Research Fellowship in Land-use Characterization and Earth Systems Modeling 2019, Germany

Publish Date: Sep 30, 2019

Deadline: Oct 31, 2019

Research Fellowship in Land-use Characterization and Earth Systems Modeling

The "PANTROPOCENE: Finding a Pre-industrial Anthropocene Project" at the Department of Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH), Jena, Germany is pleased to announce a new vacancy for a Research Fellowship position in the characterization of prehistoric and historic land-use and its use in dynamic earth systems modelling. The position will be for a period of up to 5 years and based in Jena, Germany.

The PANTROPOCENE project is newly funded by the prestigious European Research Council and will run for the duration of the postdoctoral position. Headed by Dr. Patrick Roberts, PANTROPOCENE seeks to determine whether pre-colonial and colonial human land-use within the tropical portions of the former Spanish Empire, with particular focus on the under-represented Philippine Archipelago, initiated pre-industrial earth systems feedbacks on regional and global scales.

Candidate tasks

The successful candidate will play a central role in the project and its outputs. They will be expected to compile novel and existing archaeological, historical, and palaeoenvironmental information to build characterizations of past human land-use. In turn, they will then apply these datasets to earth systems models to determine the degree to which changes in human activities and land organisation in pre-industrial time periods may have influenced soil erosion, precipitation, temperature, and even the composition of the atmosphere.

The candidate will work in a leading global centre for archaeology, the Department of Archaeology at the MPI-SHH, renowned for combining archaeological, anthropological, geochemical, and earth systems expertise in field and laboratory methodologies. They will also work closely with key project partners Dr. Grace Baretto-Tesoro (University of the Philippines), Prof. Jed Kaplan (University of Hong Kong), and Prof. José Iriarte (University of Exeter) and will be expected to also work within the framework of ongoing international research initiatives to ensure maximum reach of results.

Candidate qualifications

The ideal applicant will have a computational background in Earth Systems Modelling, Climate Science, or Physics, or a strong track record of having applied methods from these areas. In depth knowledge of Earth Systems Models, and the role of land-use in effecting these models, is essential. Other prerequisites include evidence of strong oral and written communication skills, including an outstanding publication record, commensurate with career stage. Willingness to work as part of a team, travel to field sites, a strong work ethic, and the ability to complete tasks in a timely and structured fashion are also necessities.


  • PhD in Earth Sciences, Geography, Earth Systems Modeling, Climate science, Mathematics, Physics, or a similar discipline.
  • Hands on, practical experience with Earth Systems Models (Global Climate and/or Vegetation Models) and/or experience with the compilation of diverse multidisciplinary datasets to produce estimations of land use that can be factored into dynamic Earth Systems Models.
  • A strong publication record.


  • Analytical experience in the tropics of the Americas or Asia.
  • Experience with archaeological, historical, and palaeoenvironmental datasets as well as their relative pros and cons in land-use reconstructions.
  • Enthusiasm for applying earth systems, physics, and climate science methods to the archaeological and historical records.
  • Palaeoenvironmental or meteorological fieldwork experience in the tropics.
  • Outreach skills in the context of communicated climate science or the ramifications of human land-use to a non-academic audience.
  • Spanish fluency or competence.

The position offers a unique opportunity to develop cutting edge research in the city of Jena that is renowned for its position at the intersection of Biogeochemical, Ecological, and Archaeological research. The Max Planck Society and the European Research Council both promote these multidisciplinary connections and this position offers the candidate the possibility of making the most of such networks and become a leader in novel approaches to the utilization of archaeological and palaeoenvironmental datasets.

The position will begin on the 1st of January 2020 though some flexible in start date is possible. Renumeration will follow the public service pay scale (TVöD), according to the candidate’s qualifications and experience. In addition, social benefits are offered as per the regulations of the German Civil Service.

The Max Planck Society is committed to employing more disabled individuals and especially encourages them to apply. The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

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