Senior Research Engineer in Biogeochemistry

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 03 Dec 2021

We are announcing a Senior Research Engineer position in biogeochemistry in a project focused on understanding the importance of root exudation of carbon in tree growth during climate change. The deadline for applications is December 3rd, 2021 and the position is expected to start 1 January 2022 or according to agreement.

Project description
Plants roots exude low molecular weight carbon compounds which in turn affect plant growth and soil carbon content. The importance of this process in future tree growth under elevated CO2 levels is relatively unknown. One of the reasons is the unclear effect that root exudates has on plant nitrogen availability and soil carbon sequestration. This project will closely investigate the plant-soil interface with the aim of examining the role of carbon exuded from roots in nutrient acquisition and growth of trees and concomitant changes in budget and fluxes of soil carbon and nutrients during climate change. The project will include glasshouse experiments with Scots pine, microdialysis monitoring of nutrient fluxes, decomposition of soil organic matter using state-of-art instruments such as pyrolysis GC/MS and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) in collaboration between Umeå University, Umeå Plant Science Centre and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

We are searching for a person with experience in ecosystem biogeochemistry and analysis on plant-soil interactions. The candidate has a PhD in soil biogeochemistry, forest ecology, or a closely related field. Experience of working in the field, laboratory as well as glasshouse, quantifying carbon and nutrient fluxes and budgets, performing laboratory analysis on plant, soil and water samples (including root exudates, soil chemistry, soil organic matter, extracellular enzyme assays) and analysing data generated by analytical instruments such as isotope ratio mass spectrometry, pyrolysis GC/MS and/or NMR are essential. Also, excellent computational and statistical skills, including proficiency in the use of programming languages such as R, and the ability to perform reproducible analysis are essential. We seek a creative and highly motivated individual, with good verbal and written communication skills in English.

Experience working in the boreal system are strong merits.

How to apply
The application should contain the following, written in English (preferably) or Swedish:

  • A personal cover letter motivating your application and how you can contribute to the research group (max two pages).
  • CV including list of publications.
  • Certified copy of doctoral degree certificate.
  • Certified copies of other diplomas, list of completed academic courses and grades.
  • Copy of doctoral thesis and possibly a number of relevant articles.
  • Other documents that the applicant wishes to claim.

Any additional questions about the project or application should be directed to Ryan Sponseller, Umeå University (

The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science carries out research and postgraduate education in ecology, environmental science and physical geography. The department has about 150 employees. For more information, visit:

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