PhD in Modelling nitrate leaching from farmland – with focus on grass as a field N measure to reduce nitrate leaching, Applicants are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Agroecology programme. The position is available from 1 December 2022 or later.

PhD in Modelling nitrate leaching from farmland – with focus on grass as a field N measure to reduce nitrate leaching.

Research area and project description:
The agricultural sector is the main diffuse source of nitrate loading of our aquatic environment. In Denmark, we have an ambition of reducing the loading and impact of nitrate to fulfill the requirements of the European Water framework directive. In order to reduce the impact on the aquatic environment, knowledge on nitrate leaching levels and dynamics is essential to achieve a more targeted use of field and drain N measures. Knowledge on nitrate leaching loss process from grass clover mixtures can help environmental authorities and farmers to target and optimize use of this field nitrate leaching measures.  Furthermore, more measured nitrate leaching data are needed for improving predictions of nitrate leaching from farmland used in the national nitrate leaching predictions.

The PhD focus will includes also expanding the precision/applicability of the empirical model NLES5 for predicting nitrate leaching from horticultural fields. New field leaching data from experiments on horticulture field production systems will be collected from ongoing field experiments, which along with the existing data set behind NLES5 will be the primary data source for theNLES5 development. Other types of data may be included in development of an empirical model predicting nitrate leaching from measured mineral nitrogen contents in the rootzone.

A second part of the PhD project is related to grass production as a measure for protection of the groundwater quality for supply of drinking water. Here, strategies for optimizing grass-clover production in order to minimize N–leaching, while optimizing grass-clover as a source for green protein production will be develop and tested. This work will be in collaboration with other scientists focusing on grass-clover production.

The PhD candidate’s objective is to increase our understanding of processes governing nitrate leaching in agricultural and horticultural systems

The project will be part of the GUDP Project with the Danish title ”Græs til Grøn Protein Produktion – virkemiddel til beskyttelse af grund- og overfladevand – GGP4H2O” and a national funded project ”Sædskiftemodel med grøntsagsforsøg “.

Project description. For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. Please simply copy the project description above, and upload it as a PDF in the application.

Qualifications and specific competences:
The applicants must have a M.S. degree in Soil Science, Agronomy, Environmental Science or closely related fields. Demonstrated oral and written communication skills in English are required. Basic knowledge of nitrogen dynamics in soils and/or modelling of advantage nitrogen is of advantage, but not required. The applicant will have the opportunity to present on conferences and publish in peer-reviewed journals. The applicant should be enthusiastic about working in an international and interdisciplinary academic environment. Applications from women and people from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged.

Place of employment and place of work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is AU Foulum, Blichers Alle 20, 8830 Tjele, Denmark.

Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact Christen Duus Børgesen,

How to apply:
Please follow this link to submit your application. Application deadline is 30 September 2022 23:59 CEST. Preferred starting date is 1 December 2022.

For information about application requirements and mandatory attachments, please see our application guide.

Please note:

  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
  • Shortlisting will be used, which means that the evaluation committee only will evaluate the most relevant applications.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants. All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Salary and terms of employment are in accordance with applicable collective agreement.   

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