Plants & GHGs

The NZAGRC’s former nitrous oxide and soil carbon work streams were combined into one programme this year. This ensures a strong overall framework, closer communication and full GHG analyses across the programme. The programme focusses on three key areas:

1. Identifying and prioritising plant traits for low GHG emissions;

2. Mitigation practices to maintain soil carbon and reduce nitrous oxide emissions at paddock scale; and

3. Defining the achievable soil carbon stabilisation capacity of New Zealand grassland soils.

Current progress and research stories

PhD opportunity: University of Waikato

NOT LONGER AVAILABLE PhD in Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Grazed Pastures
University of Waikato, New Zealand

We have an opening for a PhD candidate to make measurements of nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide fluxes from grazed pastures using eddy covariance and chamber techniques. Our team is currently measuring fluxes of carbon dioxide at four eddy covariance tower sites over grazed pastures. We have recently installed a quantum cascade laser system to measure nitrous oxide fluxes. The successful candidate will initially test whether chamber measurements of nitrous oxide match those of the eddy covariance tower. Our ultimate aim is to identify farm management strategies that decrease nitrous oxide emissions while increasing soil carbon and maintaining pasture production.

Ideally, you will have experience or strong understanding of measurement of greenhouse gases, such as nitrous oxide, and the ability and motivation to learn eddy covariance techniques. A background in Matlab or similar scripting computer language is desired.

This PhD is co-funded for three years by the University of Waikato and the NZ Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC). Expressions of Interest must be submitted via the online form by 1 December 2016 at If no applicant is appointed the scholarship will remain open until a suitable applicant is found.

You will be part of a motivated team of researchers and students at the University of Waikato with considerable experience in flux measurements. The PhD candidate will be supervised by Drs Louis Schipper, Dave Campbell and Liyin Liang. Our research team can be viewed:

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