OPEN POSITION: Post-doctoral researcher - Process-modelling of methane exchange of trees

University of Helsinki is recruiting a postdoctoral researcher to work in European Research Council (ERC) and Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE) funded project MEMETRE (From processes to modelling of methane emissions from trees).

The postdoctoral researcher will join a multidisciplinary group of 10 scientists studying the exchange of greenhouse gases methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in forest ecosystems, with the main aim at answering the question: what is the role of trees in the CH4 and N2O exchange of forests.

The main aim is to develop biogeochemical models so that the processes of CH4 exchange in the soil, and between the soil, trees and the atmosphere can be described. The main tasks of the postdoctoral researcher will be 1) to mathematically describe CH4 transport, production and consumption processes in trees, 2) to incorporate the developed tree-modules into process-based biogeochemical models for soil-tree-atmosphere gas exchange, 3) to participate in experi-mental work to guarantee direct interplay between the experimental and model development, and 4) to supervise PhD and MSc students working with process-based models. The modelling work will be conducted in close collaboration with research groups at the University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) and at the Natural Resources In-stitute Finland (LUKE).

We are seeking a highly motivated researcher with background in physics, ecophysiology, bioge-ochemistry, ecohydrology as well as experience in supervising MSc and/or PhD students. Excellent publication record, ability to work independently as part of a multidisciplinary research group consisting of biogeochemists, physicists, meteorologists, forest ecologists and microbiologists are essential. Good programming skills, ability to rapidly understand and interest to develop process-model algorithms (e.g., Python, FORTRAN, C, Matlab) are required. Basic knowledge on energy, water and carbon cycles in terrestrial ecosystems are needed.

The ideal candidate has a recent Ph.D. in the subject area. In a case of an exceptional candidate, the vacancy can also be filled as a post-graduate position and a possibility to conduct the Ph.D. studies at the University of Helsinki in the Doctoral Programme of Atmospheric Sciences.

This project is a collaborative project with the research groups of Prof. Jaana Bäck (Ecosystem Processes), and will be affiliated to the Insti-tute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR), to be established in 1 January 2018. We offer an internationally competitive package and access to state-of-the-art infrastructures (such as ICOS, Integrated Carbon Observation System).

To apply, send your

  • motivation letter
  • CV
  • publication list
  • and a minimum of two references (in one pdf-file)

to Mari Pihlatie ( by 31 January 2018. The position can be filled in March 2018, or as soon as suitable for the candidate, for 3-years (with possibility for extension).

For additional information, please contact Associate Professor Mari Pihlatie,


European Research Council (ERC)