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Job posting // Postdoc Modelling groundwater use and crop production

Wageningen University & Research is offering a postdoc position (three years full time) in modelling groundwater use and crop production. The position requires a PhD degree (or about to obtain) in the field of Hydrology, Geocomputation, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Engineering or a related field and excellent scripting and programming skills. Apply before May 8, 2022.


About the position

Wageningen University & Research is offering a postdoc position (3-years fulltime) for a postdoctoral researcher who is interested in global water and sustainability challenges. Your main task at the beginning of the project is the development of a global-scale surface water, groundwater, and crop growth model. This model does not exist yet and will be derived from models that are currently use in within group (namely VIC, MODFLOW, and WOFOST). You should have excellent scripting and programming skills and preferably experience in the field of hydrology. This postdoc position is part of the ERC Starting Grant project GROW (Groundwater sustainability and crop production). Together with two PhDs and a second Postdoc, you will work as a team on assessing the environmentally safe operating space for groundwater use and the trade-offs between sustainable groundwater use and crop production at the global scale under climate and socio-economic change.

At the start of the project your main task will be to make an online coupling at high resolution (~10x10km) between the different global scale models and explore further technical improvements that can be made (e.g. to decrease calculation time, make scripting more user friendly). Especially the coupling between groundwater and crop production has not been done before, however is needed to better understand the role of groundwater in maintaining and enhancing crop production driven by food demands. Next, you will add an advanced water demand and water use module and develop, together with the PhDs and Postdoc, a novel framework for model evaluation and validation and sensitivity testing and will improve model parameterizations using newly available global and regional datasets (e.g. for the subsurface, crop growth parameterization). With this project, you will contribute to an ambitious modelling goal and be at the forefront of new developments in the field of large-scale hydrology. The model will be used to quantify the volumes of groundwater used and sustainably available under current and future climate and socio-economic conditions and the assess the impact of current and future water use on the hydrological system. Also, you and the team will explore potential pathways towards sustainable groundwater use while sufficient crop production is protected. You will work closely together with the PhDs and other postdoc within the project to answer the relevant research questions related to this topic.

You will be part of the Water Systems and Global Change group of Wageningen University. Within the group the team studies how future climate change affects the global water cycle and how this impacts water for food, energy, and environment.

Required Qualifications

  • A PhD degree (or about to obtain) in the field of Hydrology, Geocomputation, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Engineering, or a related field;
  • An excellent academic record and publication record;
  • Demonstrated enthusiasm for working with large datasets and large-scale numerical modelling in context of global change;
  • Excellent scripting and programming skills (e.g. Python, R, C++);
  • Preferably advanced experience in working with numerical modelling on High Performance Computing Platforms;
  • Willingness to work in multidisciplinary teams and the ability to work with PhD and MSc students in an advisory role;
  • For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level;

Further Information

Wageningen University & Research offers the following terms of employment.

Read the original job posting for more details.

For more information about this position, contact Inge de Graaf or Fulco Ludwig.

For more information about the procedure, please contact Edgar Tijhuis (corporate recruiter).


Apply under the following link by sending in your motivation letter and CV, before May 8, 2022.

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