First listed on: 15 February 2021

Research Plus Postdoctoral Fellowship in Soil Proximal Sensing for Natural Capital


The Opportunity

  • Do you have a PhD in pedometrics, soil function assessment, soil spatial and temporal analysis or agro-ecosystems modelling?
  • Are you interested in solving challenges in measuring and valuing Australia's soil resources?
  • Join the Soil & Landscapes Group Canberra in this exciting postdoctoral 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.

CERC Postdoctoral Fellows are appointed for three years or part time equivalent and will work closely with leading Research Scientists or Engineers in their respective fields.

This Postdoctoral fellowship will develop novel soil proximal sensing tools to inform natural capital accounting frameworks. The fellow will be a broad systems thinker and have a strong interest in using spatial approaches to solve challenges in measuring and valuing Australia’s soil resources. Digital mapping tools will be used to model relationships between soil condition, function, and agricultural productivity. Joining the Soil & Landscapes Group Canberra, the fellow will have access to field deployable proximal tools (e.g. vis-NIR, pXRF), high-performance computing, and a tailored career development program. Collaborating across a multi-disciplinary research team, including experts in natural capital accounting and life cycle assessment, and engaging with the agricultural sector, the fellows research will drive a step-change in the way soil information is used to inform the sustainable management of Australia’s soil resources.

Your duties will include:

  • Carrying out research investigations requiring originality, creativity and innovation.
  • Working effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary, often regionally dispersed research team, to undertake independent scientific investigations and carrying out associated tasks under broad guidance from other Research Scientists.
  • Conceptualising and testing a novel framework to integrate soil spatial information into tools and metrics to support natural capital accounting, taking account of current international literature and expert opinion.
  • Developing and validating rapid and cost-effective proximal tools to support the integration of Australia’s soil resources into natural capital accounting, identifying and prioritising key parameters that support functional understanding of the agro-ecosystem.
  • Carrying out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to CSIRO that will, where possible, lead to novel and important scientific outcomes.

Location: Black Mountain, Canberra, ACT
Salary: AU$86k - AU$94k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure: Specified term of 3 years
Reference:  71181

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as Pedometrics, soil function assessment, soil spatial and temporal analysis, or ago-ecosystems modelling.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and skills in designing and implementing field-based research aimed at quantifying or modelling the state and function of soils across spatially variable landscapes.
  • Demonstrated hands-on experience in predicting soil properties using remote or proximal tools, and the laboratory and data requirements for calibration and validation.
  • Applied experience in spatial modelling, and/or machine learning, and relevant coding languages (e.g. R, Python), including a sound understanding of FAIR data principles, data management and version control, and multivariate statistics.
  • A record of science innovation and creativity, including an ability to collaborate and troubleshoot scientific problems to bring novel ideas to research fruition.

For full details about this role please review the Position Description


The successful applicant will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent.

Applicants must be Australian/New Zealand citizens, Australian Permanent Residents or Australian temporary residents currently residing in Australia.

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

Diversity and Inclusion

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

We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people.


At CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology.

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

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

Applications Close

15 March 2021, 11:00pm AEDT

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