PhD position, Faculty of Applied Computer Science

At the Faculty of Applied Computer Science of the University of Augsburg, the Institute of Geography is offering

a Ph.D. position in assessing plastic inputs to soils from agricultural mulching using remote sensing.

The position will be available as of July 1st, 2021.

The PhD student will participate in the Innovative Training Network “Macro and microplastic in agricultural soil systems” (SOPLAS), which is funded via the European Commission within the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Actions. SOPLAS is one of the largest EU funded projects focusing on the sustainability of plastic use in agriculture. Overall 14 PhDs, hosted by 11 research institutions, will be part of the program.

The research topics of the studentships broadly fall into the following three work packages:

  • Developing fast and non-invasive methods for macro-plastic (agricultural mulching foils) identification using field and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) based spectroscopy
  • Quantification of the macro-plastic input to soils by agricultural mulching
  • Upscaling of macro-plastic soil input to country scale (Germany, Czech Republic, Spain, UK) using satellite remote sensing

The student will be part of the EU Innovative Training Network, which includes frequent travelling to the project study areas and half-yearly one-week training events distributed over several countries of Europe. Moreover, a stay of two month is planned at each of the following project partners: the University of Lancaster (UK) and the Spanish National Research Council (Cordoba, ES).

Applicants should have an above-average master’s degree in soil science, agricultural engineering, physical geography or related fields. Expertise in remote sensing, GIS, fieldwork and a desire to work in soil and agricultural sciences with local stakeholders is essential. Very good knowledge of spoken and written English is required. Following the rules of Innovative Training Networks, applicants need to be in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. To foster international exchange of early stage researchers the applicants should not have resided in the country of the host institution (Germany) for more than 12 months in the last 3 years (except refugees).

For further information, please contact Dr. Florian Wilken (

The salary follows the fixed regulations of MSCA-Projects for scientific employees within the Horizon 2020 framework.

The University of Augsburg promotes the professional equality of women. Female candidates are explicitly invited to submit their application. The University of Augsburg stands up for compatibility of family and professional life. For more information, please contact the woman’s representative office. Severely disabled applicants are given preferential consideration in the event of equal qualification.

The application documents (including letter of motivation, bachelor and master certificates, and names of two referees). Review of applications will start on 31. January 2021 and continue until the position is filled. The application should be sent as a single pdf-file to:

Dr. Florian Wilken

University of Augsburg

Institute of Geography