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Fully funded PhD position in sustainable agriculture biogeochemistry (New Zealand)

Department of Soil & Physical Sciences, Lincoln University
New Zealand (NZ)
Closing date
Nov 1, 2023

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Biogeosciences, Global Environmental Change
Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

We are seeking a highly motivated PhD student for the project: Green Boundaries - Unleashing Nature's Power to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Dairy Farming

Project Description: New Zealand's dairy industry is both vital to the economy and a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Using the Lincoln University Demonstration Dairy Farm, this project will investigate how native, riparian plantings along paddock boundaries influence soil carbon stocks, nitrogen dynamics, soil microbial activity, and uncover the mechanisms behind these changes. The selected candidate will have the opportunity to collaborate with leading experts in the field, access state-of-the-art facilities, and be part of the 2024 Food Transitions PhD cohort.

Specifically, the student will:

  1. Quantify how soil carbon stocks and microclimate factors change along native vegetation boundaries and into pasture;
  2. Test how use of these boundary areas as stock camp shelters may influence N2O emissions;
  3. Investigate the microbial mechanisms facilitating changes in soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics with distance from the native vegetation; and
  4. Calculate the total net reduction in GHG emissions within the pasture with the added native vegetation  

Why apply?

  • Join the 10-student PhD 2024 cohort for Food Transitions 2050
  • Expanded professional network
  • PhD from NZ’s specialist agriculture and environmental university
  • Fully funded scholarship (including study fees + living stipend)
  • Live in beautiful Canterbury!


  • A strong academic background in soil science, ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, agricultural sciences, or a related field
  • Passion for sustainability and environmental conservation
  • Excellent communication and teamwork skills
  • Ability to work in both field and laboratory settings
  • Background in statistics, GIS, and/or computer modelling 

Please apply no later than 26th October 2023 at with your CV and cover letter indicating your suitability for the position (under the Green Boundaries - Unleashing Nature's Power to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Dairy Farming project)

If you have further questions about this opportunity, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Charlotte Alster (

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