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PhD position in Biogeochemistry of Agricultural Microtopographies

Applicants are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Agroecology programme. The position is available from 15 October 2024 or later. You can submit your application via the link under 'how to apply'.

PhD position in Biogeochemistry of Agricultural Microtopographies

Research area and project description:
Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University, Denmark, is offering a PhD position in Biogeochemistry of Agricultural Microtopographies, starting 15 October 2024 or earliest possible thereafter. The position is available for a 3-year period.

Food security, climate change and loss of biodiversity represent three of today’s major environmental sustainability challenges. Finding solutions to these challenges requires studies that extend across multiple spatial and temporal scales. The Pioneer Center Land-CRAFT was established in June 2022 to undertake fundamental and applied research that addresses these issues. The center brings together experts on climate impact research and process-based modelling of biogeochemistry, agronomy, biology and geography from Aarhus University and University of Copenhagen, as well as international partners. Field experiments, digital technologies -- including modelling and remote sensing, as well as interactions with stakeholders are key components of Land-CRAFT.

The successful candidate will work on a project exploring the role of spatial heterogeneity and microtopographic features in site-level and regional scale greenhouse gas budgets. Microtopographic features can often be biogeochemical hotspots for emissions of greenhouse gases CH4 and N2O due to dynamic soil moisture conditions. This project will identify microtopographic features in agricultural landscapes using advanced mapping techniques to quantify their extent throughout the year and characterize soil biogeochemical cycling in and outside of the micro-features. You will use develop and parameterize a process-based model for microtopographic features and evaluate the results against observations from on-going measurements at intensively studied Danish agricultural sites.  These can be supplemented with additional observations targeting biogeochemical cycling in micro-topographic features.

The goal of this project is to determine whether small-scale microtopographic features need to be represented in larger-scale greenhouse gas budgets as biogeochemical hotspots. By combining the quantification of areas affected and the strength of the hotspots (or not), this project can explore effects of management and extreme weather events on these features and demonstrate the relevance for regional greenhouse gas budgets.

Project description: For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. Please simply copy the project description above and upload it as a PDF in the application.

Qualifications and specific competences:
We are searching for a highly motivated candidate who has:

  • A MSc relevant to modelling in Agricultural Science, Ecology, Biology, Environmental Science, or related fields
  • Experience and skills in programming languages (e.g. Python/R) and analytical skills in model evaluation (strongly preferred), as well as experience with remote-sensing data handling (advantage)
  • An interest in model-data comparisons
  • Basic knowledge in biogeochemistry
  • An ability and interest to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries
  • An ability to communicate effectively in English
  • Good scientific and technical writing skills
  • Collaborative and interpersonal skills and will contribute positively to the social working environment.

Place of employment and place of work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is Ole Worms Alle 3, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.

Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

How to apply:
Please follow this link to submit your application.

Application deadline is Thursday 01 August 2024 at 23:59 CEST.

Preferred starting date is 15 October 2024.

For information about application requirements and mandatory attachments, please see our application guide.

Please note:

  • Only documents received prior to the application deadline will be evaluated. Thus, documents sent after deadline will not be taken into account.
  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
  • Shortlisting will be used, which means that the evaluation committee only will evaluate the most relevant applications.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants. All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Salary and terms of employment are in accordance with applicable collective agreement.   

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