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Open position crop modeler

Open position for crop modeller or remote sensing specialist at ZALF 01-11-2017 A post-doc position is open for a crop modeler or remote sensing specialist, who wants to work at the interface of remote sensing , data assimilation and agro-ecosystem modelling. The research project investigates malting barley with respect to remote sensing-aided nitrogen fertilisation towards a narrow target protein window and starts 1 Nov 2017. Barley IT is an international demonstrator project with a duration of 24 months. Please distribute this call in your network and forward it directly to suitable candidates in your periphery.

The Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) in Müncheberg has opened a position for a Post-doc Researcher [51/2017]  for process-based crop modelling and remote sensing in the context of an international demonstrator project on malting barley protein management through simulation-guided nitrogen top dressing, beginning 1 November 2017.  

ZALF ( is a member of the Leibniz Association and, with its 350 employees, one of the largest research institutions in the Berlin-Brandenburg region. It is our mission to scientifically explain causal relationships in agricultural landscapes and to provide society with sound information for the sustainable use of agricultural landscapes through excellent research. ZALF strongly focusses on interdisciplinary collaboration.  The position aims at strengthening ZALF’s expertise on integrated crop systems analysis and modelling at multiple scales ranging from the plot/field to the landscape, regional and global scale. Primary research focus is on the landscape scale considering biophysical processes and human interaction at crop and grassland system level. Key applications of model development focus on food security, sustainable intensification and climate change.

The research work is embedded in larger international research networks and contributes to their progress at various levels.  The candidate is expected to improve and apply a process-based crop growth model for simulations of barley biomass growth and phenological development in simulations to inform farmers on the protein content development in the grain filling period. Emphasis is on the assimilation of remote sensing data in the simulations towards the development of a decision support system.  

The task area includes the following foci:

Data collection and model set-up for malting barley representation Model development, parametrisation and validation with respect to protein dynamics Assimilation of high-frequency time series of multi-spectral optical remote sensing data into the simulation model

Simulation of barley yields and qualities for Germany and selected regions across Europe, using a grid-based ensemble of simulation models on a multi-core computer cluster

Analysis of scaling effects of 1D simulations to larger scales

Synthesis of modelling results in scientific publications and oral presentations at project and network meetings and conferences

Support the research group through PhD student supervision and fund raising  Ground-truthing field work on experimental plots may be necessary. Applicants should (I) hold a PhD in Agronomy, Geo-ecology, Environmental Science or related area, with focus on simulation modelling, remote sensing and crop production, (II) prove strong interest in big data (III), be fluent in English (oral and written) and show a significant record of peer-reviewed scientific publications.   The applicant will be provided a stimulating environment to advance in scientific career according to the ZALF qualification support standards.


Dr. Claas Nendel

Komm. Leiter/Acting Head

Institut für Landschaftssystemanalyse

Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V.

Institute of Landscape Systems Analysis

Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)

Eberswalder Straße 84

15374 Müncheberg (Germany)

T: +49 33432 82 355

F: +49 33432 82 334



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