Aarhus University (AU)

Post doc: Geospatial mapping of soil and land use – in time and space (BB-7BA52)

Found in: Neuvoo DK

Description:

The Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University in Foulum, Denmark, is offering one to two postdoctoral positions within the above mentioned area, starting or as soon as possible thereafter. The successful candidate(s) will be based at the Soil Physics and Hydropedology Section. The position(s) will be available for a 3-year period.

The successful candidate(s) will be part of a soil physics and hydropedology research environment focusing on understanding soil physico-chemical and hydrological processes as well as achieving quantitative insight into the spatial distribution of soil characteristics on a local, regional and national scale.

Furthermore the postdoc(s) will be a part of Center for Sustainable Landscapes under Global Change - Sustainscapes. This is a newly established research centre focused on establishing research-based insight and sustainable solutions for the recovery and maintenance of biodiversity and biobased production across landscapes. The centre is based on a 6-years project funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Research area and project description:
The candidate(s) will provide national-scale mapping of historical to future changes in land use and soil properties. The candidate(s) will work on the following key aspects: (1) Digitalisation of historical maps for obtaining time-series of land use and agricultural practices. Focus will be on mapping and detecting changes in land use and bio-based production since 1850. (2) Digital soil mapping and change detection of recent and ongoing land use practices mowing, cropping, grazing) based on remotely sensed data with a temporal focus from 1980 till today. (3) Exploring how the relationship between soil properties, agricultural yield, and the biodiversity change in relation to land use changed across time. (4) Modelling the impact of future climate change on soil properties and agricultural yield.

Remote sensing provides new opportunities to map, detect and monitor changes in soil variability, ecosystem processes, structural, functional, and taxonomic diversity, as well as agriculture and forestry production. The candidates will be part of a team that combines innovative approaches and technologies, especially efficient algorithms, big data mining & handling, as well as drone- & satellite-based remote sensing.

The results of this work will contribute substantially to address two of SustainScapes overall goals: (1) Understand how historical ecosystem degradation affect our ability to maintain biodiversity and production under future global change? (2) Develop an online decision and change detection tool to support local initiatives working towards the maintenance of biodiversity alongside bio-based production.

Qualifications and specific competences
We are searching for a highly motivated candidate with a PhD and a strong research background in remote sensing, soil physics, agronomy, environmental engineering, biology, or geography. Experience in spatial mapping using various statistical methods machine learning for digital soil mapping or biogeographical mapping

We look for the following specific qualifications:

  • Proven capabilities in handling and analysing large geospatial data sets
  • Knowledge about soil physico-chemical processes
  • Experience with laboratory measurements of soil characteritics
  • Knowledge on obtaining, processing, and analysing remotely sensed data
  • Strong knowledge of programming languages R, Python)
  • Excellent knowledge in statistical analyses and modelling
  • Proven ability to publish at a high level and in key journals within the field in a timely manner
  • Good collaboration skills across different groups of employees
  • It is a prerequisite that you are good at communicating in English

  • The Department of Agroecology
    At the Department of Agroecology we study interactions between soil, plants, animals, humans and the environment in different agroecosystems for the production of food, feed, biomaterials and energy. Thus, we contribute to both fundamental knowledge generation and the attainment of sustainable production systems via state-of-the-art research, contracted policy advice, and education. We offer state-of-the-art laboratory, green house, semi-field and field scale research facilities, advanced computing capacities as well as an extensive national and international researcher network. The department has a staff of approximately 275 people including 56 senior academics, 37 junior researchers and postdocs, and 60 PhD students. More information can be found
  • An informal and multicultural research environment with high professionalism, where accountability, commitment, helpfulness, flexibility and close collaboration is a prerequisite solving the core tasks
  • A good social environment with activities and routines that make it possible to talk across and strengthen the collegial relationship, and where mutual trust, respect, kindness and professional sparring are emphasized
  • A flexible workplace with good work-life balance
  • Possibility of membership of staff association, access to gym and free fruit scheme
  • An exciting and varied working environment, where two days rarely resemble each other. We are often busy and we work creatively for solutions to societal challenges

  • Place of Work
    The place of work is Aarhus University, Campus Foulum, Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele. The affiliation will be with the Department of Agroecology.

    More information can be obtained from Section Manager Mogens H. Greve (

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