University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant / Research Associate (Fixed Term)

The postdoctoral researcher will join the Pellegrini lab at the University of Cambridge and be embedded in a broader interdisciplinary research team seeking to identify just transitions to net zero in the UK food production system. They will participate in a work package on a UKRI grant that explores how different land use scenarios can potentially change greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, with a focus on pastureland. They will lead the portion on quantifying changes in greenhouse gas emissions on farms under different interventions and scenarios. The position is for 24 months.

The postdoctoral researcher will combine geospatial datasets of land use, process-based and bookkeeping models of carbon cycling, and field sampling. The modeling component will simulate C stock changes due to land use change, and greenhouse gas fluxes under different management schemes (e.g., IPCC Tier 2). Models will be compared to field sampling of soil organic carbon in different pasture management systems and nearby ecosystem types within the UK (e.g., improved pasture, high stocking density, rough semi-natural upland grazing).

The overall research team is interdisciplinary, with a strong social science focus on just transitions (e.g. to net zero) in the farming-food system. As such, this role provides a unique opportunity to be part of a 'systems-level' approach to finding solutions to sustainable food production. The other Postdoctoral Researcher on this specific work package (running the scenario analyses) will be based at the James Hutton Institute (JHI). We will be working closely with both researchers at JHI and land use scenario modelers at the RSPB Centre for Conservation Science. The broader project is run by RSPB and includes a consortium of UK Universities and stakeholder partners in four focal landscapes around the UK.  

The Pellegrini lab consists of a diverse group of researchers, ranging from undergraduates, permanent research associates, PhD students, and postdoctoral researchers. We work on both original data collection via field sampling and lab analyses as well as data synthesis and model-data comparisons. We are interesting in applying ecological and biogeochemical principles to solve global change problems.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

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Please quote reference PD42198 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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Further information

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