Postdoctoral research position supporting the Canadian Optimized High-Resolution Representation of the National Terrestrial Carbon Cycle (COHERENT-C) project

The Biometeorology research group in the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies at Carleton University ( and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC;, are seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) for a fully funded two-year project.

Project description

The main objective of the Canadian Optimized High-Resolution Representation of the National Terrestrial Carbon Cycle (COHERENT-C) project is to rapidly advance Canada’s skill at representing and predicting Canada’s terrestrial carbon cycle as climate, disturbances, and atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations evolve. Funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) Alliance program, COHERENT-C is mobilizing a large group of academic and government collaborators to improve ECCC’s open source community model, the Canadian Land Surface Scheme including Biogeochemical Cycles (CLASSIC). CLASSIC is the land component of ECCC’s family of Earth System Models used by the climate science, impacts, and adaptation communities. COHERENT-C is the first attempt at a comprehensive process-based modelling of Canada’s terrestrial carbon cycle and will be used to predict how the carbon sink and source status of our managed and unmanaged lands may change in the future.

COHERENT-C is three years into its five year scope and seeking a new PDF to carry on the work after the starting PDF secured a Research Scientist position with ECCC. COHERENT-C is focused on producing 1) annual summaries for policy makers on the past and future state of Canada’s carbon sinks and sources, and 2) scientific publications and presentations detailing an improved understanding of the vulnerability of carbon cycle processes in Canadian forests, wetlands, and the North. Early work from the project has already been published with several additional manuscripts now in preparation, as well COHERENT-C hosted two well attended project workshops with a third planned in the late spring. The remaining two years of the project will build upon the momentum established in the first three years.

Position description

The successful candidate will be based in Ottawa and jointly supervised by Drs. Elyn Humphreys (Carleton) and Joe Melton (ECCC). Responsibilities include original scientific research and manuscript preparation focused on vegetation and fire modelling, assistance with workshop organization and facilitation, liaising with collaborators and their graduate students, and providing expertise/assistance with collaborator model development, execution, and interpretation remotely and through lab visits. The PDF will develop professional skills such as collaboration, communication, and leadership by co-leading and co-organizing annual collaborator workshops, through research visits for 6-8 weeks/year to work closely with ECCC and government and university collaborators and their graduate students, and by representing CLASSIC community advancements at national and international scientific conferences. The PDF will have high exposure and visibility within the research community as a result.


The gross salary starts at $60,000/year, includes annual salary increments, and the opportunity to opt in to a benefits plan (see www./ for benefit plan details). The position is available for the remaining duration of the project with the initial hiring for one year with the follow-up year contingent on acceptable performance.


While previous experience with land surface or terrestrial ecosystem models is highly desirable, more so the applicant should have the ability to rapidly gain an understanding of physical and biogeochemical processes from the existing scientific literature, and be able to develop mathematical parameterizations for implementation in a modelling framework. Applicants must have a PhD in a field related to terrestrial physics or ecosystem processes; peer-reviewed publications; and enthusiasm and drive for both independent and team-based research. As a significant component of this project will be interfacing with our collaborators, the ideal candidate will have exceptional oral and written communication and collaboration skills.

Application Instructions

Applications must include: 1) a cover letter detailing their interest, availability, and relevant experience, 2) a current curriculum vitae, and 3) the contact information of at least two referees.

Email your application materials and any questions to Elyn Humphreys ([email protected]) and Joe Melton ([email protected]). Review of applications will begin April 23rd , 2024 and continue until the position is filled.

Receipt of your application will be confirmed by email but only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. Once contacted for an interview, please let us know if you require an accommodation, and we will endeavour to make arrangements.

Carleton University and ECCC are committed to fostering diversity within their communities as a source of excellence, cultural enrichment, and social strength. We welcome those who would contribute to the further diversification of our research community including, but not limited to: women; visible minorities; First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples; persons with disabilities; and persons of any sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression. We understand that career paths vary. Legitimate career interruptions will in no way prejudice the assessment process and their impact will be carefully considered. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Host institutions

Carleton University is a dynamic, innovative research and teaching institution with national and international reputation as a leader in collaborative teaching and learning, research and governance. Please visit us at Carleton University acknowledges and respects the Algonquin people, traditional custodian of the land on which the Carleton University campus is situated.

ECCC is the lead federal department for a wide range of environmental issues and is relied upon to provide science-based environmental information and services so that Canadians may make informed decisions relating to their health and safety. ECCC is tasked with implementing the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, Canada’s Paris Agreement commitments, and contributing to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Close Date:
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  • Contact: Elyn Humphreys email