Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy; we therefore particularly welcome applications from qualified women. Severely disabled persons are given priority where applicants are equally qualified.

Your contact for any questions you may have about the job:
Mrs Dr. Angela Lausch

Closing date for applications:

Place of work: Leipzig

Please use our online application system for your application.

More information about jobs at the UFZ:

Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH - UFZ
Permoserstraße 15
04318 Leipzig, Germany

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The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) with its 1,100 employees has gained an excellent reputation as an international competence centre for environmental sciences. We are part of the largest scientific organisation in Germany, the Helmholtz association. Our mission: Our research seeks to find a balance between social development and the long-term protection of our natural resources.

In a framework of six strategic Research Units scientists address key environmental challenges following a solution-oriented approach. In order to strengthen its interdisciplinary work, UFZ is currently offering 4 PhD positions in the thematic Research Unit SMART Models and Monitoring: MOMENT: Towards improved understanding of the coupled water and carbon cycles of terrestrial ecosystems with special focus on extreme events.

A fundamental challenge for model-observation comparisons lies in the scale mismatch between plot-scale observations and larger-scale predictions made in simulations. Within this PhD-college, procedures shall be developed and evaluated which can scale outputs from the ecosystem-level up to the regional and country scales by considering different temporal scales in sampling and modeling describing the biogeophysical and hydrological processes. For this aim we try to achieve simulation models that are able to represent biogeochemical cycles and their coupled processes in a realistic way and scale the relevant processes to larger regions via remote sensing.

PhD position (m/f)

Project start: 1st July 2019, Working time: 65% (25,35 hours per week), limited to 3 years

Your tasks:

The PhD project will help to develop upscaling concepts to apply ecosystem models at larger scales which are needed for a reduction of uncertainties in Earth System Modeling. For this purpose, the PhD project focuses on a monitoring approach that links eddy covariance (EC) data as well as high frequency spectral wireless remote sensing networks data on the local scale mounted on lysimeters and EC towers with air- and spaceborne remote sensing information. Main tasks will be the monitoring and modelling of the entire process of subsurface-surface and atmospheric interactions by integrating and linking ground-based spectral Wireless Sensor Networks, eddy covariance information with air- and spaceborne remote sensing data (e.g. Sentinel 2) based on different sensor types (thermal, multispectral, hyperspectral) from test sites, on regional and on landscape scale (Germany).

Your profile:

Applicants with a degree in physics, engineering, remote sensing, environmental -, geo- and biosciences or a related field and a background or at least interest in remote sensing, data processing, -analysis and geostatistics are encouraged to apply. In particular, she/he should have a good understanding of ecological processes in soil-plant-atmospheric interaction and their spectral response. The candidate should demonstrate programming skills (e.g., Python, R) to deal with big data sets, cloud computing, machine learning and data science approaches. Experience with scientific instruments and interest in self-coordinated realization of field experiments is advantageous. Communication skills in English and willingness to work in a team, present and publish results at scientific conferences and peer-reviewed scientific journals are required. She/ He will benefit from related graduate activities and programs at the UFZ.

We offer:

  • Top level interdisciplinary research at a research centre which enjoys an excellent reputation within Germany as well as internationally
  • Excellent technical facilities
  • Work in inter-disciplinary and multinational teams
  • Excellent links to national and international research networks
  • Support and optimal training courses by our graduate school (HIGRADE)
  • Remuneration in accordance with the TVöD public-sector pay grade 13 (65%)