The mission of the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) as a nationally and internationally active research institute is to scientifically explain causal relationships in agricultural landscapes and to provide society with a knowledge base for the sustainable use of agricultural landscapes through excellent research. ZALF is a member of the Leibniz Association and is located in Müncheberg (approx. 35 minutes by regional train from Berlin-Lichtenberg). It also maintains a research station with further locations in Dedelow and Paulinenaue.

Water movement in soil is of central importance for many soil functions including plant production, water storage and filtering, as well as global matter cycling. Classical concepts of modelling water dynamics in soil typically fail in case of fast processes during water infiltration and in predicting lateral flows along hill slopes.

A new trilateral project (UFZ Halle, ZALF Müncheberg, TU-Dresden) on "Vadose zone Modeling of water flow in hill slope Soil (VAMOS)", funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), will use existing long term monitoring data from a TERENO lysimeter network to develop new tools for modeling hydraulic non-equilibrium and the onset of lateral flows along hill slopes. The job offer at UFZ for another PhD position in this project can be found at UFZ: (

We are offering a part-time position (65% TV-L EG 13) starting January 2019 or as soon as possible afterwards that is temporarily limited to 3 years at our location in Müncheberg as

PhD Student (f/m)

Your tasks:

The successful candidate will identify evidence for subsurface lateral flow by analyzing the discrepancies in water dynamics between lysimeters and field soil and by tracer experiments and small-scale 2D modeling. The pedologic back-ground for reconstruction of the 3D topography and layering of soil horizons of an experimental field will be used as a basis for the larger scale coupled flow modeling. Specific tasks include the application of numerical flow models, time-series' analysis of lysimeter data, tracer percolation experiments, 3D soil modeling of topography and subsoil horizons, and documentation, presentation, and publication in scientific journals.

Your qualifications:

  • Degree (Master, Diploma) in geo-ecology, forest, agricultural, or environmental sciences, hydrogeology
  • Solid background in soil physics and soil hydrology
  • Programming skills would be very useful
  • Good knowledge of English
  • Driver's license for cars (class B)

We offer:

  • An interdisciplinary working environment that encourages independence and self-reliance
  • Classification according to the collective agreement of the federal states (TV-L EG 13, 65% including special annual payment)
  • A collegial and open-minded working atmosphere in a dynamic research institution and in inter-disciplinary, multinational teams
  • An inspiring and dynamic research environment with state-of-the-art research facilities
  • Excellent links with national and international research networks

Women are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications from severely disabled persons with equal qualifications are favored. Please send your application preferably by e-mail (one PDF file, max. 5 MB) with the usual documents, cover letter explaining your motivation, in particular CV, proof of qualification and certificates, stating the reference number 71-2018 until November 15th 2018 to:

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: PD Dr. Horst H. Gerke, Tel. +49 (0) 33432/82-229; Email:

published: 18 October 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.