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Post Doctoral Research Fellow Level 1 (PD1) - Carbon Dynamics of Hedgerows and Non-Forest Woodlands - FARM CARBON Project

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Background to the Role:

The Farm-Carbon project, led by Teagasc. will develop a growth model taking direct measurements of hedge biomass, along with assessing the impact of management on hedgerow biomass accumulation. Since agri-environment schemes include incentives for hedgerow management, these landscape features qualify as an anthropogenic land-use management activity under international Kyoto accounting rules. The potential to utilise outcomes to inform national inventory reporting will be assessed. Finally, management recommendations that maintain or enhance carbon sequestration and storage potential and other ecosystem services will underpin a rapid assessment scorecard for stakeholders. 

The applicant will be part of the Farm-Carbon project team and will be based with the Environment, Soils and Land Use Department in the Teagasc Johnstown Castle Research Centre in Wexford, Ireland.

The Teagasc post-doctoral programme provides training and development opportunities for early career scientists that enhances their experience of learning and equips them with the necessary skills for the next stage of their chosen career in research. 

 This is a research focused training role, the primary purpose of which is to provide early career scientists with the opportunity to develop their research skills and competencies.

The PD Fellow will, while working in conjunction with senior research staff, gain insight and experience into a variety of areas including the processes of project and budgetary management, publishing in peer-reviewed academic journals, writing grant applications, and attracting external funding; the development of active collaboration with relevant national and international research communities; the development of communication and presentation skills, leadership and management skills, and overall career development.

Modules will be conducted under the supervision and direction of the Project Leader or other designated manager in conjunction with the Head of Department.

Basic Function of the Role:

  • Improve understanding of the carbon dynamics of hedgerows within agricultural landscapes.
  • Establish and manage field-trial sites and related analysis to quantify soil carbon and biomass accumulation associated with hedgerows including the impact of management on biomass accumulation.
  • Develop a hedgerow carbon accumulation model to quantify carbon removals and a modified soil model to account for soil organic carbon under hedgerows systems.
  • Develop a scorecard for hedgerows and non-forest woodland patches assessment.
  • Prepare manuscripts for publication and contribute to wider dissemination.

Hedgerows and small woodlands are an integral aspect of Irish landscapes providing multiple ecosystem services, such as for biodiversity, water quality and carbon storage. Research indicates that hedgerows, tress and scrub account for as much as 6.9% of the land area. By now there is considerable understanding of the extent of hedgerows and increasing knowledge on quality metrics related to certain characteristics, such as biodiversity. There is a need however to increase understanding of the carbon sequestration and storage potential of these landscape elements.


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