3 - 4 year postdoc / scientist position on N2O emissions and isotopic fingerprints from agricultural soils in Dübendorf

EMPA (European Master of Public Administration Consortium) is a network of European schools, that offer master programs in public administration.


The project aims at the validation and implementation of cavity ring-down spectroscopy to determine N2O emissions and isotopic fingerprints from agricultural soils. Your activities will build on our previous and ongoing achievements in N2O isotope analysis to achieve outstanding accuracy, automation and high sample throughput. You will perform N2O flux and isotope observations at agricultural sites to validate biogeochemical soil models and upscale observations that can then be compared to national inventories. Your developments are key contributions to the European metrology project "quantiAGREMI" and the Horizon Europe project "PARIS". Together with leading scientists you will create new methodologies for the attribution and quantification of emission processes. 

We are looking for a highly motivated postdoc / scientist experienced in trace gas analysis by optical spectroscopy and / or isotope analysis. 

Job description, responsibilities and tasks 
  • Refine and validate a calibration and correction strategy for a CRDS analyser for N2O isotopes (Picarro G5131-i), targeting at N2O from soil chambers. 
  • Interface CRDS with an autosampler and develop an analytical routine for N2O isotope and concentration analysis. 
  • Perform intercomparison measurements of CRDS with GC-IRMS and TREX-QCLAS. 
  • Conduct field studies in collaboration with project partners at agricultural sites to characterize the yearly cycle on isotopic fingerprints of emitted N2O. 
  • Interpret results with respect to source processes to improve the parameterization of biogeochemical soils models of our research partners. 
  • Communicate results in project reports, at meetings, conferences and in peer-reviewed journals.
Required skills 
  • PhD degree in natural sciences, chemistry or a related discipline. 
  • Solid background in isotope analysis, laser spectroscopy and / or the N2O biogeochemical cycle. 
  • Experience and strong flair for experimental research on gases. 
  • Software skills (e.g. Python, MATLAB or R). 
  • Ability to communicate scientific results in peer-reviewed journals and at conferences. 
  • Fluency in English is required; basic knowledge of German is a plus. 

We are offering a multifaceted and challenging position for 3 - 4 years (with the possibility of extension) in a modern research environment with excellent infrastructure. Working place will be Empa in Dübendorf.

Appointments start preferably before April 2023. All applications received before 15 December 2022 will receive full consideration.
For further information about the position please contact Dr Joachim Mohn    and visit our websites and

We look forward to receiving your online application including a letter of motivation, CV, diplomas with transcripts and contact details of two referees. Please upload the requested documents through our webpage. Applications via email will not be considered.

Empa, David Heusser, Human Resources, Ueberlandstrasse 129, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland.

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