Teagasc PhD Walsh Fellowship Opportunity

Carbon Sequestration in Permanent Pasture and Arable soils –

Baselines and Management Options

Ref: 2013203


A large number of studies around the world show that grasslands may act as a sink of carbon (C) and that the rate of C sequestration is strongly dependent upon the management of these ecosystems. Considering that grassland comprises 4 million hectares or 90% of agricultural area, the size of Irish grassland sinks may be considerable. However, at present there are several obstacles associated with the measurement and verification of these agricultural sinks. These include quantification of grassland and arable C sinks across a range of soil types, and the assessment of strategies that enhance C sinks. This project seeks to quantify C baselines and investigate the impact of land management on arable and grassland systems. The project will determine soil C stocks in grassland and arable soils and assess the impact of soil type and management on soil C stocks. Soil C fractionation will be used to assess the allocation of SOC between labile and recalcitrant pools. The results of the project will be published in peer reviewed scientific journals.



Applicants should have a good primary degree (First or Second Class Honours) or M.Sc. in an appropriate discipline (Soil Science, Agricultural Science, Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, etc.). The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated and be prepared for extended periods of laboratory analysis. A full EU driving licence is also required.


Additional desirable characteristics would include a familiarity with soil sampling and analysis and statistical analysis. Experience of environmental modelling would also be a distinct advantage. Information literacy and oral, written and graphical communication skills are important to this role.


The Walsh Fellowship is a joint PhD research project between Teagasc, JohnstownCastle and the University of Limerick. The student will be based at the Teagasc Research Centre at Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford and will be registered at the University of Limerick, working under the supervision of Dr. Ken Byrne in association with Teagasc supervisors (Dr Rachel Creamer and Dr. Gary Lanigan). The Fellowship will start as soon as possible after the candidate is appointed.

The fellowship provides a stipend of €21,000. University fees are paid by the student from the stipend which is tenable for three years.

Application Procedure

Submit an electronic copy of Curriculum Vitae in pdf format and a letter of interest to:

Dr Ken Byrne (ken.byrne@ul.ie).

Closing date

15th February 2013.

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