Postdoc in Earth Observation of terrestrial dryland ecosystem stability to global change

University of Copenhagen

Copenhagen, Denmark 🇩🇰

The Department of geosciences and natural resource management offers a 2.5 year Postdoctoral position in Earth Observation and ecosystem science, with a focus on studying dryland ecosystem response to environmental changes using satellite imagery and field-based knowledge.

The position is anchored in multiple ongoing research activities that aim at advancing our knowledge on properties and drivers of dryland ecosystem response to global change.  

Global Climate change is arguably the greatest environmental challenge the Earth is facing in the twenty-first century and one major implication is a warming climate and concurrent increasing aridity at large spatial scales. The potential negative consequences of such aridification are inevitably greatest for global drylands where water and natural resources are naturally limited, predominantly located in the Global South. Increasing aridity and regional warming will affect multiple ecosystem structural and functional attributes and processes, putting increased pressure on local livelihoods and natural resources.
The overall aim of the research to be conducted by the PostDoc fellow is to uncover the response and resistance of dryland vegetation to increasing aridity in tropical drylands. This will be accomplished by building on relevant remote-sensing datasets, to explore where and which ecosystem change variables are relevant in relation to understand changes in aridity. Combining remote sensing data also with relevant ground observations, the research will address the following questions: How do ecosystem variables change in response to increasing changes in drought and aridity? Which ecosystem variables are most sensitive/ vulnerable to changes in aridity? Where are hot spot areas of change? How resistant are dryland ecosystems to increasing aridity and what is the ecosystem response and recovery potential to disturbances from drought and climate change? 

Eligible candidates:

  • Candidates within the field(s) of geoinformatics/remote sensing. Applicants can have a background from biogeography/geoinformatics/remote sensing/environmental/enginering sciences.  
  • Candidates with a solid understanding of satellite images, spatio-temporal analysis and machine learning. 
  • Candidates should have strong quantitative skills (statistics and modeling) and have strong programming skills as well as having proven experience in cloud-based handling and processing large remote sensing datasets. 
  • Experienced in multidisciplinary team-based activities with the ability to effectively communicate with colleagues and with staff from the partners of a project. 
  • Proven experience of working with vegetation ecosystem functioning and understanding of monitoring dynamics in vegetation structure/functioning. Experience of coupling dense time series of remote sensing, climate and in situ data of ecosystem properties is considered an advantage.
  • Proficiency in spoken/written English, including proven records in academic writing and publishing in high quality peer-reviewed journals are essential.

Work environment
Your work place will be the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management (IGN), which conducts research and education on the past, present and future physical, chemical and biological environments of the Earth and their interactions with societal and human systems to provide graduates and research in support of sustainable future solutions for society. The department has strong experience in interdisciplinary collaboration within and beyond the department.
Further information on the Department is linked at Inquiries about the position can be made to Professor Rasmus Fensholt

The position is open from May 15th 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter. 

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff. 

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. 

Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below. 

Please include 
–    Curriculum vitae
–    Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent) 
–    Research plan – description of current and future research plans
–    Complete publication list
–    Separate reprints of 3 particularly relevant papers

The deadline for applications is 4th of April 2023, 23:59 GMT +2. 

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee. 
You can read about the recruitment process at

Interviews will be held during early May. 

Københavns Universitet giver sine knap 10.000 medarbejdere muligheder for at udnytte deres talent fuldt ud i et ambitiøst, uformelt miljø. Vi sikrer traditionsrige og moderne rammer om uddannelser og fri forskning pü højt internationalt niveau. Vi søger svar og løsninger pü fÌlles problemer og gør ny viden tilgÌngelig og nyttig for andre.


Ansøgningsfrist: 04-04-2023

AnsĂŚttelsesdato: 15-05-2023

Arbejdstid: Fuldtid

Afdeling/Sted: Institut for Geovidenskab og Naturforvaltning





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development