Ledig stilling ved NMBU

PhD scholarship in modelling of soil carbon in the boreal-alpine ecotone using remotely sensed data

Deadline: 02.06.2020

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

NMBU has a special responsibility for research and education that ensures the basis of life for future generations.

Sustainability is rooted in everything we do and we provide knowledge for life.

NMBU has 1700 employees and 5200 students and is organized in seven faculties. NMBU has a campus in Ås and in Oslo. In 2021 we are co-located on Ås. Further information on NMBU is available at www.nmbu.no.

About The Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management

The Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management (MINA) works with nature and the environment, sustainable use of natural resources, biological and geological processes.

MINA’s employees undertake teaching, research and dissemination within the fields of geology, hydrology and limnology, soil science, environmental chemistry, forestry, ecology, natural resource management, renewable energy, and nature-based tourism.

Our vision is to be a key actor in knowledge production and dissemination, and our goal is to deliver research of high, international quality, and varied and excellent teaching. The faculty’s employees are significant participants within their respective fields of expertise, both nationally and internationally. The faculty is dominated by a vital research culture and high levels of scientific production.

The faculty has about 200 employees, 90 PhD students and 650 students.

Read more about MINA here.

Do you want to contribute to the understanding of how vegetation and trees affect soil carbon?

About the position

Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management (MINA) at Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant 3-year PhD scholarship related to analyses of soil carbon. The goals of this PhD project are: 1) to improve our understanding of how the distribution of topsoil organic carbon (TSOC) in the boreal-alpine ecotone varies along gradients of tree cover, tree height, vegetation composition, and microtopography, and 2) to create predictive models of TSOC quantities using proxy variables derived from remotely sensed data representative of tree-, vegetation-, and topographic properties. The analyses will be based on data from 36 field sites in the boreal-alpine ecotone in Norway, distributed along a 1100 km gradient of latitude.

The PhD candidate will be part of the Skogrover research group at MINA, which is a vital and very productive group of professors, researchers, and PhD students, with a large international network covering several research disciplines. Skogrover’s core competences are remote sensing and forest inventory. This particular PhD project is in collaboration with researchers covering soil science, ecology, and alpine vegetation dynamics.

Main tasks

The main tasks of the PhD candidate will include:

  • To plan and conduct fieldwork involving both samples of soil and registration of tree cover
  • Lab-analyses of TSOC samples
  • Statistical analyses and prediction modeling of relationships between TSOC, field, and remotely sensed data
  • Write scientific papers

The PhD student will be involved in study design and development of specific research questions.

The successful candidate is expected to enter a plan for the progress of the work towards a PhD degree during the first months of the appointment, with a view to completing a doctorate within the PhD scholarship period.

Qualification requirements, desired experiences, knowledge and personal qualities

The successful applicant must meet the conditions defined for admission to a PhD programme at NMBU. The applicant must have an academically relevant education corresponding to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are at master's degree level. The applicant must have a documented strong academic background from previous studies and be able to document proficiency in both written and oral English. For more detailed information on the admission criteria please see the PhD Regulations and the relevant PhD programme description. The applicant must document expertise and interest in the research subject.

Required Academic qualifications:

  • A MSc in biology, ecology, forest science, or natural resource management

The following experiences and skills will be emphasized:

  • Experience from statistical analyses using R
  • Experience from field work
  • Experience with analyses using remotely sensed data
  • Competence in soil carbon dynamics

You need to:

  • Have strong scientific potential and analytical skills
  • Have good collaboration skills
  • Be creative in terms of problem solving

Remuneration and further information

The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1017 PhD. Fellow. PhD. Fellows are normally placed in pay grade 54 (NOK 479.600,-) on the Norwegian Government salary scale upon employment and follow ordinary meriting regulations.

Employment is conducted according to national guidelines for University and Technical College PhD scholars.

For further information, please contact:

Information for PhD applicants and general Information to applicants


To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply for this job' button above. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Application deadline: 02.06.2020

Applications should include (electronically) a letter of intent, curriculum vitae, full publication list, copies of degree certificates and transcripts of academic records (all certified), and a list of two persons who may act as references (with phone numbers and e-mail addresses). Publications should be included electronically within the application deadline.

The relevant NMBU Department may require further documentation, e.g. proof of English proficiency.

Printed material which cannot be sent electronically should be sent by surface mail to the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, by 02.06.2020. Please quote reference number 20/01986.

If it is difficult to judge the applicant’s contribution for publications with multiple authors, a short description of the applicant’s contribution must be included.

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