PhD Opportunity: PhD on quantifying the pan-Arctic nitrogen feedback, University of Bern

PhD on “quantifying the pan-Arctic nitrogen feedback” at University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Start of employment: 1 March 2024 or as agreed

In the framework of the funded Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) project PanArc-N hosted within the Geocomputation and Earth Observation group of the Institute of Geography (University of Bern) they are recruiting a PhD Candidate in quantifying the pan-Arctic nitrogen feedback (4 years).


The PhD project aims to synthesize over novel datasets and simulations covering the pan-Arctic region in order to assess impacts of release of nitrogen from the permafrost for vegetation growth, N2O emissions and lateral exports to freshwaters. Through their research, the PhD candidate will also contribute to developing model frameworks representing mechanisms and timescales of adaptation of the pan-Arctic vegetation to increasing thaw depths and co-current increasing nitrogen availability. During these tasks, the PhD Candidate will be in close exchange and supported by international model development teams of the QUINCY-ICON-L and LPX-Bern terrestrial biosphere models. Planned outcomes are of high relevance for global assessments of climate change, and scientific exchange with international partners investigating downstream impacts of changes of nitrogen exports to freshwaters is planned.


  • A Master’s degree in ecology, geosciences, physics, mathematics, computer science or engineering or comparable fields by the starting date of the PhD position
  • Demonstration of proficient English written and oral skills
  • Experience with, or a strong motivation to learn a programming language and computational tools for geospatial data analysis (e.g., python, R, MATLAB, cdo, nco)
  • A collaborative mentality and enthusiasm for the analysis of climate change impacts and the development of computational tools


The PhD Candidate will be co-supervised by Dr. Fabrice Lacroix and Prof. Dr. Benjamin Stocker, being fully integrated within the Geocomputation and Earth Observation group at the Institute of Geography, an interdisciplinary group that develops model and data integration methods to gain a mechanistic understanding of the terrestrial biosphere. They are dedicated to promoting diversity and equality in their research team, creating a working atmosphere comfortable for everyone, as well as pursuing open science research.

They are looking to fill the position as per 1 March 2024, although flexibility in the starting date is possible. Please send your application in a single pdf file (letter of motivation, CV, degree certificates) to