Postdoctoral Research Associate-Soil Science/Agroecology/Agronomy/Hydrology

University of California-Davis

Davis, CA, USA 🇺🇸


Salary range: The current pay range is $55,632-$66,600 depending on experience level.
See Table 23:


Open date: January 9, 2023

Next review date: Monday, Jan 23, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Monday, Feb 6, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


Postdoctoral Scholar Opportunity at University of California, Davis
Dept of LAWR, Soil Biochemistry Lab
PI: William Horwath

The Soil Biogeochemistry Lab ( at the University of California-Davis is seeking a post-doctoral research associate with training in soil science, agronomy, agroecology or hydrology or related discipline to investigate potential environmental factors that could affect trace gas emissions during the storage and field (land) application of effluent from two dairy manure management sources, open lagoons (project baseline) and anaerobic digesters. Senate Bill (SB) 1383 (Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of (2016) requires a 40 percent reduction in methane emissions from California’s dairy and livestock sector compared to 2013 levels by 2030. About half of the methane emissions from this sector originate from manure management practices. Anaerobic digestion is an effective mitigation technology for methane emissions dairy waste and other livestock operations, but limited information is available on the potential downstream land applied air emissions that could result from anaerobic digestion at California dairies. This position provides a unique opportunity to combine scientific research with the needs of the dairy industry and government agency. This is one of parallel projects involving experts from Princeton University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, California Air Resources Board, and industry collaborators.

The postdoctoral research associate will be responsible for 1) work with technical advisory committee to identify candidate dairies, conduct activity data survey, and develop a testing schedule of air quality monitoring, liquid and soil samples, and NOx flux testing; 2) analyze liquid samples collected at the inlets and outlets of the open lagoons, digesters, and effluent storage ponds, and develop a liquid sample data report; and 3) analyze soil samples and conduct NOx flux measurements collected before and after the digester and lagoon effluent are field applied, and develop a soil sample and NOx flux data report. The incumbent will also be expected to prepare research publications. The goal of the study is to help the State determine if applying anaerobic digestion practices on California dairies can result in an unintended increase of downstream air pollutant emissions, identify driving environmental factors for those emissions, and develop mitigation strategies if necessary. Experience in ecological isotope applications, biogeochemical models, and/or NOx instrumentation is highly desirable.

The candidate will develop hypotheses based on current literature, design and conduct experiments, perform work in the laboratory and field, analyze data, and prepare manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals. It is expected that the postdoctoral associate will lead a minimum of two high-impact peer reviewed scientific articles with the supervision of Dr. William Horwath and collaborators. In addition, the postdoc will be expected to supervise undergraduate student assistants, develop analytical methodologies and interact with other lab members. The postdoctoral associate will work independently with minimal supervision. This is a full time, 12-month appointment with one additional year available depending on performance and funding availability.

Main Responsibilities:
• Experimental design
• Communication with collaborators including dairy farmers
• Field sample collection, processing and analyzing
• Data analysis and interpretation
• Review of relevant literature
• Preparation of manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals
• Participate extension activities
• Mentoring of undergraduate students


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

PhD in soil science, agronomy, plant science, agroecology, hydrology or related field

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

Expertise in soil nitrogen and/or carbon cycles,
Evidence of effective data analysis, scientific writing and publication in English

Preferred qualifications

• Experience with dairy farm operation, manure management and digestate land application
• Experience with soil water movement
• Experience with isotope ecological applications
• Experience with process-based models (e.g. DayCent and DNDC)
• Experience with NOx Instrument.


Document requirements

  • Cover Letter – explaining why you are interested in this position and what makes you a good candidate for it.
  • Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V.

Reference requirements

  • 3 required (contact information only)

Apply link:

Help contact:


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We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals’ with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UC Davis positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available at:

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The university is consistently ranked among the top institutions in the world for campus sustainability practices by the UI Green Metric World University Rankings. UC Davis is focused on achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and repeatedly shown its commitment to preserving a healthy and sustainable environment for generations to come.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs – With Updated Interim Amendments. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine Primary Series or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, Religious Objection, and/or Deferral based on pregnancy or recent COVID-19 diagnosis and/or treatment) no later than the applicable deadline. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of receiving the most recent CDC-recommended COVID-19 booster or properly decline such booster no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Exhibit 2, Section II.C. of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Attachment for applicable deadlines. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of being Up-To-Date on seasonal influenza vaccination or properly decline such vaccination no later than the applicable deadline. Please refer to the Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program Attachment.(Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.


Davis, CA





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