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Leib­niz-Zen­trum für Agrar­land­schafts­for­schung e.V. - HR

The mis­sion of the Leib­niz Centre for Agri­cul­tural Land­scape Rese­arch (ZALF) as a nation­ally and inter­na­tion­ally act­ive rese­arch insti­tute is to deli­ver solu­tions for an eco­lo­gic­ally, eco­nom­ic­ally and soci­ally sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture – tog­e­ther with soci­ety. ZALF is a mem­ber of the Leib­niz Asso­ci­ation and is loc­ated in Mün­che­berg (approx. 35 minu­tes by regio­nal train from Ber­lin-Lich­ten­berg). It also main­tains a rese­arch sta­tion with fur­ther loc­a­tions in Dede­low and Pau­lin­enaue.

PhD stu­dent (f/m/d)

TV-L E13, 65 % pos­i­tion for 3 years at our loc­a­tion in Mün­che­berg

Work­ing field:

Together with the Sus­tain­able Agroe­cosytems group at ETH Zurich, CIRAD and the Crop Sci­ence group at the Uni­versity of Bonn, ZALF’s Crop­ping Sys­tem Ana­lysis group is offer­ing a PhD pos­i­tion within the pro­ject “Optimal N for future agri­cul­tural land­scapes: digital tech­no­lo­gies to optim­ize tradeoffs”. The pro­ject aims at devel­op­ing know­ledge and mod­els to sup­port the site-spe­cific design of crop rota­tions and nitro­gen man­age­ment for optimal deliv­ery of eco­sys­tem ser­vices related to nitro­gen. The pro­ject is com­posed of three sub-pro­jects, with respect­ive focuses on pro­cess under­stand­ing; upscal­ing; and pro­cess-based model devel­op­ment and applic­a­tion. We are look­ing for a PhD can­did­ate to work on this last sub-pro­ject which aims to derive spa­tially alloc­ated crop rota­tions and nitro­gen man­age­ment schemes con­sid­er­ing regional soil het­ero­gen­eity to min­im­ize the prob­ab­il­it­ies of trade-offs between crop yields and nitro­gen losses given uncer­tain weather con­di­tions. To do so, a state of the art soil organic mat­ter model will be improved in the pro­ject to include nitro­gen trans­form­a­tions, and will be integ­rated with a crop­ping sys­tem model and applied in the tradeoff ana­lysis.
We are offer­ing a TVL-13, 65% pos­i­tion for 3 years at our loc­a­tion in Müncheberg as

PhD stu­dent (f/m/d)

Your tasks:
  • improve a state-of-the-art soil organic mat­ter model to include nitro­gen trans­form­a­tions;
  • integ­rate the soil organic mat­ter model in an exist­ing crop­ping sys­tem model;
  • col­lect data from field exper­i­ment meas­ure­ments for model devel­op­ment and cal­ib­ra­tion, together with the other PhD can­did­ates in the pro­ject;
  • cal­ib­rate the integ­rated model for crops and rota­tions eval­u­ated in the stud­ied field exper­i­ments;
  • develop a weather risk-based scen­ario frame­work to design optimal crop rota­tions and within-sea­son nitro­gen applic­a­tion strategies;
  • col­lab­or­ate with the other PhD stu­dents and senior research­ers in the pro­ject; and
  • pub­lish your research res­ults in peer-reviewed sci­entific journ­als.

Require­ments:

Your qual­i­fic­a­tions:
  • a MSc in soil sci­ence, agri­cul­ture, agri­cul­tural engin­eer­ing, eco­logy, math­em­at­ics, phys­ics or sim­ilar;
  • a solid under­stand­ing of soil organic mat­ter trans­form­a­tions in the con­text of crop­ping sys­tems;
  • excel­lent ana­lyt­ical and quant­it­at­ive skills;
  • strong motiv­a­tion to develop your model devel­op­ment skills;
  • some pre­vi­ous exper­i­ence in com­puter pro­gram­ming or script­ing (e.g. Mat­lab, R, Python, For­tran, C++ or sim­ilar);
  • a good over­view of the chal­lenges facing sus­tain­able agroe­cosys­tems;
  • excel­lent com­mu­nic­a­tion skills in Eng­lish
  • good team­work skills and will­ing­ness to col­lab­or­ate across dis­cip­lines.

What we of­fer:

We offer:
  • the oppor­tun­ity to work with lead­ing inter­na­tional sci­ent­ists and net­works in crop­ping sys­tem ana­lysis and soil biogeo­chem­ical pro­cesses
  • an inter­dis­cip­lin­ary, col­legial and open-minded work­ing atmo­sphere in a dynamic research insti­tu­tion
  • research stays in the Sus­tain­able Agroe­cosytems group at ETH Zurich
  • mem­ber­ship in ZALF’s gradu­ate pro­gram (incl. vari­ous research and com­mu­nic­a­tion train­ing courses)
  • strong insti­tu­tional com­mit­ment to a good work-life bal­ance
  • clas­si­fic­a­tion accord­ing to the col­lect­ive agree­ment of the fed­eral states (TV-L) EG13 with a 65% weekly work­ing time (includ­ing spe­cial annual pay­ment)

How to ap­ply:

Women are par­tic­u­larly encour­aged to apply. App­lic­a­tions from severely dis­abled per­sons with equal qual­i­fic­a­tions are favo­red. Please send your app­lic­a­tion pre­fer­ably by e-mail (one PDF file, max. 5 MB; packed PDF doc­u­ments, archive files like zip, rar etc. Word doc­u­ments can­not be pro­ces­sed and there­fore can­not be con­side­red!) with the usual doc­u­ments, in par­tic­u­lar CV, proof of qual­i­fic­a­tion and cer­ti­fic­ates, stat­ing the ref­er­ence num­ber 25-2021 until March 25, 2021 to: Bewerbungen@zalf.de.

If you have any ques­tions, please do not hes­it­ate to con­tact Dr. Heidi Web­ber, webber@zalf.de or Prof. Johan Six, johan.six@usys.ethz.ch.

For cost reas­ons, app­lic­a­tion doc­u­ments or extens­ive pub­lic­a­tions can only be retur­ned if an ade­qua­tely stam­ped envel­ope is atta­ched.

If you apply, we col­lect and pro­cess your per­sonal data in accord­ance with Art­icles 5 and 6 of the EU GDPR only for the pro­ces­sing of your app­lic­a­tion and for pur­poses that res­ult from pos­sible future employ­ment with the ZALF. Your data will be dele­ted after six mon­ths.

You can find fur­ther inform­a­tion at: www.zalf.de/en/ueber_uns/Pages/Datenschutzerklaerung.aspx