PhD position: global modeling of soil sulfur cycling

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: Permanent

In der aktuellen Covid-19 Situation laufen die Rekrutierungen weiter. Es kann dabei allerdings zu Verzögerungen kommen. Vielen Dank für Ihr Verständnis.


100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Inorganic Environmental Geochemistry group at ETH Zurich and Eawag (Department of Water Resources and Drinking Water) focuses on molecular to global scale biogeochemical processes that control the mobility and cycling of trace elements in the environment. Our research combines experimental work, field measurements, and statistical as well as process-based modeling.


Project background

Sulfur is an essential macronutrient to plants and of key importance in safeguarding crop yields. Its bioavailability depends on complex interactions between atmospheric replenishment, soil properties and biogeochemical transformations. Our goal is to advance the understanding of the key processes driving concentrations and chemical speciation of sulfur in soils, and of how the sulfur cycling through the soil-plant-atmosphere system will shift under climate change.


Job description

The objective of the PhD project is to develop a numerical representation of soil sulfur cycling, which will be implemented into the land component of our global Earth-System-Model. Available and newly-collected observational data will be used to evaluate the model performance and to constrain model uncertainties. The model will be applied

  • to assess the determinants of soil sulfur contents and chemical forms, and
  • to identify agricultural regions being at risk of sulfur deficiencies under various future scenarios of climate and land-use change.

  • Your profile

    We are looking for someone with a strong motivation to work with cutting-edge numerical models and a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in environmental sciences, Earth sciences, or related subjects, with outstanding grades.

    Ideally you have experience, knowledge in and/or strong interest to learn:

    • Programming in Fortran
    • UNIX/Linux operating systems
    • Analysis of large data sets using Python or R
    • Environmental and soil biogeochemistry

    On top of the above, you must be able to think critically, have strong communication skills, be proficient in English (written and spoken), goal-oriented and enjoy collaboration.


    We offer
    • A dynamic and inspiring research environment
    • Excellent working conditions
    • National and international networking opportunities
    • Participation at international conferences
    • A large degree of freedom for the successful candidate to bring in their own research ideas and experience
    • Salary according to ETH Zurich standards

    ETH Zurich

    ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

    Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich
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