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Rothamsted Research

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Post Doctoral Research Scientist - Agricultural Systems Modeller

Salary Details:
£29,842-£32,315 per annum
Work Area:
Closing Date:
08 Mar 2018
Overview Of Role

We have an interesting new role for a Post-Doctoral Research Scientist to work in a small team at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden.


This role will couple agricultural systems models to help build a multi-objective systems model functioning at different scales across the UK. Particular emphasis will be laid upon the emission of nutrients to the atmosphere and natural waters and also on the integration of our understanding of the effects of soil organic matter on crop yields.  The purpose is to better understand how actions taken at field scale affect the landscape at catchment, national and economic scales and how these effects can be managed, mitigated and improved.


The UK landscape is diverse and so the nutrients found in natural waters and the atmosphere have diverse sources.  This post is directed chiefly at understanding and quantifying agricultural processes, but the post holder will need to work with environmental scientists to develop a systems model that takes account of nutrients from all sources and eventually to determine the fate of nutrients throughout the UK.  Work to date has focussed at a broad scale of 25 km2 and above (http://www.ltls.org.uk/content/outputs); the ambition now is to focus this more precisely down to 1 km2. For this reason an understanding of the science of crossing scales and aggregating and disaggregating data across scales would be invaluable.

A second aspect of the project is to understand and model the changes in agricultural systems that result from increases in soil organic matter, whether by amendment with compost or manure or by crop management practices such as cover cropping and crop rotation.  Experimental data for this will come from long-term experiments at Rothamsted and field experiments being conducted on a network of farms in the East of the UK by our partners.

Partner organisations in this research include hydrologists, ecologists and research agronomists and the appointee will need to be prepared to make occasional visits to these partner organisations in order to discuss results and occasionally visit field sites and farms. Since the farms are less easily accessible a valid UK driving licence is required and will necessitate some overnightstays as part of this role.

The researcher will sit within a small group working on aspects of sustainable agriculture and will benefit from contact with colleagues researching the impacts of non-crop biodiversity in the farmed landscape, on trade-offs between economic and environmental goals and what makes systems sustainable and resilient - whether arable or animal, specialised or mixed. The postholder will be expected to reciprocate this exchange of ideas and work in an integrated fashion with colleagues.

Some idea of the broad range of activities can be found at the following websites: https://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/projects/soil-nutrition-s2n and https://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/projects/achieving-sustainable-agricultural-systems-assist




About The Company
Established in 1843, Rothamsted Research is one of the UK's leading Research Institutes delivering world class agricultural science.  Our commitment to learning and development, equality and diversity as well as creating a positive work life balance,  enable a welcoming environment for all prospective employees.  We have an attractive benefits package including 25 days annual leave, a generous pension scheme and an attractive campus offering cultural and recreational activities.

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