Faculty position and postdoc at Nanjing University (China)


Research associate or assistant professor of remote sensing of vegetation

Postdoc in global change ecology (Chinese version)


The International Institute for Earth System Science (ESSI) at Nanjing University in China seeks a research associate or assistant professor in the area of global change ecology and vegetation remote sensing, depending on the experiences. This position is in the tenure-track stream. The candidate will develop his/her own group, apply third-party funding such as NSF of China, and supervise graduate student. The successful candidate can also work closely with the MOnitoring VEgetation photosynthesis with chlorophyll Fluorescence group (MoveFluo) led by Prof. Yongguang Zhang.


Salary will be commensurate with experience. Preference will be given to candidates with a PhD in ecology, physical geography, meteorology, or related environmental science areas. Experience on vegetation remote sensing and/or carbon cycle modeling is required. Good programming skills, experience with global data sets of vegetation and meteorological parameters as well as a remarkable publication record would be assets. Knowledge of R and of Unix/Linux environment will be an advantage. The candidate should have good written and oral communication skills. For work, good skills in the English language will be essential.


A postdoctoral research position is also available for keen and motivated students interested in research centered around understanding the impact of climate change (climatic extreme events) terrestrial ecosystem by using spaceborne chlorophyll fluorescence and flux data. Salary can be up to 300,000 Yuan/annual (around 50,000 US dollars) plus benefits upon approval by the university for the outstanding PhD graduated from abroad universities.


Applicants should submit a cover letter explaining their qualifications along with their CV, and research statements to:

Dr. Yongguang Zhang

Professor at International Institute for Earth System Science (ESSI)

Nanjing University

Nanjing, China





Our project

The research of MoveFluo (1) is focused on the space-based monitoring of Sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF), and exploitation of the resulting data sets for a global-scale assessment of photosynthetic processes; (2) conducts field measurements of canopy SIF and PRI for different vegetation types (crops and forest) which will explore the dynamics of light-use efficiency and photosynthesis and close the gap between eddy covariance (EC) flux measurements and remote-sensing SIF monitoring.


SIF offer the possibility of improving our knowledge of photosynthetic functioning at regional to global scales. Terrestrial satellite SIF data sets have been derived in the last years from a range of spaceborne spectrometers, including GOSAT, GOME-2, SCIAMACHY and OCO-2, resulting in a 10+ year time series of global SIF data. Spaceborne SIF measurements have been proven to be an unparalleled proxy for large-scale gross primary production (GPP) at various ecosystems, including large crop belts and tropical and boreal forests. The spatio-temporal resolution and overall precision of existing SIF data sets will be highly improved with the launch of the TROPOMI instrument onboard the Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite mission in 2016.


Field measurements of SIF provide novel approaches to monitor vegetation photosynthesis at canopy scale which enable us to exploit how the whole ecosystem responds to environmental conditions. Newly developed instruments such as automated field spectroscopy systems can continuously monitor vegetation photosynthetic activity for different types of canopy. We will develop a new spectroscopy system to continuously monitor canopy photosynthesis (PRI and SIF) for crops (rice, wheat, maize, and soybean) and forest at several flux tower sites.


About the employer

The International Institute for Earth System Science (ESSI) is the research center for Earth System sciences at Nanjing University. With approx. 17 faculty members, the ESSI is conducting interdisciplinary research on the "Earth System science" and the influence of human activities on the terrestrial ecosystem by using technologies such as remote sensing.

You can expect a very diverse and challenging job in an international work environment that is characterized by exciting research projects. The new campus is located outside the city of Nanjing, with walk-in distance from living place to office, convenient sport and entertainment facilities. Therefore, it offers the opportunity for flexible working time and workplaces. Please check the website (http://essi.nju.edu.cn/english/69.htm) for more information and group contacts.