Trace gas feedbacks: Herbivore-climate interactions

The consequences of changes in the Arctic System are being manifested in part by alterations in trace gas (CO2, CH4 and N2O) feedbacks as Arctic and sub-Arctic systems undergo warming and or altered precipitation (rain or snow). Responses to these abiotic changes can however, be regulated in part by herbivores (i.e. reindeer, caribou, geese). Understanding these biotic-abiotic interactions as they are manifested in the rates, patterns and species of greenhouse gas exchanges are seldom addressed; and represent one of the important unknowns in the behavior of future Arctic Systems.

This UArctic postdoctoral fellow will be quantify how understory trace gas fluxes, ecosystem processes and energy budgets are different between long-term reindeer grazing removed areas (exclosures) and adjacent grazed areas. And how these grazing effects are modified with a secondary experimental array of ambient, deep and low snow in winter. These studies will be undertaken at the Oulanka and the Kevo field stations in Finland. These systems are dominated by a coniferous forest overstory, with a understory of dwarf shrubs, mosses and lichens. The two locations span a range of climates and reindeer gazing removal (20 and 50 years respectively) histories.

This program of research is part of the EU INAR RI RESTAT (Research infrastructure for Atmospheric and Environmental Research) program. The program is addressing the consequences of long-term changes in climate and the monitoring and measuring atmospheric (i.e. energy balance) and ecosystem process (trace gas) feedbacks. Specifically, in this project, we will be addressing how energy balances and trace gas feedbacks are effected by the interactive factors of reindeer grazing & winter snow depth. The program of research will have a year-long program of study including winter trace gas measurements and over-winter soil processes.


Exceptional candidates with prior postdoctoral experience are preferred and requested to apply. Outstanding and highly qualified PhD students nearing completion will be considered as well. The degree must be completed before the employment starts.

The application deadline is December 1, 2017.

For further qualifications, requirements and instructions on how to apply, see the full announcement.

Contact: Professor Jeff Welker,