The Department of Geography, Climatology, Climate Dynamics and Climate Change at the Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Germany, has an opening for

1 PhD position (65%, 36 months, E13 TV-H, Reference is made to § 65 HHG) in "Reducing the uncertainty on regional and local climate induced by land-atmosphere feedbacks"

The PhD candidate aims at improving land-atmosphere feedbacks with a high resolution regional climate model in order to reduce uncertainties on regional and local climate on seasonal, inter-decadal, and climate time scales. The topic will connect land surface complexity with land-atmosphere interactions on fine spatial scales. Relevant processes like dynamical phenology will be integrated into the regional climate model, which are important for land-atmosphere interactions on regional and local climate. The PhD student will analyze in detail atmospheric dynamics linking surface emissions and atmospheric measurements to identify key processes related to meteorology, and to find sensitive areas. The reduction of uncertainty due to the model improvements on regional and local climate will be quantified for the bias and extremes.

We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate that fit the following profile:

Required skills:

  • The applicant must hold a university degree (MSc. or equivalent) in meteorology, geosciences, ecosystem ecology, environmental sciences or another subject of relevance to the appointment.
  • Applicant must demonstrate good programming skills, or should be able to provide convincing evidence to acquire such skills promptly upon appointment.
  • Knowledge of quantitative or numerical methods in the context of environmental research as well as experience with a land surface model, and/or the interpretation of micrometeorological measurements is highly advantageous.
  • The candidate should be able to work independently and effectively as part of a team setting.
  • The applicant must be willing to relocate to Germany.
  • All PhD candidates must demonstrate good written and oral communication skills in English.

Job tasks:

  • Pre-processing and implementation of time-varying land surface data in a regional climate model (RCM).
  • Sensitivity studies, short and long-term simulations for different regions with an RCM.
  • Implementation of dynamical phenology parameterization.
  • Improvement of land-atmosphere feedbacks in the model compared to observations.
  • Statistical analysis of model bias and extremes.
  • Interpretation and publishing of the results in co-operations with scientists, contribution to the final project report.

For further information about the position, please contact Dr. Merja Tölle (

Applications must be submitted before 10th of June 2018 by email to Dr. Merja Tölle and shall comprise a CV, a letter of motivation and letters of two referees in a single .pdf. The position is available from September 2018. Giessen is an equal opportunity employer; minority applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. Physically handicapped persons will be favored if they are equally qualified.

published: 01 May 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.