ETH Zürich

Postdoc in Biogeochemical Modelling

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ETH Zürich is well known for its excellent education, ground-breaking fundamental research and for implementing its results directly into practice.

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Postdoc in Biogeochemical Modelling

We are seeking a postdoc in biogeochemical modelling to work on the SNF-funded N2O-SSA project:

Combining measurements, modelling and machine learning to improve N2O accounting for sustainable agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa

The postdoc would be based at ETHZ’s Swiss Data Science Centre, however the primary workplace will the University of Bern.

The postdoc also will collaborate closely with other groups, in particular the Sustainable Agroecosystems Group at ETHZ and as well as the University of Eldoret, Kenya.

The position is available for 1.5 years starting in early 2025.

Project background

N2O is a strong greenhouse gas emitted during microbial N cycling in soils, particularly N-fertilised agricultural soils. Fertiliser use in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is currently relatively low, however increased fertilisation to drive higher agricultural productivity is predicted in the coming decades. There is great potential for implementation of climate smart agricultural techniques in this region to ensure food security while minimising environmental impacts and greenhouse gas emissions. However, financial investment in sustainable agriculture in SSA is very low, in part due to the scarcity of data, in particular regarding N2O fluxes and emission factors.

This project aims to implement a novel measurement technique to monitor N2O fluxes and isotopic composition at an experimental agricultural site in Eldoret, Kenya, and thus infer N2O production and consumption pathways for the first time in SSA.

Further information about the project can be found on the project website.

Based on these measurements, within the scope of this postdoc we will develop an optimised modelling framework using a combination of machine learning and data-driven approaches as well as existing biogeochemical models. This will allow improved predictions of future N2O emissions under changing management and climate conditions in SSA, to contribute to closing the data gap and fostering sustainable agricultural development in this region.

This interdisciplinary postdoc brings together mathematical modelling and programming with cutting-edge environmental science research, thus offering a unique development platform for the postdoctoral researcher.

Job description

  • You will be responsible for advanced data analysis, model development, and implementation within the N2O-SSA project,
  • You will investigate different biogeochemical modelling approaches, and suggest and implement the approaches most suited to this data and application,
  • You will work together with N2O-SSA project partners in Switzerland and Kenya to achieve project goals, exchange knowledge and ideas, and synthesise and disseminate results,
  • You will participate in meetings, seminars and other activities at ETHZ and the University of Bern, and outreach and collaboration with other groups and institutes such as the Oeschger Centre for for Climate Change Research (OCCR) will be strongly encouraged,
  • You will have the opportunity to contribute to teaching activities and MSc supervision at the University of Bern and ETHZ if desired

Profile

You must have a PhD in either biogeochemistry with experience in biogeochemical modelling as well as advanced data analysis using python, R or similar. Ideally you have conducted interdisciplinary work employing data science approaches in environmental sciences, or you have a strong interest in developing this profile.

Regardless of your scientific background, you must be motivated to work in a challenging, cutting-edge research field, to work independently and develop your own ideas, and to collaborate with others from a range of backgrounds. Fluency in English (written and spoken) and strong communication skills, in particular experience in presentation and publication of research results at conferences and in peer-reviewed journals, is required.

With the social and leadership competencies, ETH Zurich has developed a common understanding for a shared work culture. Kindly try to incorporate these six competencies into your recruitment.

We offer

  • A stimulating, collaborative, cross-disciplinary environment in a world-class research institution;
  • Flexible work arrangements, including remote working, flexible time, condensed week;
  • Exciting challenges, varied projects, and plenty of room to learn and grow;
  • An opportunity to follow your passion and use your skills to make an impact on research communities and society;
  • A possibility to spark your creativity by experimenting and learning new technologies;

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • Cover letter describing your interest, motivation and relevant experience (max. 2 pages)
  • CV (including a full publication list)
  • Copies of diploma/s and relevant certificates
  • Names and contact details of three professional references

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

The initial application deadline is August 20, 2024, but a review of applications will continue until the position is filled.

Questions regarding the position should be directed via email to Eliza Harris (eliza.harris@sdsc.ethz.ch), Phillip Agredazywczuk (phillip.agredazywczuk@sdsc.ethz.ch) or Matti Barthel (matti.barthel@usys.ethz.ch).

For recruitment services the GTC of ETH Zurich apply.

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

Job details

Title
Postdoc in Biogeochemical Modelling
Employer
Location
Rämistrasse 101 Zurich, Switzerland
Published
2024-06-21
Application deadline
Unspecified
Job type
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About the employer

ETH Zürich is well known for its excellent education, ground-breaking fundamental research and for implementing its results directly into practice.

Visit the employer page