The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and its Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research/Atmospheric Environmental Research (KIT/IMK-IFU) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, invites applications to the open position of a

Ph.D. student or post-doctoral researcher, modelling interactions of climate change and land management on crop yields and soil carbon balance across Eastern Africa

Land-use and land-cover changes (LULCC) are a major contributor to global and regional climate change. But LULCC and climate change also impact ecosystems, for instance yields, carbon and water balances. Within a joint project with CIAT/Nairobi we seek a post-doctoral scientist or Ph.D. student to explore how different management practices affect crop yields, soil carbon pools and other ecosystems across Eastern Africa (specifically in Kenya and Ethiopia. Work will be done with the dynamic global vegetation model LPJ-GUESS.

Tasks in the project include
  • further develop model code w.r.t. crop representations and soil processes
  • prepare suitable input data to drive model simulations
  • assess model performance against suitable observations
  • perform uncertainty analyses
The post-doctoral researcher or Ph.D. student will also contribute to project reporting, project-internal communication with partners, teaching activities and general activities in the group.

The researcher will be placed in the IMK-IFU's research group on plant-atmosphere interactions, located in Garmisch-Partenkirchen ( The project is done in close collaboration with a number of institutions in Eastern Africa as well as in Europe. The appointee therefore must be willing to visit partner institutions.

We offer a position in a young and active team that is placed within a multi-disciplinary, collaborative research environment with excellent research infrastructure and support. We are well connected to national and international research programmes. Salary and benefits will be based on the Collective Agreement for the German Public Service Sector. The position is available immediately for two years (post-doc) or three years (Ph.D. student), further extension might be available depending on the availability of funds.

Professional requirements:
  • M.Sc. or Ph.D. degree in a quantitative environmental sciences discipline, for instance meteorology, environmental physics, -biology, or -engineering. Applications from candidates who are close to completion of their PhD degree will also be considered
  • Proven expertise in the process-based mathematical modelling of global ecological processes and skills in handling large, gridded input (e.g., different climate or land use input) and output fields
  • Excellent programming skills (e.g., C++, Fortran; GIS is not sufficient)
  • Ability to meet firm deadlines, willingness to communicate research results within a cross-disciplinary project, and to interact within an international research environment
  • Excellent spoken and written skills in the English language.
The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is the fusion of the former University of Karlsruhe and the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe. This makes KIT a unique institution in Germany, combining the missions of a university and that of a national research centre in the Helmholtz-Association. With a staff of 8000 and an annual budget of EUR 650 Mio., KIT ranks among the largest institutions of research and higher learning worldwide.

Applications including -within a single pdf file-- curriculum vitae, copy of certificates, list of publications, short outline of own research interests regarding the position's profile, and the contact information for two professional referees shall be addressed to

Prof. Almut Arneth; head of Division Ecosystem-Atmosphere-Interactions
Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research/ Atmospheric Environmental Research;
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT/IMK-IFU); Kreuzeckbahnstr. 19; 82467
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. E-mail:

Complete applications received by 15 October 2017 will receive full consideration; the position will remain open until a suitable candidate has been found. Incomplete applications, or applications from candidates that do not meet the above criteria will not be considered.

KIT strives to achieve gender balance at all levels of employment. We therefore particularly encourage female candidates to apply for this position. With appropriate qualifications, applications from persons with handicaps will be treated with preference.

posted: 01 June 2017    Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.