We are seeking an enthusiastic and innovative soil-systems/agri-environmental modeller to work in an active research team developing and running models that describe the flow of nutrients and pollutants in soil systems. This role is for a versatile post-doctoral scientist who will work in a multidisciplinary environment and interact with scientists from several different organisations all researching processes that contribute to our understanding of GHG emissions and the loading of agricultural chemicals in freshwaters. It is suitable for a highly numerate scientist, with experience of programming and mathematical techniques.
Currently, agriculture faces many conflicting pressures. In developed countries consumers demand safe, nutritious food alongside high animal welfare and environmental standards. In developing countries, the growing size of the urbanising population creates an increasing demand on the supply of food. Production everywhere needs to go hand in hand with sustainable and resilient management of land to protect the wider environment. One way to achieve a balance between nature and production is through conservation agriculture (CA). We have secured a project to explore the impacts of CA in varying contexts across Europe and Africa on emissions of greenhouse gases. In the UK the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council has funded us to research the impact of contaminants (including those from agriculture) on organisms in UK freshwaters. Both pieces of work require the development and use of computer simulation models to explore scenarios of climate, land-use and other management change on nutrient losses from agriculture.
The post holder will run simulations of the impact of conservation agriculture interventions using data from Africa and Europe to explore means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase soils carbon stores. In addition, they will develop code to describe the fate of agrochemicals in the UK and liaise closely with other scientists who are developing models to describe the impact of these substances and others on Freshwater ecology. We anticipate a number of high-impact, multidisciplinary articles from this work. The research group has an excellent publication record so the post will provide a suitable springboard for someone who is seeking a career in the area of agri-environmental science.
The post will be embedded in the multidisciplinary environment at Rothamsted and interact with many staff including plant, crop and livestock scientists, agronomists, economists, soil scientists, pest and disease specialist as well as other modellers and mathematicians.