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Postdoc position “Factors controlling C-storage and turnover in subsoils”

27.09.2016 - The Department of Soil Science/Soil Ecology at Ruhr-University Bochum

The Department of Soil Science/Soil Ecology at Ruhr-University Bochum announces a Postdoc position “Factors controlling C-storage and turnover in subsoils” for 3 years, starting Nov. 1, 2016 (pending final approval by DFG; salary scale: TV-L13) within the DFG-funded research unit "The forgotten part of carbon cycling: Soil organic matter storage and turnover in subsoils" (SUBSOM).

Although about 60% of the global terrestrial C pool is stored in subsoils below 30 cm depth, little is known about its origin, turnover and stabilization mechanisms. This is being investigated since 2013 in a collaborative research unit ("Forschergruppe") comprising of 9 subprojects. The main objective of the coordination project is to compile and synthesize all relevant results from the other projects for comprehensive data analysis and publication. For a close collaboration between the subprojects, the central database and website ( needs to be maintained and activities in the field, such as common field experiments will need to be coordinated.

Job description

  • Development of a conceptual model for C-turnover in subsoils by identifying the mechanisms and processes that control the stability and degradability of SOC in subsoils with special respect to spatial and temporal heterogeneity, based on the results from the other subprojects.
  • Analysis and publication of results from extensive field sampling campaigns in 2013 and 2014.
  • Data compilation and management of the central database of the research unit.
  • Realization of own research topics within the framework of SUBSOM
  • Teaching obligations of 2 h /week (soil science, physical geography)

Job requirements

  • PhD degree in soil science with a focus on C-dynamics, preferably also in relation to 13C and/or 14C.
  • Experience in handling and analysing large, complex databases
  • Organizational talents and experience with field work and experimental designs.
  • Fluent knowledge of German and English.
  • Ability and willingness to work in a dedicated team with an international background

The Ruhr-University Bochum wants to support the careers of women in fields where they are underrepresented and therefore encourages applications from female candidates. Applications from disabled candidates are also welcome.

Application & Contact
Application deadline: Oct 15, 2016

Interested persons should send their resume, unofficial college transcripts, and two letters of recommendation preferably in a single pdf-document to:

Prof. Dr. Bernd Marschner
Soil Science/Soil Ecology
Ruhr-University Bochum
Universitätsstr. 150
44780 Bochum, Germany
Tel: +49 234 322 2108