Postdoctoral Position on Watershed Biogeochemical Data Synthesis and Modeling, University of Waterloo

Opportunity type: 
Employment type: 
Full time
Position description: 

The Basu Lab at the University of Waterloo is seeking a postdoctoral associate to quantify the impacts of past and current land use and land management activities on stream and lake water quality ( The postdoctoral fellow (PDF) will be supervised by Professor Nandita Basu, and work as a part of a large collaborative team of researchers.

Postdoctoral Position: Quantifying Past Legacies and their Impact on Current Water Quality

This position is funded by a Canada-Europe Collaborative Project titled “Legacies of Agricultural Pollutants (LEAP): Integrated Assessment of Biophysical and Socioeconomic Controls on Water Quality in Agroecosystems” funded by the Water Joint Programming Initiative. The goal of the LEAP project is to develop a unified framework that incorporates agricultural legacies and time lags into adaptive management strategies to protect water resources under changing climate and land use. This project involves collaborators in the social and natural sciences across Canada and Europe (Sweden, Denmark and Portugal) and builds on our work on Nutrient Legacies. Some recent successes in this project include our paper in Science ( that was covered extensively in New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Boston Globe.

The primary responsibility of the PDF will be to further develop the ELEMeNT (Exploration of Long-Term Nutrient Trajectories) model that was a critical component of the Science paper. ELEMeNT is a unique model, created by the Waterloo team, that has the ability to predict time lags in watershed response to various best management practices as a function of the accumulated legacies in the landscape. The two primary responsibilities of the PDF will be: (a) develop and implement the ELEMeNT model for phosphorus in watersheds in the Great Lakes Basin, and (b) create an agroecosystem typology that links the biophysical and socioeconomic drivers of non-point source pollution to water quality impacts.

This position will allow autonomy in aligning the project's broad goals with the interests of the successful applicant. Minimum qualifications are a PhD in hydrology, engineering, earth science, biogeochemistry, agriculture, or geography, and experience with GIS. Preferred qualifications include proficiency in handling large datasets (e.g. NETCDF files), computer modelling, and a background in biogeochemistry. The initial appointment is for one year. Appointment for a second year is contingent upon funding and performance.

For further information regarding this position or to submit an application, please contact Maggie Norris ( Please submit your application as one pdf that includes all of the following:

  • Your motivation for the position and research interests
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Copy of transcript(s)
  • Contact information for 3 references

Closing date: Applications will be reviewed as they are received. The positions will remain open until filled. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted. The University of Waterloo encourages applications from all qualified individuals, members of visible minorities, native peoples, and people with disabilities.

Date posted/application open: 
Friday, November 23, 2018
Posted by (department/office): 
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Number of positions: