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:
Mr Dr. Rohini Kumar

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/hydrological 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 aims to identify the adequate level of complexity for bio-geo-chemical modeling of coupled water and carbon cycles, and check the adequacy of existing model concept for representing coupled carbon and water fluxes across different biomes (arable land and grassland sites). Building on this, the PhD shall investigate a range of integrated terrestrial carbon cycling and dynamic vegetation models for their suitability (in terms of complexity and adequacy) to be integrated within the in-house developed Multiscale Hydrologic Modeling framework (mHM). The model assessment shall be related to their applicability to run at different sites (transferability) and scales (field scale and regional). The so-developed integrated water and (terrestrial) carbon model will contribute to improve our understanding on the interaction between the water and carbon cycle under changing environmental conditions with particular emphasis on extreme events like droughts and heat waves.

Main tasks of this position will be screening and evaluation of possible (terrestrial) carbon and vegetation models against existing observational datasets (e.g., TERENO/ICOS sites and data sets from long term field experiments), their integration (numerical coding/programming) into the existing hydrologic model (mHM) including parameterizations and (multiscale) regionalization approaches for running the integrated model at different scales and sites, and perform thought-driven experiments with the integrated model.

Your profile:

Applicants with a degree in bio-geosciences with emphasis on agronomy, soil-water plant system, carbon and water cycles or in related topics are encouraged to apply. The candidate should demonstrate programming ability (e.g., Fortran, Python, R) and statistical analytics of model and observational datasets. 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. Experience in soil sampling and analysis may be helpful. 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%)