Postdoc Researcher in Critical Zone Research


Louvain, Belgium 🇧đŸ‡Ș

About the job

Postdoctoral scientist in Critical Zone research

Earth and Life Institute, UCLouvain (Belgium).

The Earth and Life Institute ( invites applications for a 2-year postdoctoral position in the LandSense project. LandSense is a collaborative research effort on “Pushing the boundaries of Critical Zone research: Unravelling hydrological controls on carbon and nutrient fluxes by integrating proximal sensing, field measurements and smart modelling” ( The project is directed by François Jonard, SĂ©bastien Lambot, Sophie Opfergelt, Kristof Van Oost and Veerle Vanacker.

The LandSense project focuses on the spatio-temporal variation in soil hydrology and its controls on carbon and nutrients fluxes in hillslope-floodplain systems in both temperate and arctic regions. LandSense aims to improve the fundamental understanding of these key critical zone processes and their interactions by collecting targeted measurements using advanced sensing methodologies across spatial and hydrological gradients. This will be complemented with state-of-the-art chemical and isotopic characterizations, giving insights into the genesis and dynamics of the soil mantle. The team is working in two study sites, one located in the Belgian High Fens region, and a second Arctic site located at the foothills of the Alaska Range.

Within the frame of the LandSense project, the postdoc will focus on the hydrological controls on soil processes controlling carbon- and nutrient-efflux in the Critical Zone at the landscape scale. Long-term patterns in critical zone structure, biogeochemical composition and soil residence time will be characterised, and their control on the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of soil nutrients and DOC fluxes will be studied in coupled floodplain-hillslope systems. The observational insights will then be used to study process-feedbacks and inform coupled and integrated models.


We welcome applications from early career scientists having a Ph.D. degree in geoscience, geochemistry or a related discipline by the appointment start date. We look for a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher with experience with Critical Zone research, quantitative geomorphology, and soil geochemistry. Additional experience with cosmogenic radionuclides and soil-landscape evolution models are an asset. Successful applicants should be willing to work as part of a diverse and multidisciplinary team, and have excellent written and oral communication skills in English. The successful candidate will work under the supervision of Veerle Vanacker and Sophie Opfergelt. The target starting date is February 2023, but can be flexible.


The application should be sent in one single PDF including a motivation letter, a curriculum vitae, two publications representative of previous work, and contact information for two referees. Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2023 and continue until the position is filled. Applications are accepted through email to (and indicating ‘Postdoc LandSense’ as subject).





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development