Hydraulic design and leaf water stable isotope models

How does leaf hydraulic design influence the development of gradients in stable isotopes of leaf water, and subsequent isotopic interactions with CO2 and O2?

Chief supervisor:
Margaret Barbour
Discipline(s): Plant physiology, Biogeochemistry
Scholarship type: PhD scholarship

$27,500 per annum, plus enrolment fees

Duration: 36 months
Campus: Hamilton
Fieldwork location(s): Tasmania

Project description

This PhD scholarship is part of the Marsden-funded research project: Global productivity over the Holocene: Leaf hydraulic design to constrain the Dole effect.

The student will make concurrent measurements of leaf rehydration kinetics and stable oxygen isotope composition of transpired vapour and bulk leaf water to directly test the hypothesis that leaf hydraulic design influences leaf water stable isotope composition in a wide range of species that span the world’s ecosystem functional types.

These measurements will allow development of an accurate model for leaf water enrichment. In a world-first, the student will also test the relevance of the Péclet effect to the oxygen isotope composition of evolved O2 in leaves by coupling a high precision O2 concentration analyser to a traditional leaf gas exchange system with a laser-based water vapour isotope analyser and off-line stable isotope analysis of O2 in air. The coupled system will allow simultaneous measurements of isotope compositions of water at the evaporating sites within leaves and evolved O2.

The ideal student for this project:

We're looking for a student with a Master's degree (or equivalent) with background knowledge in environmental plant physiology, stable isotopes, and leaf gas exchange.

Submit scholarship application