Ph.D. and Postdoctoral Fellowship positions focused on the quantification of climate change adaptation and mitigation benefits of regenerative agriculture:

Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes (SAL) lab is seeking to build its team for several exciting new projects focused on quantifying the climate change adaptation and mitigation benefits of a variety of agricultural practices.  The primary objectives of these projects are to evaluate, identify and promote the adoption of agricultural practices for high-value annual and perennial crops in southern British Columbia that are effectively regenerative. These multi-year projects are in partnership with local agricultural producer groups, non-governmental organizations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists, local cleantech companies and the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

We are seeking applicants interested in either a Ph.D. or a Postdoctoral Fellowship to work on one or more of the following research areas:

  • Plot level quantification of greenhouse gas emissions, soil carbon sequestration and/or soil health
  • Laboratory spectral analysis of soil samples
  • Scaling of point and plot level analysis to field and landscape scales through remote sensing and digital soil mapping

Applicants must be self-driven, motivated, and able to work independently. The successful candidate will be willing to develop expertise in new fields of research, publish scientific papers and communicate results to agricultural producers, funders, and policymakers.


  • Applicants for the Ph.D. positions should have a minimum of an MSc. in soil, agricultural, or environmental science or a related field (exceptional applicants interested in doing an MSc. and then a Ph.D. may be considered).
  • Applicants for the Postdoctoral Fellowship position must have a Ph.D. in a related field.
  • Preference will be given to candidates with at least two years of experience working with agricultural producers or in a related field.
  • Experience in at least two of the following areas is desirable: greenhouse gas emission quantification, soil sampling and analysis, remote sensing, or geographical information systems.
  • Must have a strong background in quantitative research skills. Experience programming in R, and/or Python is highly desirable.
  • Strong communication skills, a solid publication record (emphasizing quality of publications over quantity) and demonstrated leadership skills are essential.


Team member’s responsibilities will depend on the applicant’s background and research interests and may include:

  • Work with collaborating farmers to establish on-farm experiments.
  • Use a Gasmet DX4040 Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer weekly to bi-weekly to monitor greenhouse gas emissions on farm.
  • Supervise field teams consisting of undergraduates and laboratory technicians to take soil samples at project sites across southern BC with baseline soils established 5-7 years ago.
  • Sample soils at various times of the season to monitor for changes in soil function and develop baselines and endlines for soil organic carbon and other indicators of soil health.
  • Use mid- and near-infrared spectrometry to analyze new and historic soils data to develop spectral libraries for provincial soils.
  • Develop digital soil maps, at field and landscape scales, and statistical models to quantify changes in soil properties over time.
  • Assist in the drafting of manuscripts for publication and prepare PowerPoint presentations for internal lab meetings and external knowledge exchange events and conferences related to the project.
  • Assist in the preparation of technical and progress reports as required.
  • Provide geographical information system support for other ongoing SAL lab projects.
  • Perform other lab-related duties as needed, including maintaining field and laboratory equipment, computers, and databases.
  • Postdoctoral Fellows will be expected to help deliver an introductory course on agroecology. D. applicants will be expected to spend some time as teaching assistants for this class and will have opportunities to participate in other courses.

How To Apply

Interested applicants should send a cover letter and curriculum vitae to Dr. Sean Smukler the Principal Investigator of the SAL lab by December 15th.  Ph.D. applicants that meet the basic criteria will be invited to apply to UBC by the January 1st deadline. Please email with the subject line of either:

  • Regenerative Agriculture PhD Application
  • Regenerative Agriculture Postdoc Application

Ph.D. stipends in the SAL Lab start at CAD $30,000 per year with opportunities for additional funding through teaching assistantships and scholarships. Desired start date: no later than September 1, 2023. Duration: 4 years. An earlier start date is desirable.

Postdoctoral Fellowship salary in the SAL lab ranges from CAD $60,000 to 80,000 depending on experience. Desired start date: as soon as possible. Duration: 2 years with the option for multiple reappointments.

The SAL lab continues to strive to increase team diversity through equitable and inclusive recruitment best practices. The SAL lab is a diverse research team that is supportive, friendly, focused on academic excellence and welcoming of any gender, race and sexual orientation. Applicants will join a group that practices mutual respect, and healthy work hours, and has access to support mechanisms for specific needs.

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