Post-doc Using atmospheric oxygen to unravel anthropogenic and natural CO2 signals

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 06 Feb 2023

Post-doc Using atmospheric oxygen to unravel anthropogenic and natural CO2 signals (V23.0003)
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Job description

Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 36,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global center of knowledge.

This position is embedded in the Centre for Isotope Research (CIO) of the Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen (ESRIG). CIO is devoted to measurements of atmospheric greenhouse gases and related substances. Modern instrumentation, and an experienced technical crew support this work. This position is in close collaboration with the Dept. of Meteorology and Air Quality of Wageningen University. More information on CIO's activities can be found at

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main greenhouse gas contributing to climate change, and its atmospheric increase is due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions. These emissions are partially compensated by uptake by natural sinks in the biosphere and oceans. To estimate rising atmospheric CO2 levels, it is therefore not only crucial to know the rates of the emissions, but also how much CO2 is taken up by these natural sinks.

In this postdoc project, you will use atmospheric oxygen (O2) to contribute to a fundamental challenge in carbon cycle research: separating the anthropogenic and natural components in the atmospheric CO2 signal. Atmospheric O2 is a powerful tracer here, because O2 and CO2 are directly coupled in the carbon cycle and connected through their so-called exchange ratios. In this program we will further explore the potential of this tracer in carbon cycle research.

The aim of this project is to provide near real-time estimates of CO2 fossil fuel emissions based on new atmospheric CO2 and O2 measurements, using unique exchange ratios per fuel type to “fingerprint” the CO2 signals and attribute them to different emission sources. To this end, you will perform new atmospheric O2 and CO2 measurements at the Cabauw tower which offer an exciting possibility to better quantify anthropogenic CO2 signals. This is highly relevant for the energy transition towards achieving pledged CO2 emission reductions.

We are therefore looking for a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher who enjoys finding answers to fundamental scientific questions by making highly precise and challenging measurements. This position is part of two EU funded projects in which you will collaborate with 2 PhD candidates at CIO and at Wageningen University who will work on the gross drivers of biosphere CO2 exchange and urban signals.


We ask that:

  • You hold a PhD degree in e.g. atmospheric sciences, climate or environmental sciences, physics, geoscience, biology or a related subject
  • You have a clear interest and background global carbon cycle research
  • You have experience with highly precise measurements of atmospheric gases
  • You enjoy field work, laboratory measurements, programming, data analysis and scientific writing
  • You are an enthusiastic, pleasant, and intrinsically motivated colleague who takes initiative
  • You enjoy being part of a team, and also have the ability to work efficiently independently
  • For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level
  • You have a driver’s license.

Conditions of employment

We offer in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary based on qualifications and experience of starting at € 3,557 gross per month (salary scale 10), based on a full time position
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% year-end bonus
• a position for two years.

The position is immediately available

The conditions of employment are available at the University of Groningen website under Human Resources:


You can apply by sending:

• a cover letter with background and motivation to apply for this position (max 1 page)
• a curriculum vitae, including details of Bachelor, Master and PhD degrees, list of work experience, skills (max 2 pages) and publication list
• contact details of 2 academic references who can provide information on your suitability for the position.

You may apply for this position until 5 February 11:59pm / before 6 February 2023 Dutch local time (CET), ONLY by means of the application form (click "Apply" below the advertisement on the Groningen University website).

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

Unsollicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

  • Dr Ingrid T. Luijkx, +31 317 486064,
  • Prof. Harro A.J. Meijer, +31 50 3634739,

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.


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