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Post Doctoral Scientist - Environmental Science


Who we are


At AgResearch, our purpose is to use science to enhance the value, productivity, and profitability of New Zealand’s pastoral, agri-food, and agri-technology sector value chains to contribute to economic growth and beneficial environmental and social outcomes for New Zealand.  We are committed to the knowledge system of mātauranga Māori on equal footing with Western science and existing structures, that have helped support positive change in farming practices and food production in Aotearoa.


The role and opportunity    


We are seeking a dedicated Post-Doctoral Scientist to join our Environmental Science South team on a full-time, fixed term (2 years) basis where the majority of time will be spent on the recently approved ERA-NET Relive project (, which takes a holistic approach to the sustainable reintegration of livestock and cropping systems. This international project is a collaboration of 11 universities and institutes ranging from Ireland to New Zealand and Finland to Chile. Enhancing circularity is an important aspect of making agriculture greener and more sustainable. The reintroduction of crops and livestock could make a major contribution this, through the more effective recycling of resources and the minimization of waste. However, this comes with significant challenges, including the potential for enhanced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, particularly methane emissions, from enteric fermentation as well as from the need to effectively substitute all/most inorganic fertilizers with organic manures.


This is an exciting opportunity for a researcher with soil science expertise that has an interest in the environmental impact of pastoral-based food production systems. You will be the main investigator of the New Zealand partner in the Relive project.


Location:                                             Invermay, Dunedin

Expected salary:                                 $75,000

Minimum guaranteed hours:               40 hours per week, full-time


What you will be doing  


  • Manage, expand and statistically analyse a global database on Greenhouse Gas emissions from manure management ( to address specific questions and challenges raised by the project team designing low emission circular farming systems
  • Contribute to the interpretation of the data analysis
  • Work together with Relive partners across the project, as well as with stakeholder organisations such as the Foundation for Arable Research, to bring together multi-faceted information for evaluating circular farming systems
  • Work with farmers to understand their farm system and collect suitable data for case study modelling of circular farming systems
  • Assist with other projects in the team by undertaking experiments (e.g. design, planning and/or executing) as agreed with the Senior Scientist or Programme Leader according to standard protocols and procedures, and in keeping with ethical and biosafety requirements


Your ideal background  


  • PhD degree in soil science, environmental science relevant to agricultural production systems or related field. Candidates awaiting their PhD results are also encouraged to apply
  • Experienced in the application of data management software including Excel and statistical packages (e.g., R) for analysis of complex data sets
  • Experience with at least one biophysical model of soil/plant or farm systems
  • Ability to follow rigorous development and documentation procedures for research protocols
  • Demonstrated use of scientific methodologies for all research, including literature searching; hypothesis-based experimental design and statistical analysis



We encourage applications from candidates with an understanding of or a willingness to develop their capability in Te Tiriti o Waitangi, tikanga Māori, and/or te reo Māori.


Our Benefits 


AgResearch provide a diverse range of benefits including extensive flexible working options that help employees balance their own lifestyle and needs with their work commitments. You can view the full list here:  



How to apply 


To view further detail in the Position Description, please click here.


If this sounds like you, apply today on the link below with a covering letter detailing why you feel you would be suitable for this position. 


For further information, please contact Diana Selbie, Science Team Leader, Environmental Science South at  


Applications close: 7 August 2022