Job Posting: Research Associate in Carbon Dynamics in the Arctic, Universität Hamburg

Research Associate in Carbon Dynamics in the Arctic part of the Climate, Climatic Change, and Society (CliCCS) project at Universität Hamburg, Germany

Universität Hamburg is seeking candidates for a Post Doc position in the Excellence Cluster “Climate, Climatic Change, and Society (CLICCS)” funded by the German Research Foundation. The position is part of the project “Carbon Dynamics in the Arctic (CLICCS A1)” aiming to quantify Arctic sinks and sources of carbon and nutrients in a changing climate. The project considers a multitude of approaches and scales including laboratory experiments, field observations and pedon-scale to global-scale model simulations. The open position will be part of the working group “Dynamics of Soil Processes” at the Institute of Soil Science.

The research associate will study the impact of nutrient availability, particularly nitrogen, on plant productivity and carbon fluxes in permafrost-affected soils. Of particular interest is the link between nutrient fluxes (e.g. from N2-fixation) and carbon fluxes in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. This research will be based on a combination of Arctic field studies and controlled laboratory experiments and analysis. Element fluxes between soil, vegetation and atmosphere as well as the impact of microbial processes will be quantified under natural and highly controlled laboratory conditions using stable isotope techniques, incubations of soil mesocosms under a controlled climate, soil chemical and physical analysis and greenhouse gas flux measurements in the field and the laboratory. The fieldwork will be conducted in close cooperation with further researchers in the project.

Institution: Cluster of Excellence “Climate, Climatic Change, and Society (CliCCS)“ (climate research), Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences, Department of Earth System Sciences, Institute of Soil Science

Salary level: EGR. 13 TV-L

Start date: As soon as possible, fixed until 31 December 2025 (this is a fixed-term contract in accordance with Section 2 of the academic fixed-term labor contract act (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz, WissZeitVG)).

Scope of work: Full-time position suitable for part-time


A university degree in a relevant field, plus doctorate.

Enthusiastic applicants with a PhD in soil science, biogeochemistry, biology, geoscience, agronomy or a closely related field and expertise in:

  • Biogeochemical cycles in high-latitude soils;
  • Laboratory experiments on soil microbial processes and nutrient, particularly nitrogen, turnover and nitrogen fixation;
  • Field measurements of carbon and nitrogen turnover in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum including greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Soil chemical analysis and greenhouse gas measurements;
  • Application of stable isotope analysis in studies on carbon and nitrogen fluxes in soils;
  • Organization and participation in Arctic land expeditions.

The research associate will organize and participate in land expeditions to the Arctic lasting several weeks together with partners from CLICCS and further research projects.

Applicants must have very good English skills in speaking and writing. The evaluation of the applicants will be based on their proven expertise and experience in the relevant fields of expertise and their publication record. Participation in expeditions to the Arctic and in field work is required.

Universität Hamburg offers:

  • Reliable remuneration based on wage agreements
  • Continuing education opportunities
  • University pensions
  • Attractive location
  • Flexible working hours
  • Work-life balance opportunities
  • Health management
  • Educational leave
  • 30 days of vacation per annum

As a University of Excellence, Universität Hamburg is one of the strongest research universities in Germany. As a flagship university in the greater Hamburg region, it nurtures innovative, cooperative contacts to partners within and outside academia. It also provides and promotes sustainable education, knowledge, and knowledge exchange locally, nationally, and internationally.

Severely disabled and disabled applicants with the same status will receive preference over equally qualified non-disabled applicants.

Instructions for applying:

Contact: PD Dr. Christian Knoblauch (; +49 40 42838-2277) and Prof. Dr. Lars Kutzbach (; +49 40 42838-2021)

Reference number: 377

Location: Allende-Platz 2, 20146 Hamburg

Application deadline: 4 November 2023

Email your complete application documents (cover letter, CV, copies of degree certificate(s) and if necessary ID attesting to your disability or proof of equivalent status) via the online application form only.

If you experience technical problems, send an email to

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