Research scientist  to investigate methane release from various water bodies in an Arctic permafrost environment

Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

Potsdam, Germany 🇩🇪

The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national centre for geosphere research. As a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres we are part of the largest scientific organization in Germany. With approximately 1,400 employees our key mission is to secure a profound understanding of the systems and processes of solid Earth, to develop strategies and options for action in addressing global change and its impacts on a regional level, to understand natural hazards and to minimize associated risks, to ensure the sustainable provision of energy and raw materials for a high-tech society and to evaluate the influence of human activity on system Earth.

As a partner in Geo.X, the GFZ has access to an excellent network of other geoscience institutions in Potsdam and Berlin. This largest regional concentration of geoscientific competence in Europe offers first-class cooperation and development opportunities.

The section 1.4 Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics (department “Geodesy”), offers a position as a:

Research Scientist (f_m_x)

Reference Number 7335

within the Earth-Atmosphere Interactions Group to investigate methane release from various water bodies in an Arctic permafrost environment.

The collaborative, federally funded MOMENT project aims to fill the remaining gaps in the process understanding of carbon cycling and greenhouse gas formation in northern latitudes using lab-based simulations, multi-scale greenhouse gas flux observations and modelling. The overall goal is to reduce the current uncertainties in greenhouse gas projections of Arctic tundra environments. The project consortium is led by the University of Hamburg and includes further collaborators at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, the Leibniz University Hannover, the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, and the University of Cologne.

The successful applicant for this 34-month position is encouraged to develop her/his project. You are expected to establish field measurements of in-situ water column methane concentrations and freshwater methane emissions in a heterogeneous landscape on Disko Island, West Greenland, and develop analyses and process understanding in close collaboration with colleagues doing complementary work on terrestrial landscape elements as well as earth system model developers. The position will require extended periods of fieldwork in the summer potentially lasting into the winter season. 

We look for candidates with documented prior experience in GHG flux measurements and an interest in actively developing their scientific careers.

Your responsibilities:

  • Implement field measurements of freshwater GHG concentration and fluxes
  • Analyze spatial patterns and controls of freshwater GHG dynamics on the ecosystem scale
  • Apply quantitative analytical methods
  • Generate and test hypotheses
  • Work as part of a multi-institutional team
  • Present results at scientific meetings and publish results in scientific journals

Your qualifications:

  • Master`s degree or equivalent, Doctoral degree in atmospheric/environmental science, meteorology, physics, geoecology, or related field
  • In-depth knowledge of freshwater biogeochemistry, surface-atmosphere exchange, and relevant measurement techniques
  • Excellent coding and quantitative analytical skills, preferably in R, Matlab, or Python
  • Creative & critical thinking and ability to publish shown by a track record of original and innovative research
  • Intention to actively develop your research career
  • Strong motivation and excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Motivation & experience to act as a multiplier (e.g. recruit & supervise students, apply for follow-up projects)
  • Ability to work both independently and in an integrated team environment
  • Collaboration with researchers at both national and international institutes
  • Fluency in English (written and spoken), German is beneficial but not required

What we offer:

  • Ambitious and varied tasks in a dynamic and international research environment
  • State-of-the-art equipment
  • Public service benefits
  • Extensive training opportunities
  • Professional career advice offered by our in-house Career-Centre
  • Flexible working hours and conditions
  • Support with finding a good work-life balance offered by benefit@work
  • Institute day-care centre on site
  • Working at the Albert Einstein science park on the Telegrafenberg in Potsdam
  • Work place within walking distance of Potsdam main train station, or just a short ride on the shuttle bus

Start date: As soon as possible
Fixed-term: 34 months
Salary: assessed as being salary group 13 according to “TVöD Bund” (Tarifgebiet “Ost”). The Salary group will be determined by the conditions of the collective wage agreement and the appropriate personal qualifications.
Working hours: Full-time (currently 39 h/week); The position is generally suitable for part-time work.
Place of work: Potsdam





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development