Postdoc in Long Term Phosphate Reactions Dynamics of Societal P Resources in Soils (30 months)

Copenhagen University


February 27, 2022


Do you want to contribute to the development of solutions for recovery and recycling of phosphorus that are more sustainable?

We are looking for a dedicated, well-organized, communicative and highly qualified post doc, to carry out the project described below, in the Soil Fertility group at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen.

The post doc project will unfold within the framework of PROCESSOR – Phosphorus recycling from complex scarcely soluble societal resources – letting the soil do the work.

The project will be executed in collaboration with partners from ETH (Emmanuel Frossard), University of Rostock (Peter Leinweber) and Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Copenhagen University (Carsten Müller).

Background: Recycling of societal resources of phosphorus (P) defined as sewage sludge, meat and bone meal and their corresponding ashes is an essential step towards a circular green economy. We propose that the resources can be used ‘as they are', since potentially toxic element (PTE) content in sewage sludge (and its ashes) has decreased in many European countries, in some cases close to background levels, while other contaminants in sewage sludge are of low concern. Bonemeal has a very low content of PTE's.

However, the longer-term phosphorus fertilizer value of these resources and their intricate interactions with a suite of soil characteristics is very sparsely understood. In this project, we will for the first time address this issue across a range of agronomically important European soils, using relevant complex societal resources. By doing so, we will be able to formulate a strategy for efficient use of these resources in Europe to decrease the import of phosphate, which has been identified by the EU as non-substitutable and of high economic importance.

The work of the postdoc project will be mainly centered on 1) assessing and disentangling biotic and abiotic effects on P turnover in incubation experiments at different temperature levels and of shorter ad longer duration using 13C and 33P tracer techniques 2) assessing plant uptake from societal P resources both from incubated soil and previously established semi-field trials. The work on P long-term P reaction dynamics in soils and societal P resources will be carried out in close collaboration with another post doc working on characterization of soils and P-containing products with solid state methodologies, supplemented with analyses of P availability with isotope exchange kinetics and ion sink assays, and complemented by routine wet chemical methods. The joint activities will comprise 3) detailed studies of substrate weathering with advanced techniques including spectromicroscopic approaches, after re-isolating substrates from soil. This collaboration will also entail 4) assessing soil – substrate interface studies looking at diffusion of P and other elements from substrate to soils.

Further information on the Department is linked at https: // www. Inquiries about the position can be made to Jakob Magid (

The position is open from 15-04-2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Qualification The candidate should possess the following qualifications

  • A Ph.D. and background as an environmental scientist or equivalent
  • Good understanding of Phosphorus biogeochemistry
  • Practical experience with plant trials, and soil biological analyses
  • Practical experience with isotopic tracers preferably 32P, 33P, 15N and 13C
  • Practical experience with wet chemical analyses of phosphorus in soils and residues
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Excellence in writing and speaking English
  • Terms of employment The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

    Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

    The starting salary is currently up to DKK 437.435 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 74.801). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

    The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

    Please include

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • Research plan – description of current and future research plans
  • Complete publication list
  • Separate reprints of 3 particularly relevant papers.
  • The deadline for applications is Sunday 27th February 2022, 23:59 GMT +2.

    After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.

    You can read about the recruitment process at https: // .

    Interviews will be held from mid-March – April 2022.