Nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soils with different plant cover and tillage practices: 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 01 August 2023 or later. Title: Nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soils with different plant cover and tillage practices

Research area and project description:
The PhD position is part of the KLIMON project funded by the BUP programme, Ministry of Food, Agricultue and Fisheries, Denmark. The purpose of the project is to document the climate and environmental effects of cropping systems ranging from traditional cereal-based systems with annual mouldboard ploughing  to Conservation Agriculture (crop rotations, cover cropping, crop residue retainment, and no tillage).

In different parts of the project, effects will be measured on nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, nitrate leaching, and carbon sequestration under Danish conditions. The measured effects and acquired knowledge will be used for implementation in new and existing models for environmental and climate effects.

The PhD position will in particular aim to understand the interaction between management of cropping systems and microbial emission of nitrous oxide, i.e., with a focus on how soil physical conditions exert a control on microbial processes related to nitrogen cycling and N2O transformations. Specific topics include to study (1) the effect of different types of post-harvest cover crop managements on N2O emissions (2) the effect of soil tillage and traffic in practical trials on N2O emissions (3) the effect of different establishment times for cover crops on N2O emissions.

Measurements of N2O fluxes from field sites are performed using static chamber techniques, and the risk of soil N2O emissions is interpreted in relation to physical parameters and microbiome analyses. In addition, the project aims at detailed studies under controlled conditions (laboratory) of the interaction between soil tillage intensity and cover crops on N2O emissions.

Here, N2O emissions will be determined using intact soil samples taken from ongoing field experiment. The focus is on documenting the effects of, e.g., soil compaction, termination time for cover crops, and changing weather conditions such as freeze/thaw.

The PhD project includes research stays abroad, offering the successful candidates to establish a strong research profile and network. We are looking for an open minded, curious person that has an interest in studying the microbial drivers of N2O emissions in relation to soil physical conditions and agricultural management.

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.Sc. degree (120 ECTS) in Soil Science, Agronomy, Environmental Science, Ecology or closely related fields. Demonstrated oral and written communication skills in English are required. Basic knowledge of nitrogen dynamics in soils is an advantage.

The applicant must be able to present results at international conferences and publish in international 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 Faculty of Technical Sciences, Department of Agroecology, Blichers Alle 20, DK 8830 Tjele, Denmark.

Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

How to apply:
Please follow this link to submit your application. Application deadline is 30 April 2023 23:59 . Preferred starting date is 01 August 2023.

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‚Äôs 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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