Tenure Track Position for a Scientist or Working Group Leader on “Trace Gas Biogeochemistry in...

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Germany,
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 15 Nov 2021

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.

The ZALF Research Area “Landscape Functioning” investigates the biogeochemical (C, N, Si) cycles in agricultural landscapes and its main biological actors plants and microorganisms. This includes the interactions between land and atmosphere, e.g. trace gas fluxes and dust emissions as well as their relevance for agricultural production. Lateral transport processes, such as soil erosion are of particular interest, as these contribute considerably to the formation of spatially differentiated biogeochemical process domains in agricultural landscapes.

Within this Research Area, we are pleased to announce a

Tenure Track Position for a Scientist or Working Group Leader on “Trace Gas Biogeochemistry in Agriculture” (m/f/d) [Reference N° T04-2021]

Call description:

With its Tenure Track System, ZALF aims to recruit excellent scientists with essential expertise by providing a guaranteed transitioning to a permanent contract subject to successful evaluation. This Classic Tenure Track Call invites applications with a focus on land-atmosphere trace gas (GHGs, BVOCs) exchange in agricultural landscapes. Primary topic is the land use and management impact on trace gas exchange on croplands and grasslands including managed wetlands. The successful candidate will apply and develop innovative methods to measure, quantify and model fluxes of CO2, N2O, CH4 and, complementarily, biogenic volatiles using state-of-the art chamber technology in field and landscape experiments. Collaborative lab-scale experiments on trace gas fluxes with focus on plant-microbiome-soil interactions should be conducted to improve mechanistic understanding. An interest in upscaling spatiotemporal gas flux dynamics to complex agricultural landscapes is also expected. The combination of both, specific experimental focus and upscaling to the landscape level, as well as links to interdisciplinary research within ZALF and national and international partners will be essential. Applied methods comprise automated chamber based field measuring systems connected to laser-based trace gas detectors (e.g. CRDS), SIFT MS, smart network based auxiliary data monitoring systems (IoT), automated lab gas flow systems and gas chromatography.

Tasks and qualifications:

The successful candidate will

  • quantify and model spatiotemporal CO2, CH4, N2O, and BVOC flux dynamics in crop- and grasslands
  • develop new continuous and high-frequency chamber approaches (long-term gas flux monitoring)
  • establish and contribute to novel field and landscape experiments (e.g. in the AgroScapeLab Quillow)
  • quantify short and long-term climate and land use change impact on the biogeochemistry of crop- and grasslands 

The call is addressed to dynamic and highly motivated researchers with a PhD and postdoc research experience in trace gas dynamics of crop- and grasslands. Candidates must have demonstrated their capacity to independently carry out research, including an excellent publication record, successfully acquired competitive third-party funding, and visibility in their respective field of research. Candidates should have an excellent background in trace gas measurement techniques but also a solid background in plant ecophysiology and/or plant-soil systems. A basic understanding of soil microbiota-mediated trace gas fluxes is also expected. Candidates at the stage of a Head of Working Group are expected to actively participate in the collegial leadership of the Research Area, using their excellent communication (English) and teamwork skills, and have profound experience in leading and managing a research group.


We offer:

Depending on his/her background and career stage, the successful candidate will either receive a Regular Tenure Track position (2 x 2-3 years) or a Fast Tenure Track position (1 x 2-3 years), with progress to the subsequent phase / to a permanent position subject to successful evaluation.

Salary will follow the guidelines for public employees according to the German TV-L (E13 scientist, E14 working group leader; incl. special annual payment) depending on the individual career stage and personal qualification for working group leadership.

Tenure contracts are generally offered as full-time contracts, with part-time option to allow for the reconciliation of family and career. Candidates can expect to work in an interdisciplinary, international and open-minded working environment in a dynamic research institution and as part of highly motivated team (scientist, technician, PhDs). The working place is in Müncheberg near Berlin, Germany. The successful candidate will be offered individual options for career support such as a mentoring tandem, courses and trainings as well as variable options to access scientific resources.

ZALF is an equal opportunities employer (audit berufundfamilie® certificate) and specifically encourages female scientists to apply. Applications of disabled applicants with equal qualifications will be favoured.

Application and candidate selection

Application documents must follow the specifications given in the respective guideline available at the ZALF website (www.zalf.de/en/karriere/tenure-track ) and include two standardized letters of recommendation of scientists who are familiar with your research accomplishments and academic credentials (template available at https://www.zalf.de/de/karriere/tenure-track/Documents/ZALF_TenureTrack_App4_Reference_Letter.docx ).

Candidate selection is based on scientific achievements, strategic aspects, and personal suitability. Details on criteria, minimum requirements and evaluation processes can be obtained from the ZALF Tenure Track System guideline, which is an official annex to this call: https://www.zalf.de/de/karriere/tenure-track/Documents/ZALF-Tenure_Track_System_Guideline.pdf

Please send your application as a single PDF file to tenuretrack@zalf.de , stating the reference number T04-2021 indicating interest in a position either as scientist or working group leader. The deadline for applications is 15. November 2021.

If you have any questions regarding the research profile of this position, please contact Prof. Dr. Steffen Kolb (Phone +49(0)33432/82-326; kolb@zalf.de ) or Prof. Dr. Michael Sommer (Phone +49(0)33432/82-282; sommer@zalf.de ). For questions regarding the Tenure Track System, please contact Christiane Wolf Suzuki (Phone +49(0)33432/82-4052; christiane.wolf-suzuki@zalf.de ).

For cost reasons, your 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


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