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Postdoc: Digital Soil Mapping of Danish Peat Soils

The Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University in Foulum, Denmark, is offering a postdoctoral position within the above mentioned area, starting 01.05.2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position will be available for a 3-year period.
The successful candidate will be part of a Soil Physics and Hydropedology research environment focusing on understanding soil physico-chemical and hydrological processes as well as achieving quantitative insight into the spatial distribution of soil characteristics on a local, regional and national scale.

Research area and project description:
The candidate will characterize and map peat areas by integrating point information and environmental data, in particular data collected with geophysical sensors. The mapping will be based on the Digital Soil Mapping approach and utilize a multitude of biological and geographical factors derived from national and local maps of geology, soil, landscape and land use types, digital elevation models, as well as remotely and proximally sensed data. Machine learning methods, such as tree-based classification and regression techniques, will be deployed.

The postdoctoral scholarship will be embedded within the Danish Innovation Fund project named “ReDoCO2 (see Reducing and Documenting CO2 emissions from Peatlands”. The aim is to construct an overall methodology to precisely map peatlands and enable accurate estimates of CO2 emissions and potential CO2 storage. The background is that Denmark has decided that the emissions of CO2 should be reduced by 70% by 2030 and the Danish agricultural sector is a key focus for meeting the reduction goal. The mapping results will be made available for stakeholders within the field of research.

Qualifications and specific competences
The scholarships is offered to a highly-motivated candidate with a PhD degree in geography, geology, biology, agricultural sciences, natural resources management or similar. A strong background in geostatistics, programming and GIS is necessary.

We look for the following specific qualifications:

  • Knowledge about soil physico-chemical processes
  • Knowledge on wetland landscapes and soils
  • Experience with laboratory measurements of soil characteritics
  • Knowledge on obtaining, processing, and analysing remotely sensed data
  • Strong knowledge of programming languages (e.g., R, Python)
  • Excellent knowledge in statistical analyses and modelling
  • Proven ability to publish at a high level and in key journals within the field in a timely manner
  • Good collaboration skills across different groups of employees
  • It is a prerequisite that you are good at communicating in English

The Department of Agroecology
At the Department of Agroecology we study interactions between soil, plants, animals, humans and the environment in different agroecosystems for the production of food, feed, biomaterials and energy. Thus, we contribute to both fundamental knowledge generation and the attainment of sustainable production systems via state-of-the-art research, contracted policy advice, and education. We offer state-of-the-art laboratory, green house, semi-field and field scale research facilities, advanced computing capacities as well as an extensive national and international researcher network. The department has a staff of approximately 275 people including 56 senior academics, 37 junior researchers and postdocs, and 60 PhD students. More information can be found here.

The Department of Agroecology offers
  • An informal and multicultural research environment with high professionalism, where accountability, commitment, helpfulness, flexibility and close collaboration is a prerequisite solving the core tasks
  • A good social environment with activities and routines that make it possible to talk across and strengthen the collegial relationship, and where mutual trust, respect, kindness and professional sparring are emphasized
  • A flexible workplace with good work-life balance
  • Possibility of membership of staff association, access to gym and free fruit scheme
  • An exciting and varied working environment, where two days rarely resemble each other. We are often busy and we work creatively for solutions to societal challenges

Place of Work
The place of work is Aarhus University, Campus Foulum, Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele. The affiliation will be with the Department of Agroecology.

More information can be obtained from Section Manager Mogens H. Greve (, Department of Agroec

Application procedure
Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants.

Letter of reference
If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in question before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

Formalities and salary range
Technical Sciences refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

Aarhus University
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at

Deadline: 28 February 2021


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