Postdoc in Agroecology

Department of Plant and Environmental Science, Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen is offering a 36-month postdoc position in agroecology and integrated pest management commencing 1 May 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Description of the scientific environment
The Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN) conducts fundamental and strategic research to solve real world challenges, primarily within the plant, soil and environmental sciences. Research and teaching cover natural resources, agriculture, biotechnology and synthetic biology from the molecular to landscape scales.

This position is based within the weed ecology and evolution group at the Tåstrup campus of the University of Copenhagen, though you will collaborate with international scientists in all areas of agroecology relating to crop health and protection. Our research group focuses on the ecological and evolutionary processes that result in the adaptation and persistence of agricultural weeds. We use approaches from plant ecology, evolutionary genetics, modelling, epidemiology, data science and agronomy. Our basic research recognises that weedy plants are ablt to rapidly adapt to the challenges and opportunities presented by agroecosystems. We apply these eco-evolutionary insights to develop sustainable strategies for weed management in crop protection systems.

Project description
The position is funded by a Novo Nordisk Foundation challenge grant “One Crop Health for Next Generation Crop Protection” awarded to Paul Neve. This exciting and innovative six year project will establish a virtual One Crop Health Centre across partner institutions in Denmark and the United Kingdom. This Centre will develop approaches that integrate the latest advances in ecology, biotechnology, data science and modelling to significantly reduce reliance on pesticides for crop protection. We will develop ‘One Health’ approaches that recognize the inter-dependencies between crop health, soil health and agroecosystem health to develop sustainable solutions for the prevention, prediction, detection and control of pests, weeds and diseases in agroecosystems.

Our systems-based approach emphasises ‘bottom-up’ agroecological approaches for prevention of large, frequent pest outbreaks; digital solutions for more timely and precise detection and prediction of pest populations; and next-generation, biology-inspired solutions for effective and environmentally benign control. The hierarchical, multi-scale approach that we propose spans monitoring farm networks and citizen science (WP1), manipulative field experiments (WP2), systems modelling and digital twins (WP3) and hypothesis-driven research (WP4) to develop novel science and new interventions for pest prevention, detection and control. Further details of the project can be found here.

A key elemant of your role will be to oversee the establishment of a farm network (WP1) and large-scale field experiments (WP2) and to liaise with collaborating scientists, farmers and other project stakeholders to manage data collection efforts. Further details of the role are provided below.

Research group leader is Professor Paul Neve, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences,, Phone: +45 29611199.


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Job description
Role summary. We will recruit a highly-motivated, PhD qualified individual to coordinate a farm monitoring network and large-scale field experiments as part of an international, multi-partner project to develop ‘One Crop Health’ approaches in Danish crop production systems. The postholder must have knowledge and experience of European agricultural systems, and associated plant protection and crop health challenges. You will demonstrate excellent organisational and communication skills and have experience in project and data management. You will have a background and experience in agronomic and/or agroecological research, ideally with competency and experience in precision/digital agriculture. The postholder will be expected to contribute to scientific outputs from the project.

Detailed role description

  • Recruit and coordinate a network of 50 monitoring farms for a multi-partner project exploring plant protection, crop health and biodiversity in Danish and UK crop production systems.
    • Liaise with farm advisory services in Denmark to identify and recruit monitoring farms.
    • Develop and implement protocols for annual monitoring of key insect pests, plant pathogens, weeds and functional biodiversity across farm network.
    • Oversee logistical arrangements and communication with network members in relation to monitoring activities.
    • Manage data collection, collation and curation across the farm network.
    • Liaise with scientists involved in establishing a partner UK farm network.
    • Manage communication with all farm network stakeholders (farmers, agronomists, data and service providers).
  • Coordinate the design, establishment and management of large-scale rotational field experiments at the Tåstrup campus of the University of Copenhagen.
    • Collaborate with project principal investigators and experimental farm management and technical teams to design and establish field experiments.
    • Oversee development and implementation of protocols for monitoring and data collection across experiments.
    • Establish data management protocols for field experiments.
    • Contribute to science outputs arising from large-scale field experiments.
    • Develop communication and knowledge exchange activities associated with field experiments.
  • Attend and contribute to One Crop Health partner and project meetings.
  • Contribute as an author and co-author to scientific outputs arising from the project.
  • Contribute to communication and dissemination activities in collaboration with the project PI and a dedicated project manager.
  • Work closely with project scientists and students to coordinate research activities across the One Crop Health farm network and field experiments.

Person specification

  • A PhD (or relevant research experience) in agronomy and/or agroecology (with knowledge of precision / digital agriculture technology and applications).
  • Good knowledge and understanding of Danish and European farming systems.
  • Excellent communication and organisational skills.
  • Fluency in Danish and English.
  • Full driving license.

Further information on the Department is linked at Inquiries about the position can be made to Paul Neve,, phone +45 29611199.

Terms of employment
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.

Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.

Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.

The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.

Please include

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)
  • Research plan – description of current and future research plans
  • Complete publication list
  • Separate reprints of 3 particularly relevant papers

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

The deadline for applications is 05 January, 2024, 23:59 GMT +1.

After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.

You can read about the recruitment process at


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Paul Neve


Application deadline: 05-01-2024
Employment start: 01-05-2024
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
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