Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

UJA Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions - Individual Fellowships Hosting Offer 2020 (ENVIRONMENT AND GEOSCIENCES)

This hosting has expired

    16/06/2020 00:00 - Europe/Athens
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
    Spain, Jaén
    Universidad de Jaén
    Centre for advanced studies in Earth Sciences, Energy and Environment

Description of Hosting Institution (UJA – Spain)

Jaén University (UJA) was created in 1993 and is in the Top 50 of the world’s best young universities according to THE (Times Higher Education). This ranking analyzes aspects such as teaching, research work, the university’s international outreach, or integration into industry. Besides, the UJA has received the distinction of Campus of International Excellence in the fields of Agrifood (CEIA3) and Climate Change (CamBio), plus it also leads the Andalusian CEI project on historical heritage PatrimoniUN10.

Jaén University has five faculties (Social and Legal Sciences; Humanities and Education Sciences; Health Sciences; Experimental Sciences and Social Work) and two higher polytechnic schools for engineering (Linares and Jaén). In turn, these centers are organized into 35 departments. It also has three Postgraduate educational centers (Doctorate School, Advanced Study Center in Modern Languages and Postgraduate Study Center).

In regards to its research, there are several specialized centers at Jaén University (https://www.ujaen.es/servicios/ofipi/uja-ri-expertise). Besides, the full picture of the over 100 UJA groups covers the following research fields of expertise: Agrifood (AGR); Biology (BIO); Health (CTS); Social Sciences, Business, Law (SEJ); Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics (FQM); Humanities (HUM); Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (RNM); Information and Communications Technology (TIC); and Engineering Production Technology (TEP).

As far the UJA hosting offer is concerned, Prof. JOSÉ ANTONIO CARREIRA DE LA FUENTE (jafuente@ujaen.es) would be willing to host post-doctoral researchers that are eventually funded through the MSCA-IF 2020 call for applications to be part of the following research team: https://www.ujaen.es/servicios/ofipi/uja-ri-expertise/rnm-296-forest-ecology-and-landscape-dynamic


Project description

The Interdisciplinary Soil Lab of University of Jaén-LISUJA is part of the UJA Centre for advanced studies in Earth Sciences, Energy and Environment. Over fifty scientists work qt this Center conducting research on the functioning and status of the Earth System from different and integrated points of view: ecology, climatology, geophysics, sedimentology, remote sensing and cartography, soil science and biodiversity. The LISUJA lab is a space for interaction between researchers dealing with ecological and environmental issues in which soil processes and plant-soil relationships play an essential functional role. The LISUJA allows for integrated studies of the soil ecosystem, by putting together capabilities and know-how for the analysis of forest and agricultural soils in terms of (i) fluxes and transformations of nutrients and pollutants (biogeochemistry, ecophysiology), (ii) biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides (nematode, bacteria and fungi –including mycorhizae- communities-), and (iii) morphological and mineralogical features (soil science).

The LISUJA is led by José A. Carreira, who is also head of the Forest & Soil Ecology group. This research group, which is integrated in the LISUJA, investigates on the responses of forest ecosystems to global change drivers (climate change, LULUC, atmospheric pollution-N deposition, fire disturbance). Particularly, we focus on how the adaptive capacity of forests to these stressors is modulated by underlying mechanisms such as plant-soil relationships (e.g., soil degradation, microbial symbiosis) and plant-plant interactions (e.g., competition). Among our research lines, the following ones can be identified:

  • Nutrient cycles (C, N, P, water) and ecophysiology of the response of forest ecosystems to global change and disturbances
  • Soil ecology - microbiological and enzymatic activities as bioindicators of soil conditions, biomolecular techniques applied to the study of soil microbial communities (bacteria, mycorrhizae)
  • Forest ecology and dendroecology - forest dynamic, growth-climate relations and resistance to drought


As far as this Hosting Offer in concerned, the description of the suggested project for prospective candidates would be the following one: Forest ecosystem vulnerability to climate change depends on the interplay of three components: exposition to stressors (intensity, variability and rate of change), sensitivity (intrinsic system susceptibility to the stressor) and adaptive capacity (mechanisms of system adjustment to avoid, minimize or remediate the impact). The first two components have been more intensively studied (e.g., modeling of climatic-niche and projection of tree species distributional shifts). However, in the face of global change, the need to sustain ecosystem services (biodiversity, wood production, C sequestration, etc.) just calls for a better understanding of Factors Modulating the Adaptive Capacity of forests to Climate Change (FMACCC). The project uses mountain relic conifer forests (Pinus, Abies, Cedrus species, among others), at ecotonal locations along altitudinal and latitudinal gradients, and at lithological contacts, as experimental models. Sensitivity analyses suggest these forests are among the most vulnerable to current climate change. However, they did withstand past climate changes, thus their mere existence evidences the importance of these other factors and their modulating potential on the outcome of vulnerability. We apply an interdisciplinary approach (landscape-stand ecology, plant and soil ecology, ecophysiology and forest genetics) to analyze potential FMACCCs resulting from plant-plant and plant-soil interactions. We try to disentangle how land-use patterns and lithological variability at the landscape level modulate the forest adaptive capacity, through their influence on the forest canopy structure and the soil status, which in turns affects competition relationships at the stand level, the ecophysiological status of trees and their capacity for metabolic and transcriptomic responses against drought stress.


Application procedure

CV, Motivation letter and Summary of project proposal (250 words) should be sent by the offer deadline to ofipi@ujaen.es. Further information regarding the application requirements can be found at https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/opportunities/topic-details/msca-if-2020 & https://ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions/actions/individual-fellowships_en. Please, take into account that interested candidates should comply with the MSCA-IF programme mobility rule before applying: https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/wp/2018-2020/main/h2020-wp1820-msca_en.pdf.



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