PhD position ’Integrating nutritional aspects in agricultural LCA’

WorkplaceZurich, Zurich region, Switzerland


Agroscope is an innovative research institute for agriculture and nutrition. Its Life Cycle Assessment Research Group, based in Zurich-Affoltern, develops methods regarding the impacts of the food supply chain on sustainability and applies them in topical research questions. The main focus is on the environmental impacts of agricultural production. The work will be carried out in close collaboration with the ETH Sustainable Food Processing Group, which uses a combination of emerging food safety approaches, novel protein processing and LCA to target fundamental challenges in food science and society such as food security and environmental resilience. We offer a

The nutritional value of food is complex with many different aspects. Widely accepted and consistent methods to quantify the nutritional functions of agricultural raw products for the application in life cycle assessments (LCA) of food products and agricultural systems are currently missing. Such a method will be developed in this PhD project. It should allow to analyse and compare agricultural production systems from an LCA perspective by explicitly considering their contribution to human nutrition.

Your tasks are the review of different methods and indices to quantify the nutritional function of food to humans including health effects, like nutrient density, nutrient rich food index, weighted nutrient density score, healthy eating index, etc., for their use in LCA. You will discuss pros and cons and potential usage of these methods and select/develop suitable methods applicable at the level of agricultural production systems and food products. You will determine the relevant parameters for the main food products. You will assess the appropriateness of the methods selected/developed for food systems including food processing and animal feeding. You will test and discuss the chosen methods in several LCAs of agricultural production systems and food products with varying output of food raw products and at different scales. You will publish your research in peer-reviewed journals and present it at scientific conferences.

You have a Master Degree in agronomy, environmental science or engineering, food or nutrition science. You have excellent academic qualifications, writing skills, strong self-motivation and ability to work in fast-paced interdisciplinary environment. Experience in LCA, statistical and data analysis skills are appreciated. Good communication and IT skills, good knowledge of English as well as German or French (oral and written) are required.

We offer you varied work in a young and multidisciplinary research team as well as thorough initial training. Agroscope has excellent research facilities. You will enjoy flexible working hours and good employee benefits. Start date is July 2018 or at your earliest convenience and the contract is for 3 years. The place of work is Agroscope in 8046 Zurich-Affoltern, Salary will be according to the guidelines of the Swiss National Science Foundation.

In your application, please refer to
and reference  JobID 38857.

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