The Chair of Soil Ecology studies soil-plant interactions and their feedback on nutrient availability, soil structure and soil organic matter with focus on forest soils. One of the current research areas are transport processes of greenhouse gases and source tracing of gases in soils. The Chair of Soil Ecology offers a PhD position (m/f/d): Tracing soil ecological processes of CO2-fluxes in beech/spruce forest, Id no.: 00002430

The project and your Task: One of the largest global fluxes of carbon dioxide is soil respiration by roots and microorganisms but its role in ecosystem functioning and climate change is not fully clear. Within the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) ECOSENSE you will focus on soil-related fluxes of carbon dioxide in a beech/spruce forest. You will implement high-resolution measurement fields at the research site to differentiate CO2 derived from current root respiration and from microbial decay of older sequestered soil organic matter. A key point will be uspcaling of the high-resolution data in space and time by means of deterministic diffusion models and statistical analyses. A unique opportunity of the CRC is the close cooperation between several ecological and technical working groups allowing to rely on the newest sensor technology.

Who you are: You have university degree (M.Sc.) with a solid background in ecology and soil science. (For example geoecology, hydrology, environmental sciences, forest sciences, biology). You are willingly to cover the whole bandwidth of project tasks from field work, maintenance of electronic sensor fields to soil-physical modelling. We encourage applications from enthusiastic dedicated individuals with strong quantitative skills as well as good writing and communication skills in English. Applicants should hold a valid driver’s license (European Cat. B) We offer an interdisciplinary, international work environment in the Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources with a formal PhD program of ECOSENSE. The University of Freiburg is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing diversity.

What we offer:

An exciting interdisciplinary topic with a relevant application focus for our society and a salary according to E13 TV-L until the end of June 2026. The possibility for pursuing a doctoral thesis is given, provided that all formal criteria are fulfilled. You can expect modern laboratory equipment and a highly qualified, multicultural team, which will cooperate with you and support you along your professional growth.

Please follow these rules strictly and send your job application in a digital form to Christine Schemann ( (Reference ECOSENSE-A1). The application deadline is 30 August 2022. For questions, please contact Friederike Lang ( or Helmer Schack-Kirchner (

We are particularly pleased to receive applications from women for the position advertised here.


Please send your application in English including supporting documents mentioned above citing the reference number 00002430, by 31.08.2022 at the latest. Please send your application to the following address in written or electronic form:

University of Freiburg
Chair of Soil Ecology
79085 Freiburg

For further information, please contact Dr. Helmer Schack-Kirchner on the phone number +49 761 203-3612 or E-Mail

Apply now

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