Opportunity Type:



Summary: The University of Michigan’s Soil and Agroecosystems Laboratory in the School for Environment and Sustainability is searching for a candidate for a three year postdoctoral research position. The successful candidate will work with Dr. Jennifer Blesh and a team of  interdisciplinary researchers in agroecology, biogeochemistry, microbiology, geography and remote sensing to assess relationships between agricultural management systems, soil health indicators, nutrient use efficiency, and water quality in the Western Lake Erie Basin. This position requires travel to field sites and engagement with farmers and the broader agricultural community in Michigan.

The initial appointment is for one year beginning as early as September 3, 2024, based in Ann Arbor, MI, with possibility of extension for two more years based on performance. The start date is negotiable.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Collect and analyze soil and plant samples from working farms in southeastern Michigan for a comprehensive suite of biological, chemical, and physical properties.
  • Lead field work and interviews with diverse groups of farmers and use the interview data to quantify nitrogen and phosphorus use efficiency.
  • Analyze data, help mentor graduate and undergraduate students, and contribute to writing of journal articles.
  • Engage with farmers and other agricultural stakeholders through participation in field days and roundtable discussions.

Required qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, soil and crop sciences, agroecology, or a related field.
  • Experience in field and laboratory techniques to analyze carbon, nitrogen, and/or phosphorus pools in plants and soils.
  • Proficiency with data analysis and coding in R or another statistical program.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.

Preferred skills: Experience with field- and laboratory-based research on soil health, cover crops, nutrient mass balances, or nitrogen and phosphorus cycling processes in agroecosystems; a record of research productivity; and excellent interpersonal skills for communicating with diverse stakeholders.

How to Apply: Applications are encouraged from all qualified individuals regardless of background and identity. To apply, please complete the application on the U-M Careers site. Applicants should submit the following items in a single PDF:

  1. Cover letter describing your research experience and interest in the position
  2. A copy of your CV
  3. Sample of writing (i.e., relevant publication)
  4. Contact information for three references

Applications will be reviewed as received throughout the posting period and continue until the position is filled.

Mission Statement: The School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) is a collaborative and interdisciplinary school. Our mission includes contributing to the protection of environmental resources and the achievement of a sustainable society. We accomplish this by generating and sharing knowledge, contributing to policy and engaging managers and stakeholders. The University of Michigan is a top-ranked public university with excellence in research and teaching. Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan, is a town known for arts, culture, parks, and restaurants.

SEAS is committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive and equitable environment that respects diverse experiences, promotes generous listening and communications, and discourages and restoratively responds to acts of discrimination, harassment, or injustice. Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is deeply rooted in our values for a sustainable and just society.

Why Work at Michigan?

In addition to a career filled with purpose and opportunity, The University of Michigan offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package to help you stay well, protect yourself and your family and plan for a secure future.