Master Student Internship in Ecohydrology
The successful candidate will join the Catchment and Eco-Hydrology (CAT) team of the “Environmental Research and Innovation” (ERIN) department. With a team of more than 170 scientists and engineers from life science, environmental science, and IT science, the ERIN department has the necessary interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to tackle major environmental challenges our society is facing today: climate change mitigation, ecosystem resilience, sustainable energy systems, efficient use of renewable resources, environmental pollution prevention and control. The CAT activities relate to all aspects of hydrology at the catchment scale.
Increasing variability on water resource availability for agricultural and forestry sectors, together with increasing demand from population growth is a current major concern, especially in the context of climate change. In this context, the complexity of water transport through the environment poses major challenges. Recent studies showed that trees transpiration seem to rely on water isotopically different from streamflow, highlighting the new concept of so-called ‘ecohydrological separation’. Furthermore, the spatio-temporal pattern of tree water uptake depth and the associated isotopic composition have not been fully understood today.
The following proposed master thesis will assess ecohydrological separation, isotopic fluxes in water uptake by vegetation, and the depth distribution of water uptake with a comprehensive experimental approach to understand the spatio-temporal characteristics of ecohydrological separation. In order to tackle these open questions, the Environmental Research and Innovation group of the Luxembourg Institute for Science and Technology (LIST) proposes the following master thesis subject:
Experimental study for benchmarking different methods for determining transpiration at the scale of a single plant: Gravimetric method, Infrared gas analyser method, heat pulse ratio sap-flow sensors and Penmann-Monteith equations will be compared and discussed for different crop/tree species.
The master student will be in charge of running the greenhouse experiments; installing the scales and loggers network, installing the sap-flow sensors, building a time series measurement of TR using gravimetric method, porometer and/or IRGA along daily natural vapour pressure deficit changes. Accurate recording of environmental data (Light, Temperature, relative humidity) at the vicinity of plants. Recurrent collection of atmospheric water vapour at to canopy level. Determination of plant characteristics (leaf area, leaf dry weight, stem anatomy, stem density, stem water content, isotopic composition of xylem and soil water).
- Master in Bio-engineering, Biology, Forestry or Hydrology
- Knowledge of financial, market-based instruments (bonds, stocks, funds, indices, etc.), mandatory
- Interest to work in an international research group
- Knowledge in ecohydrology and/or plant physiology
- English is mandatory (spoken and written)
- French, German, Luxembourgish are an asset