Post-Doctoral Fellow – Soil and Manure Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Full-time
  • Sustainable Livestock Systems Program (SLS)

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a highly motivated Postdoctoral Researcher to join the environmental research team in the Sustainable Livestock Program. This is in light of increasing demands from CGIAR Initiatives LCSR and MITIGATE+ to measure greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture, predominantly but not exclusively smallholder and pastoral livestock systems. The postdoc will work at the “Mazingira” Centre, ILRI’s state-of-the-art environmental research laboratory, (https://mazingira.ilri.org).

ILRI works to improve food and nutritional security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock. It is the only one of 15 CGIAR research centres dedicated entirely to animal agriculture research for the developing world. Co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, it has regional or country offices and projects in East, South and Southeast Asia as well as Central, East, Southern and West Africa. www.ilri.org

Background;

To achieve sustainable livestock development, we have to understand the impact of livestock on the environment (GHG emissions, soil health, water) at various scales. At the same time, livelihoods of millions of people in Africa depend on livestock production and are at risk due to climate change. The knowledge gained through this position will help to prioritise good-bet livestock adaptation and mitigation options, and to build capacity in decision support, planning and investment in sub-Saharan African countries.

The position will contribute to the OneCG initiatives LCSR (Livestock, Climate and System Resilience) and MITIGATE+. The focus will be on direct measurements and indirect estimations of GHG emissions from livestock manure and soils of different land-use types (e.g., grassland, cropland, wetland, forest) to better understand the magnitude of emission sources and how they contribute to the full balance of GHG emissions from livestock-agroecosystems. Furthermore, the position will test management interventions to reduce GHG emissions and other pathways of nutrient loss (e.g., nitrate leaching, ammonia emissions) from livestock manure. Finally, the postdoc will develop nutrient budgets of different livestock agroecosystems to understand the balance of incoming and outgoing carbon and nutrient flows, nutrient transformation, and nutrient losses. These results will inform low-emissions development pathways for livestock production in sub-Saharan Africa that achieve mitigation and adaptation goals.

Key Responsibilities

  • Conduct agronomic, livestock productivity and greenhouse gas (GHG) measurements for different land use systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to allow the quantification of system-specific GHG fluxes, detect emission hotspots, and subsequently to develop reliable mitigation options;
  • Manage and maintain laboratory and field facilities, specifically automatic soil GHG flux chambers, laser absorption spectrometers included in various setups (e.g., manure incubation chambers, soil flux chambers, etc.) to quantify GHG emissions from soil, vegetation, and manure;
  • Conduct laboratory-scale mesocosm parameterisation experiments to allow direct comparison of GHG emission potentials from manures and soils for different environmental conditions and management and intervention testing;
  • Conduct lab and field experiements to assess nutrient losses (C, N, P) from livestock manure;
  • Co-supervise PhD and Msc students and guide research technicians;
  • Conduct quality control and quality assurance of the collected data;
  • Write scientific papers and prepare conference/workshop presentations describing results and their implications for productivity, GHG and nutrient management; and contribute to other communication products (research briefs, policy briefs, stakeholder meetings etc.);
  • Develop innovative concepts and ideas for further research (including proposal writing) to address environmental aspects of agricultural productions systems that do not compromise food security.

Requirements

  • PhD in nutrient cycling in agroecosystems, agronomy, geo-ecology, environmental sciences, soil science, or related fields
  • Considerable practical knowledge of techniques and experience with equipment used in the measurement of GHG emissions from terrestrial ecosystems
  • Knowledge of chemical analysis of environmental samples (soil and plant analysis) is an asset
  • Ability to effectively manage, visualize and analyze (statistics) large datasets using standard programming languages (i.e., R, python etc.)
  • Excellent spoken and written English
  • Proven track record of scientific writing as first and/or corresponding author
  • Knowledge on agricultural production systems in developing and/or developed countries is an asset

Post location: The position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya

Terms of Appointment

This is position is at job level HG 16 and it is open to both national and international applicants. The position is a two (2) year contract, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funding. ILRI offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes; medical and other insurances.

Applications: Applicants should send a cover letter and CV expressing their interest in the position, what they can bring to the role and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to the Director, People and Organizational Development through our recruitment portal by clicking on the "Apply Now" tab above. Screening of applications will start on 13 September 2022 and continue until the position is filled. The position title and reference number: SLS/589/2022 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the online application.

We thank all applicants for their interest in working for ILRI. Due to the high volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

ILRI does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). ILRI also does not concern itself with information on applicants’ bank accounts

To find out more about ILRI visit our website at http://www.ilri.org

ILRI is an equal opportunity employer

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