Ph.D. student (m/f/d)

Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Müncheberg

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.

ZALF’s Research Area 1 ‚Landscape Functioning‘ investigates the functioning of agricultural landscapes and aims at contributions to the United Nations’ Sustainability Goals (SDGs) Zero Hunger, Climate Action, and Life on Land.

The Research Group “Isotope Biogeochemistry and Gas Fluxes” offers a 65%position, temporarly limited for 36 months, at our location in Müncheberg for a

Ph.D. student (m/f/d)

The announced position is part of the international project “Reuse of pineapple residues (PR) at small farms to improve nutrient-cycling and income stability as well as to reduce agricultural GHG emissions (rePRISING)” (funded by the BMEL).

The main goal of rePRISING is to clarify whether the reuse of PR in terms of mulching/incorporation minimizes GHG and gaseous C/N losses, increases C sequestration and improves the nutrient-cycling (C/N/P/K) as well as to determine how secondary recycling of certain PR components affects GHG emissions and nutrient-cycling (C/N/P/K). The study area is located at the Philippines; hence the project includes several research stays at the Philippines and the research site. The work program includes (i) a small field experiment where GHG emissions are measured using the manual closed chamber method; (ii) incubation experiments at ZALF to determine baseline soil and PR GHG emissions; and (III) pot experiments to investigate the role of CAM on net ecosystem C balance (NECB) estimates. The PhD candidate will work closely together with our project partner from the Philippines.

Your tasks:

  • Organization and ensuring the conductance of investigations (by local students) at the field experiment site (Philippines) as well as performing planned incubation and pot experiments at ZALF
  • Technical/Scientific instruction of local students 
  • Expertise in/willingness to acquire special knowledge in the field of trace gas measurements and analysis
  • Calculation, modelling and analysis of manually recorded trace gas fluxes and their control factors, modelling of cumulative gas exchange rates, preparation of system C/N balances
  • Quality control of all data collected within the framework of the field experiment and timely transfer of these data to a central project database
  • Independent preparation of scientific publications based on the results of the model experiment, organization of and participation in project workshops, presentation of the results at scientific conferences and to local stakeholders


  • You are from the Philippines interested in making a PhD at a German research institute

Your qualifications:

  • A completed university degree (Master or Diploma) in agriculture, biology, geoecology, geography or related disciplines
  • Expertise and experience in field measurement data acquisition, processing, preparation and storage as well as data preparation and visualization
  • Expertise in plant cultivation, field trials, and experience in understanding the interactions between land use C- and N-dynamics is of advantage
  • Experience with plant and soil analyses as well as the performance and evaluation of trace gas measurements using special scripts, e.g. based on the programming language R is of advantage
  • Very good knowledge of common Microsoft Office applications
  • Programming experience/knowledge or willingness to acquire it (e.g., R and Julia)
  • Very good knowledge of English

We offer:

  • An international and interdisciplinary working environment that encourages independence and self-reliance but also guarantees the necessary scientific and organizational support
  • Classification according to the collective agreement of the federal states (TV-L13) including special annual payment
  • A collegial and stimulating working atmosphere in a dynamic research institution and international working group
  • The opportunity for further qualification

Women are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications from severely disabled persons with equal qualifications are favoured. Please send your application preferably by e-mail (one PDF file, max. 5 MB) with the usual documents, in particular CV, proof of qualification and certificates, stating the reference number 13-2020 until February 28, 2019 to: Bewerbungen(at)zalf.de.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: Dr. Mathias Hoffmann, e-mail: mathias.hoffmann(at)zalf.de, Tel.: 033432/82 473 or Prof. Dr. Jürgen Augustin, e-mail: jaug(at)zalf.de, Tel. +49 (0) 33432/82-376