The Grassland Sciences Group is a vibrant and international working group at the Department of Environmental Systems Science at ETH Zurich. We are looking for a reliable, enthusiastic, and highly motivated doctoral student with a passion for science to join our team. Our research focuses on the process- and system-understanding of the biosphere-atmosphere greenhouse gas exchange and its drivers in forests and agroecosystems, in response to management and climate.

Project background

The doctoral project is part of the interdisciplinary project Understanding drivers and origins of N2O fluxes in agroecosystems (DONA) carried out with colleagues from Agroscopein Switzerland. The project aims at understanding drivers and origins of nitrous oxide losses to the atmosphere, and quantifying nitrate leaching in arable and grassland systems, in order to identify the best N management option(s) for climate-smart agriculture at an integrated farm in Switzerland.

Job description

The doctoral project will focus on:

  1. the quantification of nitrous oxide fluxes of cropland using the eddy covariance method and the identification of their drivers
  2. the determination of nitrate leaching, and
  3. the evaluation of precision N fertilization options, applied by the farmer.

A new field site will be equipped and maintained in the Western part of Switzerland. The main tasks of the doctoral student include:

  • maintenance of a mobile cropland flux measurement station in Switzerland
  • quantification of nitrate leaching, and
  • assessment of different precision N fertilisation options to develop precision farming recommendations.

The full-time position is funded for 4 years. Salary and social benefits are provided according to ETH Zurich rules.

Your profile

Upon starting, you must have a completed Master’s degree in agricultural or environmental sciences, ecology, or a closely related science field with experiences in micrometeorology, biogeochemistry, plant ecophysiology, soil science, and/or microbial ecology. You must have very good statistical skills, experience with fieldwork, and programming experience (e.g. in R or Python). A good standard of written and spoken English as well as a driver’s license are mandatory, and a good comprehension of French is a plus. Good writing skills and the ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment are expected.

We offer

ETH Zurich is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions. You can look forward to an exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers and benefits.

We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • Letter of motivation
  • CV
  • Bachelor and Master certificates with transcripts

The preferred starting date is 1 April 2023. We will start interviewing candidates end of January 2023. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Dr Nina Buchmann by email: (no applications).

Apply online now

About ETH Zürich:

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

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