First listed on: 30 November 2019

Research Scientist - Soil Biophysical and Spatial Modelling 

The Opportunity
  • Do you have a background in soil science or agricultural science? 
  • Do you have the ability to conduct simulation modelling?
  • Join CSIRO - Australia’s premier science & technology research organisation

As a Research Scientist for soil biophysical and spatial modelling, you will drive a renewed focus in theoretical and applied modelling of soil-plant systems. This will include developing new approaches for the prediction of soil functional properties and the spatio-temporal variation of soil attributes. It will also include the synthesis of soil pedological knowledge with process modelling, and specifically with streams of data received from proximal and remote sensing platforms to advance modelling of soil and plant processes. 

You will be playing a lead role in assisting to secure project funds, and to develop a research program within the context of digital agriculture, aiming to secure Australian agricultural assets, including soils, and enrich decision making capabilities for farmers, agribusiness, policy-makers and researchers. 

This position is initially for 4 years, with possibility of conversion to indefinite, subject to funding and strategic alignment.

Your duties will include
  • Designing and developing innovative approaches to combine process-based modelling and spatial modelling techniques for better prediction of functional soil properties directly relevant to crop production.
  • Pursuing research to advance the state-of-the-art in simulation modelling of soil-plant systems, with a focus on soil-plant interface and interactions.
  • Producing high quality scientific papers suitable for publication in high quality international journals and conferences.
  • Working effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary research team, to undertake independent scientific investigations and carry out associated tasks under the guidance of more senior Research Scientists/Engineers.
  • Assisting in leading research projects.

Location:      Black Mountain, ACT
Salary:          AU$98k – AU$106k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure:         Specified Term of 4 years
Reference:    63555

To be successful you will need

1.    A PhD in the field of soil science, agricultural science, systems modelling or similar fields of science.

2.    Demonstrated ability to conduct simulation modelling of process interactions in soil-plant systems and to evaluate their impact on crop productivity and soil functions.

3.    A sound understanding of soil functions and what drives soil water availability, and carbon and nutrient dynamics across cropping systems.

4.    Demonstrated experience in the prediction of soil functional properties using systems understanding combined with novel approaches like process-based modelling, spatial modelling, machine learning and other AI methods.

5.    Demonstrated data analytic ability to manage large biophysical datasets and develop customised work routines for automating complex modelling scenarios for soil and plant systems simulations.

6.    Excellent written and oral communication skills including the ability to publish research results, prepare reports and present research results at international conferences and stakeholder meetings, evidenced by a solid record of publication in top-tier journals and conference proceedings.

7.    A record of science innovation and creativity plus the ability & willingness to incorporate novel ideas and approaches into scientific investigations.

The successful applicant may be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or if they are not an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident, they may be required to undergo additional security clearances, which may include medical examinations and an international standardised test of English language proficiency.

For more information about this role please view the Position description.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. Talk to us about how this role could be flexible for you. Balance


We are working hard to recruit diverse people and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish.  Diversity and Inclusion Strategy


At CSIRO you can be part of helping to solve big, complex problems that make a real difference to our future. We spark off each other, learn from each other, trust each other and collaborate to achieve more than we could individually in a supportive, rewarding, inclusive and truly flexible environment. 

Apply Online

To apply online, please provide a CV and cover letter outlining your suitability and motivation for the role.

Applications Close

Friday 10 January 2020 at 11 pm AEDT.

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