PhD Position in Rhizosphere Modelling

University of Hohenheim


PhD Position in Rhizosphere Modelling

The Biogeophysics group at the Institute of Soil Science and Land Evaluation of the University of Hohenheim conducts research to improve our understanding of biogeophysical and -chemical processes in terrestrial ecosystems. We use innovative modeling tools in combination with experiments to analyze critical controls of process dynamics. Our research contributes to the sustainable use of soils under global challenges such as agricultural intensification and climate change.

Combining ROot contrasted Phenotypes for more resilient agro ecosystems 

Your job

The work will be part of the program of the German Ministry for Education and Science (BMBF) “Plant
roots and soil ecosystems: Importance of the rhizosphere for the bioeconomy” in the framework of the
“National Research Strategy Bioeconomy 2030”. The CROP project aims at assessing the beneficial
impact of combining contrasted root phenotypes within a single field on water, carbon and nitrogen
flow and cycling in the soil-plant system by the combined use of experimental and modelling tools.

You will be responsible for the development and implementation of a rhizosphere-microbiome model
that reflects the response of bacterial and fungal key players to plant roots and feedbacks on C and N
cycling in the rhizosphere. You will directly collaborate with a PhD student at Forschungszentrum
Jülich to couple the rhizosphere-microbiome model with the 3D functional-structural plant model
CPlantBox. Model parameterization and evaluation will be based on the experimental data from this
project in collaboration with two other PhD students in Jülich and Hohenheim.

Your tasks in detail

    • Implement key functional microbial types and N cycling into an existing model framework
    • Parameterize this model based on experimental data §  Perform scenario simulations and analyze simulation results
    •  Present and publish results at conferences and in peer-reviewed journals

Your profile

    • Master’s degree in bioengineering, environmental sciences, soil science or applied mathematics
    • Knowledge of soil science and microbial ecology
    • Modelling and programming skills
    • Independent and cooperative working in an international, interdisciplinary team across institutes
    • Very good communication and organizational skills
    • Very good command of the English language

We offer

    • Excellent working environment at one of the leading universities in agricultural sciences
    • Attendance of national and international conferences and workshops
    • Possibility of further scientific and technical training by international experts

Bewerbungsfrist : 31.08.2020

Bitte fügen Sie Ihrer Bewerbung folgende Unterlagen bei: Your application should include a cover letter clearly stating your motivation of doing a PhD with us as well as a CV, copies of records of your BSc and MSc, documents showing your research experience and contacts of 1-2 references. The job will be advertised until the position will have been filled. You should submit your application as soon as possible. We look forward to receiving your application as a single pdf. Please contact Dr. Holger Pagel ( if you have questions about the vacancy. The University of Hohenheim seeks to increase the proportion of women in research and teaching and strongly encourages qualified female scientists to apply. With equal qualifications, preference will be given to candidates with disabilities.

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Dr. Holger Pagel

Fg. Biogeophysik (310d)
Wiss. Mitarbeiter
0711 459-22935

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