Aarhus University (AU)

Postdoc in Measurement, modelling and mitigation of methane emissions from manure

Aarhus University (AU)

Tjele, Denmark

Manure storage is a main source of methane from livestock production, and methods to verify, predict and prevent emissions are urgently needed. Two new projects have been funded 1) to validate an in-vitro method for measurement of methane emissions, as basis for inventories and modelling of mitigation scenarios, and 2) to explore a new method to exploit microbial methane oxidation in natural crust covers on manure storages. We seek a highly motivated postdoc with a background in microbiology and environmental sciences for a two-year position to address these research questions.


  1. Validation of in-vitro test for CH4 and CO2 production in manure using a new incubator technology. Parameterisation of empirical models for cattle and pig manure. This is part of a European collaborative research “Manure management for methane mitigation – Improved inventory modelling to support policy actions” with participation from Denmark, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands, and a biotech company.
  2. Investigation of novel technology for optimising methanotrophic activity in liquid manure stores with a natural crust through controlled ventilation. This activity is part of a comprehensive national study to investigate mitigation strategies for livestock production “Integrated reduction of methane emissions from manure” with participation of agricultural and engineering departments, and private companies.

Both activities involve process studies and technology testing at pilot- and laboratory scale, and opportunities for modelling of farm-scale emissions.

Education, academic and personal qualificationsThe successful candidate should have a background in biology, agronomy or environmental engineering, and a PhD degree within an area relevant for the research questions indicated above. Specifically, we seek the following qualifications:
  • Knowledge about the microbiology of methane metabolism
  • Experience with bioprocess technology, such as anaerobic digestion
  • Experience with stable isotope analysis is desirable
  • Good technical skills and understanding
  • Written and spoken English at a high level
  • Strong motivation to develop solutions for agricultural GHG mitigation
  • Team spirit, but also capability to work independently

Who we are/about us
The successful candidate will work within a research environment that is specialised in nutrient management and environmental impacts of agriculture. We have a long track record in studying the microbial ecology of greenhouse gas emissions from manure and soil. The research questions and technical solutions to be addressed were conceived on the basis of past research at the department.

Place of Work and area of Employment
The place of work is Aarhus University’s Campus Foulum, Blichers allé, 8830 Tjele.
The affiliation will be with the Department of Agroecology.

Contact information
For more information, feel free to contact Prof. Søren O. Petersen, mail: sop@agro.au.dk, phone +45 8715 7756

Application procedure
Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants, including the main considerations emphasized during the selection process.

Formalities and salary range
Science and Technology refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University’s website.

Aarhus University
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at www.international.au.dk/

31 October 2019

Please apply via recruiter’s website.