PostDoc in pan-tropical mapping of commodity-driven deforestation


Chalmers University of Technology


Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Start Date

Saturday, October 1, 2022

The conversion of tropical forests and other natural ecosystems to cropland and pastures are a major driver of climate change and the loss of biodiversity and other ecosystem services. With unprecedented attention in recent years on curbing tropical deforestation - as evident from burgeoning commitments of companies, financial institutions and governments - there is an urgent need for accurate and actionable data on the role of global supply-chains in driving deforestation. As a PostDoc in this project you will help providing private and public decision-makers with such data, in collaboration with research partners at the forefront of mapping the supply-chains for forest-risk commodities.

Information about the project and the division
You will be funded by the project ReDUCE (Refining consumption-based estimates of Deforestation land-Use Change Emissions), which aims to improve existing estimates of commodity-driven deforestation and associated environmental impacts by leveraging state-of-the-art data on deforestation and agricultural land-use. It will build on the joint efforts of researchers at Chalmers and partners at Trase ( to provide comprehensive data on the role of agricultural and forestry production, trade and consumption in driving deforestation, as well as to curate this data to further more effective policy responses and rid global supply-chains of embodied deforestation.

You will be placed at Physical Resource Theory, within the department of Space, Earth and Environment, and work within the land-use group at the division. The division of Physical Resource Theory carries out research in the field of technical and socio-economic systems addressing the challenges involved in the transition into a sustainable and low carbon society for a growing population, using a range of different quantitative and qualitative methods. The division's aspiration is to build challenge-driven scientific excellence by crossing traditional boundaries and increase the level of multi-disciplinarity in research.

- The details of the departmental research activities may be found here

Major responsibilities
You will be responsible for development of an existing pan-tropical model for attributing deforestation and associated carbon emissions to expanding agricultural and forestry land-uses (, data from which is currently used by NGOs, governments and private sector actors for assessing consumption-based deforestation footprints. The development will consist of increasing the spatial resolution of the model, by incorporating remote sensing data on agricultural land-use and deforestation for major forest-risk commodities (e.g., soybeans), detailed supply-chain data from the Trase initiative, and sub-national agricultural statistics for a broad set of countries. The sub-national data will also be used to provide improved estimates of the greenhouse gas emissions from peatland drainage. Combining these data with global trade models will allow us to estimate consumption-based land-use change emissions with higher granularity. You will also be engaging with key stakeholders and help curate the data to make it available to users, in order to contribute to more informed decisions by both private and public decision-makers.

Teaching may be included in position, up to 20% of full time.