PhD opportunity in Soil management and ecosystem services at Wageningen University

Location: Wageningen
Hours: 38
Function
We are looking for a PhD student to analyse soil management strategies and ecosystem services. The ability of soil systems to sustain vegetation and provide all kind of ecosystems services, such as water regulation and healthy environment for organisms, is threatened by deterioration of soil structure and loss of soil organic matter. Farming systems applying alternative soil management strategies may substantially improve soil system functioning, increase resilience to deal with extreme weather conditions and raise nutrient use efficiency.
To assess the overall sustainability of farming systems, calculated nutrient use efficiencies at farm level need to be integrated into a whole-farm life cycle assessment, including off-farm environmental impacts. Such assessments however do currently not include soil functioning at the farm level. The recently developed BCS (BodemConditieScore) indicator provides the possibility to assess soil functioning at farm level. It involves the characterisation of key indicators of soil quality and accounts for within-farm spatial soil heterogeneity.
The successful applicant for this position will: 1) refine and apply the BCS indicator for soil functioning at farm level, 2) perform an “improved” life cycle assessment to compare various farming strategies and 3) update and apply the ecohydrological model SWAP using collected field and management data to explore effects of conventional and improved soil management practices on ecosystem services. This research will take place in two Dutch landscapes; one dominated by arable farming and one dominated by dairy farming.
Function Requirements
A candidate with an MSc degree or equivalent in soil science, agronomy, hydrology or environmental sciences. You have a proven interest in research problems defined in the agricultural domain. You speak and write fluent Dutch and English, you communicate efficiently and excel in problem solving. You have experience in using GIS software and are familiar with statistical techniques to process data. In addition, you are a team-player and are highly effective in time and project planning. The activities involve amongst others field work, laboratory analyses, modeling and supporting education.
Working conditions
We offer a fulltime employment (38 hours a week) as PhD researcher within the Soil Geography and Landscape Group for 18 months with a possible extension of 30 months after a positive evaluation. The gross salary will increase from € 2083 in the first year up to € 2664 per month in the fourth year (based on fulltime employment). In addition, we offer a holiday bonus of 8% and an end-of-the-year bonus of 8.3% of your annual salary.
Contactinformation
Additional information about this vacancy can be obtained from Dr.ir. Gerard Heuvelink,gerard.heuvelink@wur.nl telephone: +31 (0) 317-482716/483723.How to apply
Interested? Don’t email directly to the person mentioned above. Please use the website to apply and upload your CV and a short motivation letter.Procedure
Interviews with selected applicants are scheduled for December 11th 2013
Organization
The mission of the Soil Geography and Landscape Group (SGL) of Wageningen University is to improve and share understanding of soil patterns and landscape dynamics. We take an integrative approach that combines biophysical and human elements to gain insights in past, present and future system dynamics and to support sustainable land management.Wageningen University and Research Centre
Delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That’s our focus – each and every day. Within our domain, healthy food and living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society – such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don’t do this alone. Every day, 6,500 people work on ‘the quality of life’, turning ideas into reality, on a global scale.

To apply click here. See here for details.

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Posted on November 19, 2013, in Job Opportunities, Research grants, fellowship and scholarships, Youth and Agriculture and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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