Postdoctoral position in modeling Reactive Nitrogen in agriculture
We are seeking candidates for a post-doctoral fellowship in the development and testing of a Reactive N model for agricultural land in Canada. Research activities will involve the development, validation and testing of the Reactive N model using an extensive data set on nitrogen inputs and outputs as well as using algorithms developed for the ammonia, GHG, residual soil nitrogen (RSN) and nitrate leaching (IROWC-N) indicators. Regional and national models will be developed as part of a national team and opportunities to reduce N losses will be investigated. This one-year position will commence October 1, 2014, with the possibility of a two year renewal contingent upon performance and funding availability. Please submit a cover letter stating your interest and experience in nitrogen cycling modelling, curriculum vitae, and the names of two potential references to Dr. Craig Drury (email@example.com). The position will be based at the Greenhouse & Processing Crops Research Center, Harrow, Ontario. Candidates must also submit an application and qualify under the Visiting Fellowships in Canadian Government Laboratories Program.
Nitrogen is an essential nutrient required by all crops to achieve optimal yields and quality. Legume plants can fix atmospheric N2 whereas non-legume crops requires N from fertilization, manure addition, atmospheric deposition and N mineralization to achieve optimal yields. Crop production will become even more critical over the next three decades as the world population increases from 7 to 9 billion which will dramatically increase the demand for food, fiber and energy crops.
When N is applied to soils, often only about 50% is used and the remainder can be lost from the rooting zone by ammonia volatilization, NO, N2O and N2 emissions, via nitrate leaching and surface runoff. Although we have some estimates of ammonia volatilization, N2O emissions and nitrate leaching, the total amount of reactive N that is generated on a yearly basis has not been estimated for Canadian agricultural systems. This holistic approach would enable us to evaluate the overall impacts of N utilization in agricultural soils. Using this information, we may be able to develop and target strategies which may be more environmentally sustainable.
We propose to develop a new reactive N model for Canadian agricultural production systems using a combination of the information generated from indicator studies (RSN, IROWC-N, NH3, GHG Indicators) as well as new information on estimates of the internal N cycles. Although new practices have been developed to reduce one or more environmental contaminants, there is a possibility that one contaminant could be swapped for another in our current approach of targeting one environmental pollutant at a time. The reactive N is a more inclusive indicator as it can enable us to estimate the overall effect of management practices and enable us to evaluate different scenarios for various commodity groups.
• You must have received a PhD in agricultural sciences or engineering within the past five years. You can still apply if you plan to complete your degree (including the thesis defence) within six months.
• Ability to work independently, have excellent organizational and problem solving skills.
• Experience with soil, crop and biogeochemical models and agricultural research.
• Programming ability in Visual Basic, C, C++ or Fortran.
• Capacity to lead substantial research activities, communicate research results (written and orally), and to prepare peer-reviewed publications.
• Familiarity with DSSAT or DNDC models would be an asset.
For additional information, please contact:
Dr. Craig Drury
Telephone: (519) 738-1266