -


Honorio-Coronado, E. N., Hastie, A., et al. Intensive field sampling increases the known extent of carbon-rich Amazonian peatland pole forests. Environ. Res. Lett. 16, 74048. (2021).

Ribeiro, K., Pacheco, FS., Ferreira, JW., de Sousa-Neto, ER., Hastie, A., Krieger, GC., Alvalá, PC., Cristina Forti, M., Ometto, JPHB. Tropical peatlands and their contribution to the global carbon cycle and climate change. Glob Change Biol; 27: 489- 505., (2021).

Hastie, A., Honorio Coronado, E.N., Reyna, J. et al. Risks to carbon storage from land-use change revealed by peat thickness maps of Peru. Nat. Geosci. 15, 369-374. (2022).

Hastie, A., Lauerwald, R., Ciais, P., Regnier, P. Aquatic carbon fluxes dampen the overall variation of net ecosystem productivity in the Amazon basin: An analysis of the interannual variability in the boundless carbon cycle. Glob Change Biol. 25: 2094- 2111, (2019)

posted: 14 February 2023     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.