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PhD fellowship in Cropping systems and Climate Change



Thorvaldsensvej 40, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Danmark

ID: 2513660
Indrykket for 71 dage siden
The Department of Environmental Sciences, Section of Plant and Soil Science invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in Estimating emissions factors for nitrous oxide from crop residues. The project is part of the research project “N2OResidue”, which is financed by the Danish Agricultural Agency.

Start date is expected to be 1 June 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The project
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an important greenhouse gas. About 70% of the N2O emissions comes

from agricultural fields as a consequence of nitrogen (N) fertilization of crops.

The emissions are primarily caused by nitrogen added through fertilization. However, crop residues that are left in the field also results in nitrogen mineralization and eventually N2O emissions.

The IPCC are developing methods to estimate emission factors for these emissions which are eventually used for national greenhouse gas accounting. However, the current IPCC methodology used to account for N2O emissions from crop residues is very simplistic resulting in misguided assessments of mitigation measures and their potentials. The overall aim of N2OResidue is therefore to develop and document a new improved methodology for operational accounting of N2O emissions from crop residues at farm and national scales.

The specific objectives are:

• To develop and validate new and improved emission factors for N2O emissions from crop residues depending on type and management.

• To develop national values for biomass amounts and nitrogen concentrations in crop residues for relevant residue types.

• To devise and test methods for implementation of new residue emission factors and residue nitrogen amounts for various crops and cover crops at farm and national scales.

The PhD project will support these goal by estimating emissions in a field study where a variety of different widespread crop residues will be incorporated at different times of the year. The PhD project will also investigate N2O emission caused by crop residues during freeze/thaw events. Fluxes in the field will be quantified using flux chambers coupled with a laser spectrometer. Furthermore, additional measurements will include quantification soil nutrients and plant biomass. Lastly, the mechanisms behind the processes leading to N2O emissions under field conditions will be investigated in laboratory setups with soil columns.

The future PhD student will be working in close collaboration with another PhD student at Aarhus Unversity who will be conducting similar field trails there.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking a candidate with professional as well as personal skills and qualifications as stated below:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project, including a MSc degree in environmental science, soil science, biology, physical geography, agronomy or a related discipline.
  • Solid knowledge about soil biogeochemistry and plant biology in the context of agricultural systems.
  • Interest and flair for conducting experimental, environmental and agricultural research in both the laboratory and the field.
  • Good computer skills, experience with advanced data management and analysis, including statistical tools and methods.
  • Relevant work experience or other professional activities will be an advantage.
  • Excellent English language skills (written as well as oral)
  • Good communicative and interpersonal skills.
Our group and research- and what do we offer?
The positions will be affiliated with the Soil Fertility research group at the Deparment of Plant and Environmental Sciences at University of Copenhagen. The group focuses on soil fertility issues and environmental impacts related to sustainable agriculture with a special focus on nutrient cycling and climate change. Our research aims at a mechanistic understanding of soil nutrient and organic matter dynamics at both the level of micro-scale biogeophysical processes and at eco-system scales, in the pursuit of increased nutrient use efficiency, improved crop productivity and reduced environmental impacts from agriculture.

The group is part of Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN), Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen. We are located in Copenhagen, with main campus in Frederiksberg and field trial facilities at our experimental farm in Taastrup, 20 km from the main campus. Our research facilities include modern laboratories, growth chambers, greenhouses and experimental fields. We offer creative and stimulating working conditions in a dynamic and international research environment.

The PhD student will will be required to go on a secondment for some time to another institution.

Principal supervisor is Professor Sander Bruun, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, E-mail: [email protected], Direct Phone: 35333481.

Co-Supervisor is Postdoc Andreas Brændholt

The PhD programme

Qualifications needed for the regular programme
To be eligible for the regular PhD programme, you must have completed a degree programme, equivalent to a Danish master’s degree (180 ECTS/3 FTE BSc + 120 ECTS/2 FTE MSc) related to the subject area of the project. For information of eligibility of completed programmes, see General assessments for specific countries and Assessment database.

Terms of employment in the regular programme
Employment as PhD fellow is full time and for maximum 3 years.

Employment is conditional upon your successful enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen. This requires submission and acceptance of an application for the specific project formulated by the applicant.

The terms of employment and salary are in accordance to the agreement between the Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State (AC). The position is covered by the Protocol on Job Structure.

Responsibilities and tasks

  • Carry through an independent research project under supervision
  • Complete PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS / ½ FTE
  • Participate in active research environments, including a stay at another research institution, preferably abroad
  • Teaching and knowledge dissemination activities
  • Write scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals
  • Write and defend a PhD thesis on the basis of your project
We are looking for the following qualifications:

  • Professional qualifications relevant to the PhD project
  • Relevant publications
  • Relevant work experience
  • Other relevant professional activities
  • Curious mind-set with a strong interest in the subjects related to the position
  • Good language skills

Application and Assessment Procedure

Your application including all attachments must be in English and submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include:

  1. Letter of application (max. one page) including your motivation for applying for the specific PhD project
  2. Curriculum vitae including information about your education, experience, language skills and other skills relevant for the position
  3. Original diplomas for Bachelor of Science or Master of Science and transcript of records in the original language, including an authorized English translation if issued in another language than English or Danish. If not completed, a certified/signed copy of a recent transcript of records or a written statement from the institution or supervisor is accepted.
  4. Publication list (if possible)
  5. Reference letters (if available)
Application deadline:
The deadline for applications is 15 March 2024, 23:59 GMT +1.

We reserve the right not to consider material received after the deadline, and not to consider applications that do not live up to the abovementioned requirements.

The further process
After deadline, a number of applicants will be selected for academic assessment by an unbiased expert assessor. You are notified, whether you will be passed for assessment.

The assessor will assess the qualifications and experience of the shortlisted applicants with respect to the above mentioned research area, techniques, skills and other requirements. The assessor will conclude whether each applicant is qualified and, if so, for which of the two models. The assessed applicants will have the opportunity to comment on their assessment. You can read about the recruitment process at http://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/.

Interviews with selected candidates are expected to be held in the period 16 April 2024 till 26 April 2024.

For specific information about the PhD fellowship, please contact the principal supervisor.

General information about PhD study at the Faculty of SCIENCE is available at the PhD School’s website: https://www.science.ku.dk/phd/.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding community and invites all regardless of personal background to apply for the position.

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