30 September 2008
Ph.D. position: Development of dynamic yield models for conifers, broadleaves and mixtures
By iwadmin @ 12:17 :: 2865 Views

Development of dynamic yield models for conifers, broadleaves and mixtures


The University College Dublin, the forest management research company Purser Tarleton Russell Ltd. and the semi state forestry company Coillte Ltd., have together, started a research project called: STANDMODEL – The Development of Dynamic yield models for conifers, broadleaves and mixtures. The project is funded by COFORD, the National Council for Forest Research and Development in Ireland.


The project is directed by the Project Coordinator and is a collaborative effort by University College Dublin, PTR Ltd. and Coillte Teoranta..


The Project Coordinator is looking for a PhD Student for this project for 3 years.


Background to the project

Until recently, forest growth and yield modelling in Ireland was carried out using British Forestry Commission Yield Models for Forest Management.  However since 1999, Coillte has led a project to develop Irish Dynamic Yield Models. To date this project called DynamicYield, which is part-funded by COFORD, has delivered and launched a validated and working dynamic Yield Model for Sitka spruce, lodgepole pine, Norway spruce, Douglas fir and Scots pine. The approach taken in stand level dynamic yield modelling in Ireland to date has been to follow the state space modelling methodology, consisting of a multivariate extension of the Bertalanffy-Richards model developed by García. The species of particular interest for the STANDMODEL project are ash and Japanese larch, while models will also be required for other broadleaf species such as oak, sycamore, alder and birch.


Project Objectives

The STANDMODEL project sets out to achieve the following objectives:

1.       Produce new dynamic yield models for Japanese larch (thinned and unthinned) and ash (thinned) and integrate these into the existing Irish Dynamic Yield Model User Interface.

2.       Investigate the potential for generating growth forecasts for species mixtures using existing model combinations.

3.       Investigate potential for utilising National Forest Inventory plot data in validating and strengthening existing dynamic yield models and in generating new ones.

4.       Develop additional functionality for the Irish Dynamic Yield Model User Interface in the form of

a.       User defined assortments

b.       Optimisation / Goal Seeking Capability

c.       Facility for mixtures (based on the outcome of 2 above)


The project duration is 6 years and it is carried out in collaboration between UCD, PTR Ltd. and Coillte Teoranta, with external assistance from Dr. Lance Broad. A Post-Doc will be assigned to the project in years 5 and 6. Essential statistical support will be provided by the PLANSFM Programme Post-Doc.


Requirements for this position are:

·        An Honours Degree in Forestry with a postgraduate qualification in Statistics/Modelling, or a Degree and postgraduate qualifications in Statistics/ Modelling with an interest in Forestry and applied science.

·        An understanding of and interest in yield modelling and statistics in forestry.

·        Capable of combining field work with office-based activities.

·        An interest in the development of yield models and computer software.

·        Good communication and writing skills in English.

·        A full, clean driver’s licence is desirable.


The starting date of the PhD research position is not later than January 1, 2009. The PhD scholarship will have a value of circa €22,000 per year for three years, out of which tuition fees have to be paid, leaving a tax-free scholarship value of circa €17,000 per year.


If you are interested in this PhD position, you can apply by sending a CV (including the names and addresses of two people willing to provide references) and a letter, indicating where you found out about the vacancy and explaining why you feel qualified for the PhD position and scholarship to the Project Coordinator, Professor Maarten Nieuwenhuis (maarten.nieuwenhuis@ucd.ie), Agriculture and Food Science Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4. For inquiries contact Professor Nieuwenhuis at +353(0)1 7167004 or maarten.nieuwenhuis@ucd.ie.




The closing date for applications is October 3, 2008.