Postdoc opportunity on land surface modelling and soil biology

Postdoctoral research opportunity at the land-surface modeling group of the Institut Pierre et Simon Laplace (IPSL). Deadline: Open until filled

Photo: Pexels
Photo: Pexels

The land-surface modelling group at the Institut Pierre et Simon Laplace (IPSL) is looking for a post-doctoral researcher interested in land surface modelling and soil biology. The position is available for a fixed-term period of 24 months with the possibility of 2 one-year extensions pending on the results. Depending on the personal situation of the person hired, the activities can be mainly located in Paris (LG-ENS) or in Amsterdam (VU).

About the postdoctoral position

Knowledge gaps on forest soil processes and lack of a harmonised soil monitoring limit the EU’s ability to maintain soil related ecosystem services and to reach climate policy targets. A better understanding of the soil processes and a harmonised approach to integrate data into computational models that are used for decision making is urgently required in order to meet climate and sustainability goals, including the UN’s Agenda 2030 SDGs, the Paris Agreement of Climate Convention, the EU Bioeconomy Strategy, the EU’s LULUCF Regulation, the EU Forest Strategy (2018), and the European Green Deal.

In this context, the main scientific objectives and the related tasks of the position will be to merge KEYLINK — a model considering the main effects of soil biota on litter and soil organic matter transformations and hydrology through structural modifications — with the land surface model ORCHIDEE describing the flux of water, carbon nitrogen and energy within the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. Then, with the new ORCHIDEE version some long-term simulations over Europe for present-day and for future will be performed in order to estimate the response of European forest to disturbance with a particular focus on drought.

The post-doctoral researcher will primarily develop the global land surface model ORCHIDEE, including functionalities related to the nitrogen cycle, forest management, and the vertical representation of soils.


Given the interdisciplinary nature of the research we are seeking highly motivated individuals with a degree (Master or PhD) in for example mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, meteorology, theoretical ecology or soil biology. A broad interest in natural sciences and more specifically in quantitative terrestrial ecology is essential. Rather than requiring any particular training, we are looking for candidates motivated by science with the ability to develop code (particularly Fortran 90) and to integrate scientific knowledge into numerical schemes. Priority will be given to individuals who have published peer-reviewed papers but it is not a strict requirement.

How to apply?

Applications should include (1) a curriculum vitae, (2) statement of motivation including a short description (½ page no more than 1 page) of a recent scientific question you answered and (3) names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of at least two references. The position is available from May 1st and will remain open until filled with a review of applications. Applications and inquiries should be sent to:

  • Bertrand Guenet (
  • Sebastiaan Luyssaert (
  • Jorge Curiel Yuste (
  • Kim Naudts (

More information

SOURCEInstitut Pierre et Simon Laplace (IPSL)
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