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PhD position in Soil Physics/Hydrology Experiment&Modeling

The Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) Müncheberg invites applications for PhD position in soil physics/soil hydrology (65%) Model development for describing macropore-matrix mass transfer during preferential flow


The project is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for 3 years; salary is according to the German tariff E13 TV-L (65%); candidates should be aiming at a doctorate.

The successful candidate will play a central role in this DFG-funded project that deals with the exploration of mass transfer processes through the macropore-matrix interface, which is a key for a quantitative understanding of preferential flow in structured soil. This local-scale movement of water and dissolved chemicals is depending in a complex way on the small-scale distributed composition of the surfaces of biopores and shrinkage cracks and fissures. The project is aiming at the development of an “effective” macroscopic exchange term for reactive solutes in two-domain models that can be related to measurable properties of the interface. Experiments and numerical simulations will be carried out together with cooperation partners from ZALF and with scientists from the Czech Technical University (Prague) and the University Kassel (Witzenhausen). The results will contribute to improving the modelling of preferential transport of reactive solutes in soils.
  • Field measurements and laboratory experiments
  • Structure analysis using X-ray Computertomography
  • Tracer-percolation experiments on soil aggregates and soil columns
  • Analyses of tracer experiments using 2-3D numerical models
  • Measurement of soil hydraulic properties and sorption isotherms
  • Surface structural analysis with laser-microscopy, IR-spectroscopy, fluorescence tracers
  • Reporting, presentation of results on meetings, publication in peer reviewed scientific journals
  • Required are successful degrees (Master, Diploma) in geo-ecology, in forest-, agricultural-, and environmental- sciences, hydrogeology, experience in modelling and experimentation
  • Good knowledge in mathematics and physics, numerics, programming
  • Interest in field and laboratory experiments, technical skills
  • Willingness to work independently and to leave for external research visits (e.g., Prague)
  • Drivers licence for cars (class B)
Information: PD Dr. Horst H. Gerke, Tel.: 03343282229, Email:
Place of work is Müncheberg, which is located about 50 km east of Berlin. Physically handicapped persons will be favoured if equally qualified. In order to increase the number of female employees, we ask interested and qualified women to apply for the position.
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