1. Postdoctoral opportunities


No other funding is currently available to hire postdocs. Applicants willing to apply for fellowships should contact Dr. Zhang to discuss possible projects and funding sources.

Here are some examples:



  1. Ph.D. Position (U. Maryland): Food and the Environment

The Zhang Lab at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) is seeking a motivated Ph.D. student interested in investigating the interactions between food production and global environmental change with data-driven approaches. The student would have the opportunity to design his/her own topic of investigation related to food security, agricultural production, climate change, and/or global nitrogen and carbon cycles. In addition, the student will be able to work closely with modeling development groups at Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton and Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD) in France.

The Zhang lab has been using interdisciplinary and data-driven approaches to examine strategies for addressing the triple challenges of food security, environmental degradation, and climate change. Ongoing research projects include modeling the impact of agricultural production on global nitrogen cycle and assessing the environmental and economic trade-offs between expansion and intensification of agriculture production.

The successful candidate will have working knowledge of the biogeochemical and biophysical processes of the earth system, strong quantitative skills, and proficiency in at least one basic programming language (e.g. Matlab, R, FORTRAN). Prior research experience in environmental science and policy is desirable.

The position is based at the UMCES Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg, Maryland and comes with a highly competitive stipend and benefits package. Three years of support are available through research assistantships, with additional support possible through competitive teaching assistantships. Finalists for the position will also be encouraged to apply for fellowships through UMCES:


The student will matriculate through the Marine, Estuarine, and Environmental Sciences Program (MEES) at the University of Maryland, College Park and will reside at the Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg for the duration of the project. Frostburg is a small college town in the mountains of western Maryland, providing abundant outdoor recreational opportunities.

To apply, please email Xin Zhang (xin.zhang@umces.edu) a single PDF containing (1) a statement of interest, (2) a CV, and (3) contact information for three references. Please indicate “Food and the Environment PhD position” in your subject line. Review of applications will continue until a suitable candidate is found, with starting dates available as soon as September 2016 and no later than September 2017.

UMCES is an affirmative action, EOE.  Individuals with disabilities, veterans, women and minorities are encouraged to apply. This ad is also posted at http://www.umces.edu/al/employment.

  1. Undergraduate opportunities

Internships are available for students who are interested in analyzing the database of Global Nitrogen Budgets in Crop Production (the data presented in Zhang et al. 2015, Nature) to answer key questions regarding how to address the challenges of food security, climate change, and environmental degradation. The intern will design a case study with my guidance. Applicants should have some basic data analysis skills and good writing skills. To apply please email xin.zhang@umces.edu with your GPA, major, and interest in this position.