Date Posted
1 Oct 2024

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PhD Project
Collaborative Research Center AquaDiva

Doctoral Researcher Position in Hydrology / Soil Science / Geo-ecology in Jena, Germany

1 Oct 2024

NOTE: this position listing has expired and may no longer be relevant!

Position Description

The Collaborative Research Center SFB 1076 “AquaDiva – Understanding the Links between Surface and Subsurface Biogeosphere” is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). AquaDiva is an ambitious research center with more than 70 researchers and Institutes at four faculties of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU) and three non-university research institutes in Jena or Leipzig. The integrated Research Training Group AquaDiva is educating doctoral researchers in a structured, interdisciplinary training program. AquaDiva combines different research areas, such as ecology, microbiology, hydrogeology, soil science, geomorphology, geochemistry, geology, geophysics, chemistry, and information science, to a comprehensive picture of subsurface research (

The Integrated Research Training Group AquaDiva invites applications for a Doctoral Researcher Position (m/f; Ref.No. 130/2017) at the group Terrestrial Ecohydrology at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Effect of Canopy-Induced Heterogeneity on Water Flux Patterns below the Root Zone

The project aims at understanding whether canopy-induced small-scale patterns of water fluxes have potential to affect area-averaged water fluxes below the rooting zone. This project goes beyond assessing the effect of canopies on precipitation, by accounting specifically also for vegetation-induced patterns of soil hydraulic properties and transpiration. This work will be conducted at an intensive monitoring site already equipped with an expansive soil sensor network and forest lysimeters. An important technical task will be the extension of the soil sensor network by potentiometers and the development of a low complexity soil water model for a model-data-fusion exercise.

– A Master’s degree (or equivalent) in hydrology, soil science, geo-ecology, or related discipline in the environmental sciences
– Solid knowledge of unsaturated water flow, including both modelling and observation; background in statistics; ideally with knowledge of geostatistics, sensing technology, and/or a script language (such as python, R, or Matlab)
– Readyness to work for extended periods in the field
– Enthusiasm to play an active role in the interdisciplinary research team of AquaDiva
– Highly motivated and creative personalities, with an interest to shape their own thesis project
– Excellent written and oral communications skills in English

We offer:
– A doctoral researcher position (TV-L E13 – salary agreement for public service employees, 65%) with funding from Nov 1, 2017, until Jun 30, 2021, as well as generous research funding with the possibility of a three-months research stay abroad
– Opportunity for research on an innovative and unique Critical Zone research platform
– A comprehensive mentoring program with supervision by a team of advisors
– A communicative atmosphere within a scientific network providing top-level research facilities and training program, including participation in international and national conferences and workshops
– The place of work is Jena, Germany, a young and lively university town with dynamic business activities, successful scientific centers of innovation, and a vibrant cultural scene around a university with a rich tradition

How to Apply

Applications should be written in English. Email your application (including motivation letter, curriculum vitae, certificates, supporting letters; collected into one single pdf-file) to until Sep 16, and refer to position 130/2017. Please also indicate name and contact information of three referees. The position is open until filled. Severely disabled applicants with equal qualification and aptitude are given preferential consideration. More project details: For more information on the position, feel free to contact Anke Hildebrandt ( For other information, please contact the coordinator, Maria Fabisch (

Position Category: Geosciences. Position Type: PhD Project. Position Tags: modeling, soil science, hydrology, geo-ecology, water flux, water flow, root zone, and geostatistics.