Researcher in Measuring & Modelling Soil Carbon Sequestration & Emissions

Teagasc, Crops, Environment and Land-Use Programme, Johnstown Castle, Wexford
 Salary:  Research Officer with a Salary Scale of €35,502 to €68,796
Research   Permanent Full Time
Closing Date: 29/08/2022 Closing Time: 12:00


Job Summary

Permanent .  A panel may be formed from which future similar vacancies may be filled; such a panel will remain active for a maximum period of 12 months.


Basic Function

To develop, lead and implement an integrated soil carbon sequestration research programme to generate tier 2 and tier 3 emission factors for soil carbon.

  • To quantify soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions using the eddy covariance sites being established under the National Agricultural Soil Carbon Observatory across Ireland.

  • To model up the emissions using a range of eddy covariance related models.

  • To carry out and publish research on greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural systems.


The Irish agriculture and land-use sector faces significant challenges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030 and reach climate neutrality by 2050 as set out in the 2021 Climate Action Plan.  In response to this Teagasc has developed a new Climate Action Strategy.  This new post will be central to supporting Teagasc in the delivery of this strategy.

Teagasc is expanding its research and KT programme to rapidly advance the science and implementation of current and new measures to meet the biodiversity and climate challenges that farmers are facing. In addition to the new staff there is a large capital investment to establish the National Agricultural Sustainability Research and Innovation Centre (NASRIC). The large number of new staff recruited will join the current research teams and to utilise the research infrastructures across the entire organisation.

This competition seeks to recruit a permanent research officer focused on investigating the impact of management on ecosystem CO2, N2O, CH4 and energy fluxes and changes in soil organic carbon (SOC). Greenhouse gas fluxes will be measured across the National Agricultural Soil Carbon Observatory sites using a network of eddy covariance towers and/or chamber techniques as well as measuring changes in soil organic carbon (SOC). The successful candidates will join a very well-resourced team of permanent and contract staff carrying out greenhouse gas mitigation research. They will oversee the project which will improve our understanding of the effect of soil type and land-use management practice on greenhouse gas fluxes, soil carbon pools and carbon sequestration. This position will be based in the new National Agricultural Sustainability Research and Innovation Centre Johnstown Castle, Wexford. Teagasc - Johnstown Castle is Ireland’s leading research institute on soils and environment related research, and conducts both fundamental and applied research on a wide range of subjects, e.g. soil quality, nutrient efficiency, water quality, gaseous emissions, agro-ecology, and land use.

Job Objectives

  • To lead research projects to improve quantification of greenhouse gas emissions from Irish agricultural systems.
  • To oversee the establishment and management of a network of eddy covariance sites being established under the National Agricultural Soil Carbon Observatory across Ireland.
  • Manage the associated eddy covariance and associated databases and link to national and international data repositories.
  • Produce high quality papers, relevant for farm practice and policy for publication in peer reviewed scientific journals using existing and newly generated data.
  • To establish strong collaborative links within Teagasc and national/international researchers.
  • To actively pursue external funding opportunities to further resource the research program with the objective of developing critical mass in the area by building and supervising a dynamic team of post-doctoral researchers(s) and post-graduate student(s). 
  • To work closely with the Teagasc Knowledge Transfer Specialists/Advisors to ensure effective dissemination of research findings to advisers and stakeholders.
  • Supervise, in conjunction with University partners, postgraduate students to Masters and PhD level.
  • To assist Teagasc in meeting the commitments of the Quality Customer Service Charter and Action Plan.
  • To actively participate in the annual business planning and Performance Management Development System (PMDS) processes.
  • To fully co-operate with the provisions made for ensuring the health, safety and welfare of oneself, fellow staff and non-Teagasc staff, and to co-operate with management in enabling Teagasc to comply with legal obligations. This includes full compliance with the responsibilities outlined in the Safety Statement.
  • Any other duties as may be assigned from time to time.

* This job specification is intended as a guide to the general range of duties and is intended to be neither definitive nor restrictive.  It will be reviewed from time to time with the post holder.

Skills Required






  • Candidates must have an honours Level 8 degree in physics, soil science or environmental science or related discipline.

  • PhD in a relevant discipline.

Note: While a PhD is an essential requirement for this post, equivalent research experience may be deemed acceptable solely at the discretion of the Director of Teagasc.

  • Good knowledge of atmospheric physics and experience in micrometeorological techniques, such as eddy covariance.

  • Experience in soil organic carbon measurement.


  • Proven record of scientific communication.

  • Excellent field and laboratory skills, organizational skills, report writing, data analysis and statistical analysis.

  • Excellent one-to-one and group communication skills (farmers, students, colleagues, stakeholders). Good team working skills.

  • Excellent ability to plan, organize, manage and schedule work effectively.

  • Good organizational skills, include people management.

  • Aptitude for multidisciplinary approaches.


  • Use of various field based  gas analysers (IRGA, QCL, FTIR) and eddy covariance equipment and post-processing software, such as EddyPro and TOVI.

  • Project management and experience of winning competitive research funding.

  • Record of successful research grant writing.



  • Methods and techniques for measuring and modelling greenhouse gas emissions from soil.

  • Soil carbon and nitrogen biogeochemistry.

  • Understanding of agricultural systems.


  • Familiarity with temperate grassland management and ruminant-dominated agricultural systems.

Behavioural Competencies

  • Willingness to work as part of an integrated advisory/research programme team

  • Ability to work independently if necessary, and meet self-imposed milestones and deliverables.

  • Willingness to collaborate positively within the programme team as well as with outside agencies.

  • Ability to contribute to group discussions/workshops with farmers and other stakeholders.

  • Strives for high quality of work and demonstrates commitment to the programme.

  • Flexible with an openness to change and an ability to adapt to changing priorities.

  • Ability to communicate effectively to enable knowledge and technology transfer.

  • A proactive, solutions-focused approach to work.

  • Commitment to ongoing personal and professional development, with an ability to align personal development objectives with programme activities.


As this role involves driving vehicles, candidates must satisfy and continue to satisfy during employment with Teagasc, legal requirements to drive unaccompanied on Irish public roads.

 Note:  The ‘essential’ qualifications, knowledge, skills and behavioural competencies outlined above are ‘must-have’ which will be used in the selection process.


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