Postdoctor in in-situ-data och remote sensing for soil health assessment


Ref. No. SU FV-2680-23

at the Department of Physical Geography. Closing date: 4 September 2023.

The Department of Physical Geography is one of the major departments within the Faculty of Science at Stockholm University. The department has approximately 110 employees and educates approximately 1 000 students annually. Education is oriented towards geography, geosciences, biology-earth sciences, and environmental protection. We offer a stimulating and friendly environment in a very diverse and international department.

Project description
Healthy soils are the basis for food production, viable ecosystems and functional biogeochemical cycles. From a global perspective, loss of soils and decline in both soil fertility and soil carbon content are major problems. Problems that also contribute to increased emissions of greenhouse gases. The European Union (EU) is strongly committed to developing sustainable agricultural practices to improve soil fertility across Europe. The Department of Natural Geography, Stockholm University is a partner in the EU project AI4SoilHealth ( which started on 1 January 2023. Within the project, Stockholm University is responsible for developing in-situ tools for observing and monitoring soil health, including combine different data types and develop a rapid soil health assessment tool that other partners will implement in a mobile app.

New and emerging instruments and methods for collecting in situ data will be evaluated together with both legacy data from traditional methods and ongoing European and national soil monitoring programs. Latest remote sensing data will be provided through other project partners.

Main responsibilities  
To develop tools and methods to improve the quality and availability of soil data and their use to assess soil health across Europe. This includes to organize and evaluate data from new networks of sensors, including remote sensing and in-situ data, e.g. from soil spectroscopy. The post-doc will coordinate and support the collection of data obtained from other project partners, which will include data from measurements of soil spectral properties, environmental DNA (eDNA), soil macrofauna and soil organic carbon turnover model results. Contribute to the development of a mobile app for field data collection, analysis and presentation of in-situ data combined with satellite data.

The position involves collaboration with multidisciplinary groups consisting of soil scientists, biologists, geographers, ecologists, modellers and social scientists. We are looking for a postdoctoral fellow with experience working with soil data from in-situ and remote sensing observations, and modelling to predict soil properties based on combined data.

Qualification requirements
Postdoctoral positions are appointed primarily for purposes of research. Applicants are expected to hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent degree from another country.

Assessment criteria
The degree must have been completed at latest before the employment decision is made, but no more than three years before the closing date. An older degree may be acceptable under special circumstances. Special reasons refer to sick leave, parental leave, elected positions in trade unions, service in the total defense, or other similar circumstances as well as clinical attachment or service/assignments relevant to the subject area.

Required qualifications: 

  • A doctoral degree in a relevant field, including computer science, environmental science, geology or ecology,
  • Understanding of soil mapping and monitoring from remote sensing data, preferably using machine learning,
  • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary team,
  • Independent and critical thinking demonstrated through scholarly publications, and
  • Excellent communication skills in English. 

Desired qualifications: 

  • Practical knowledge in data mining,
  • Knowledge of Python and relational databases,
  • Practical experience in app development,
  • Previous experience in algorithm development, and
  • Previous experience with data-model integration.

Terms of employment
The position involves full-time employment for a minimum of two years and a maximum of three years, with the possibility of extension under special circumstances. Start date 2023-10-01 or as per agreement.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

Further information about the position can be obtained from Professor Gustaf Hugelius, telephone: +46 8 674 78 73,, or Researcher Thomas Gumbricht,

Union representatives
Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64,, Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/OFR), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89,, and (SEKO).

Apply for the position at Stockholm University's recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of publications
  • Research proposal (no more than 3 pages) describing:
    – why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement
    – why and how you wish to complete the project
    – what makes you suitable for the project in question
  • Copy of PhD diploma
  • Letters of recommendation (no more than 3 files)
  • Publications in support of your application (no more than 3 files).

The instructions for applicants are available at: How to apply for a position.

You are welcome to apply!

Stockholm University contributes to the development of sustainable democratic society through knowledge, enlightenment and the pursuit of truth.

Closing date: 04/09/2023

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