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Soil Modeler (KTP Associate)

Do you want to be part of a project aiming to enhance our understanding of sustainable farming systems?

Quantifying the potential of different agricultural practices and interventions to sequester soil carbon (C) and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is key for reaching Paris Climate Agreement goals and the UK’s net zero target. Agriculture industry representatives, the NFU have set ambitious commitments to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040. However, greenhouse gas removals (GGRs) will be required to offset residual emissions associated with agriculture. Therefore, we must improve our understanding of both GHG emissions and the potential for carbon dioxide removals via land-based solutions at the individual farm level. Assessing the potential for soil carbon sequestration through soil and crop management with reliable methods is essential in this context. 

Static models are not adequate to understand the complex nature of carbon sequestration in soils. We require process-based dynamic soil carbon models to reflect the impact of multiple management practices more accurately which could be incorporated into farm-scale emissions calculators to inform management decisions. The challenge, however, is that those models require detailed management information at the field level which is difficult to access. Map of Agriculture (Map of Ag) have established a secured data integration platform capable of incorporating data feeds from >100 sources, including farm management software used by individual farmers. This provides a mechanism for collecting, controlling data access, and organising activity data. This has been used to great effect in improving the accuracy of GHG emissions measurement. and establishing reports for farmers and dashboards for supply chain customers.

Map of Ag seeks to link activity data repository to a dynamic soil carbon model to deliver a more accurate view of the on-farm GHG balance and of product carbon footprints. This is especially important and timely, given targets set by food supply chain companies and industry representatives.  some already work with Map of Ag on reporting emissions across their supply chain. Through this KTP with the University of Leeds, Map of Ag seeks to acquire new expertise in soil carbon modelling and develop scientific computational pipelines capable of scale-up to manage big data. This will accelerate the delivery of the company's vision to provide and scale up effective solutions for both GHG emissions and soil carbon flux to enable the achievement of net-zero targets.

We are looking for an enthusiastic Post-Doctoral Associate with a background in process-based modelling of soil-carbon dynamics and soil-vegetation interactions to develop this new platform in collaboration between Map of Ag and the University of Leeds. 

You should have a PhD (or be very close to obtaining a PhD) in soil science, crop science, spatial ecology, environmental modelling, or a closely related discipline, and have a significant component of process-based modelling experience. You should be able to demonstrate a combination of enthusiasm and expertise in biogeochemical modelling, commercial awareness and interest to work in a commercial setting, and excellent communication skills to engage with Map of Ag leadership, staff and customers across the farming and agri-business sector.

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact: 

Prof. Guy Ziv

Chair in Socio-Environmental Systems

Tel: +44 (0)113 343 7994


Hugh Martineau

Map of Ag, Head of Sustainability 



James Hartford

Innovation Support Coordinator – University of Leeds


Please note: If you are not a British or Irish citizen, from 1 January 2021 you will require permission to work in the UK. This will normally be in the form of a visa but, if you are an EEA/Swiss citizen and resident in the UK before 31 December 2020, this may be your passport or status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Location:  Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service:  Professional Services
School/Institute:  Research & Innovation Service
Section:  Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)
Category:  Research
Grade:  Off grading structure
Salary:  £33,000 to £40,000 p.a.
plus training allowance of £4,667
Post Type:  Full Time
Contract Type:  Fixed Term (30 months - external funding)
Release Date:  Wednesday 05 January 2022
Closing Date:  Wednesday 02 February 2022
Reference:  CSRIS1214
Downloads:  Candidate Brief  
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