Two Post-Docs (m/f/d) | Biogeochemical Signals

Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena

Type of Job


Microbiology & Ecology Earth Sciences and Climate Research

Job Code: 03/2023

Job offer from February 22, 2023

The Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry (MPI-BGC) in Jena is dedicated to interdisciplinary fundamental research in the field of Earth system sciences with a focus on climate and ecosystems. The internationally renowned institute, which currently employs around 250 people, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2022. Jena is known for high-tech industry, internationally renowned research institutions and a modern university, but it also has a beautiful natural setting in the green Saale valley with steep limestone slopes. The city of Jena has an active student scene and a diverse cultural life. For the department of Biogeochemical Signals we are looking for two Post-docs (m/f/d) in full-time,  limited until 28.02.2026.

Background and position description

As part of several collaborative research projects funded by the BMBF, various research disciplines will contribute to setting up the Integrated Greenhouse Gas Monitoring System for Germany (ITMS). The aim of the ITMS is to enable Germany to monitor the sources and sinks of the three most important long-lived greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O) operationally and with the help of independent measurements. The joint project ITMS-M is concerned with the further development of atmospheric modelling that is required, with the participation of the DWD, the KIT, the University of Heidelberg, and the MPI-BGC.
The quantification of anthropogenic as well as biogenic greenhouse gas emissions from atmospheric observation data with the help of inverse modelling is the focus of the project carried out in the research group of Dr. habil. C. Gerbig at the MPI-BGC. The inversion system CarboScope-Regional, which combines a Lagrangian regional atmospheric transport model (STILT, Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport), a global transport model, and an iterative optimization algorithm, is used to estimate the spatio-temporal distribution of sources and sinks from atmospheric measurements of CO2 and CH4 and from a priori information on flux distribution, and serves as a prototype for testing further developments. In this context, methods are to be developed for the simultaneous use of additional atmospheric trace gases, which are emitted together with greenhouse gases (such as NO2 or CO), or which can help characterizing mixing processes (e.g. radon).

Your tasks

  • Implementation of a radon exhalation model as well as emission fields for additional trace gases into the CarboScope regional inversion system
  • Evaluation of the performance of the extended inversion system
  • Cost/benefit analysis for possible future implementation in corresponding data assimilation models at DWD
  • Writing and publishing manuscripts for publication in high-ranking journals
  • Close cooperation with other project members to enable synergetic analyses and publications
  • Presentation of results at national and international conferences
  • Supervision of students and doctoral candidates in their final theses

Your profile

  • Successfully completed university studies in natural sciences, meteorology, geosciences or mathematics and information technology
  • Doctorate (Dr./PhD)
  • Knowledge in at least one of the programming languages R, Python or Fortran, further knowledge in e.g. CDO or Bash is an advantage
  • strong teamwork and intercultural skills as well as self-initiative and sense of responsibility
  • a goal-oriented, committing, structured way of working
  • very good knowledge of written and spoken English (other language skills are welcome)

Our offer

  • Work in the attractive international environment of an interdisciplinary research institute of the Max Planck Society as well as in a friendly and team-oriented working environment
  • Wide range of opportunities for personal development
  • Childcare through partnership with a nearby childcare facility
  • Use of company prevention offers in the health sector
  • Use of our job ticket, the Dual Career Network and other campus offers

Part-time work is generally possible. The position will be evaluated and graded following the collective agreement according to TVöD Bund; in addition, we will provide a pension plan based on the public service (VBL). The Max Planck Society (MPS) strives for gender equality and diversity. The MPS aims to increase the proportion of women in areas where they are underrepresented. Women are therefore explicitly encouraged to apply. We welcome applications from all fields. The Max Planck Society has set itself the goal of employing more severely disabled people. Applications from severely disabled persons are expressly encouraged.

Your application

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. habil. Christoph Gerbig  will be happy to answer your questions. Are you interested? Please send us your application with cover letter, curriculum vitae as well a s names and contact information of two references summarised in a PDF file (max. 10 MB) by April 5, 2023, quoting the reference number 03/2023 by e-mail to or to the

Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
Personalbüro: Kennwort “Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter/PostDoc”
Hans-Knöll-Straße 10
07745 Jena

We ask that you do not use application folders, but only submit copies, as your documents will be destroyed in accordance with data protection regulations after the application process has been completed. We look forward to receiving your application!

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