CSIRO Winanga-y Postdoctoral Fellowship in Modelling of Soil Carbon Dynamics

Date Posted: 22 Nov 2023

Location: Canberra, ACT, AU

Company: CSIRO

Acknowledgement of Country

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The Opportunity

  • Do you have a PhD in mathematical modelling or data science with an agricultural and/or environmental application and soil-plant systems modelling?
  • Great opportunity to collaborate with the team behind the world leading APSIM farming systems model
  • Join the CSIRO team for this exciting 3-year postdoctoral fellowship role


CSIRO Early Research Career (CERC) Postdoctoral Fellowships provide opportunities to scientists and engineers who have completed their doctorate and have less than three years of relevant postdoctoral work experience. These fellowships aim to develop the next generation of future leaders of the innovation system.


We are thrilled to be able to deliver on the commitment we made in our strategy to invest in frontier science with the new CSIRO Agriculture & Food Winanga-y Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme. The word Winanga-y (pronounced win-na-gnay) is a cultural asset gifted by the Gomeroi Nation in Myall Vale to CSIRO's Agriculture and Food Business Unit to name the Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme. Winanga-y means to understand, know, remember, and think.

The specific focus of the CERC Fellowship role is to fill the knowledge gap in understanding and modelling of the formation, decomposition, and stabilization of soil organic carbon (SOC) in response to environmental and management drivers, develop robust modelling approaches to predict the trajectory of SOC change, and facilitate development of mitigation strategies and government policies.

The research of the CERC Fellow will involve a critical review of the newest knowledge and data related to the key processes of the formation, decomposition, and stabilization of soil organic matter (SOM). Based on the review, the CERC Fellow will develop new functional approaches in APSIM NextGen Framework to address the key deficiencies in modelling SOC dynamics and stabilization through integration of the newest understanding of microbial functions and SOM stoichiometry together with data-driven inverse modelling. 


Your duties will include:

  • Collating, formatting and managing data sets on dynamics of soil organic matter (SOM) and soil organic carbon (SOC) so they can be used in developing and testing new simulation approaches or parameterisation procedures in APSIM NextGen. 
  • Critiquing and proposing improved ways of representing or parameterising the processes that affect the formation, decomposition, and stabilization of soil organic matter (SOM).
  • Quantifying the SOC trajectory and gap at representative sites in Australian grain regions through simulation of the dynamics of SOC in response to environmental drivers and management options.
  • Recognising opportunities for innovation and generating new theoretical perspectives by pursuing new ideas/approaches and networking with research colleagues across a range of disciplines.


Location: Black Mountain, Canberra, ACT

Salary: AU$92k - AU$101k plus up to 15.4% superannuation

Tenure: Specified term of 3 years

Reference: 95062


To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as mathematical modelling or data science with an agricultural and/or environmental application and soil-plant systems modelling. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (full-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to conceptualise, run and evaluate mathematical process-based models, and interpret their outputs.
  • Demonstrated theoretical and/or practical knowledge of processes affecting soil carbon and nutrient dynamics and their response to environmental drivers and management intervention.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and application of contemporary data management and analysis approaches (such as using R, python, javascript, etc.), and programming (e.g. C#).


For full details about this role please view the Position Description



Applications for this position are open to Australian/New Zealand Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents or you must either hold, or be able to obtain, a valid working visa for the duration of the specified term. Appointment to this role is subject to provision of a national police check and may be subject to other security/medical/character requirements.


Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. 


Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit people representing the diversity across our society, and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. 



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CSIRO is committed to values-based leadership to inspire performance and unlock the potential of our people.

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How to Apply

Please apply on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role.


Applications Close

7 January 2024, 11:00pm AEDT

11:00 PM

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