Ph.D. position (f/m/x): SLAP-2SPollution - Solving landscape puzzles to mitigate suspended solids pollution in rivers

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)

Magdeburg, Germany đŸ‡©đŸ‡Ș

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) with its 1,100 employees has gained an excellent reputation as an international competence centre for environmental sciences. We are part of the largest scientific organisation in Germany, the Helmholtz association. Our mission: Our research seeks to find a balance between social development and the long-term protection of our natural resources.

The UFZ, TU Dresden, Purdue University, and the University of Florida with the German Environment Agency (UBA), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and the European Environment Agency (EEA) as cooperating partners participate in the Helmholtz International Research School „Trajectories towards Water Security (TRACER)” to develop a new comprehensive understanding of spatiotemporal trajectories of human impacts on natural water systems and feedbacks between human and ecological systems. We believe that this understanding must be globally transferable at multiple scales and across wide ranges of geographic, hydro-climatic, and socio-economic settings.

With TRACER, we will develop methods to (1) hindcast multi‐decadal hydro‐ecological trajectories of human impacts on water and vice versa, (2) disentangle human pressures and natural variability, (3) reliably forecast future pathways under climate- and land-use- change scenarios to achieve water security, and (4) analyze impacts of policies and regulations to enhance water security, modify social behavior and support ecological recovery.

This position is one of 4 Ph.D. positions offered through TRACER as a core for the second cohort of doctoral researchers.

Ph.D. position (f/m/x): SLAP-2SPollution – Solving landscape puzzles to mitigate suspended solids pollution in rivers

Project start: flexible, but earliest 01.03.2022; working time 65% (25.35 h/week); limited for three years; interviews will be held in weeks 5 and 6 in 2022 and will proceed as online meetings.

Your tasks:

Heterogeneous land uses over river basins result in complex landscape mosaics. But, knowledge on the role of landscape patterns for determining water quality along streams has been less developed. Focusing on pollution caused by suspended solids, this work aims to understand its drivers over heterogeneous watersheds, estimate loads in streams, and suggest guidance for landscape restoration efforts. Expect your tasks to be:

  • Data-driven analysis of landscape patterns and organization and their effect on river water quality.
  • Development of hydrological models based on the structure of river networks.
  • Definition of scenarios of projected hydro-climatic variables and future land use distribution.
  • Model applications to analyze the effect of archetypal scenarios and assess risks for water quality.

Your profile:

  • You should have a Master’s degree in Hydrology, Civil/Environmental Engineering or Environmental Sciences.
  • It is highly beneficial if you have hydrological and hydraulic knowledge and you are familiar with the mobilization of sediments from landscapes.
  • Excellent data analysis and programming skills (e.g., Python, Matlab, R), with experiences in the development and application of analytical and numerical models, are mandatory.
  • Moreover, experiences handling large databases of environmental variables are mandatory.
  • Working ability using GIS software (e.g., ArcGIS, QGIS) would be an additional asset.
  • Fluency in English is required and good writing skills are highly beneficial.
  • You should also be interested in researching interdisciplinary content with multicultural teams, and be flexible to travel outside Germany as there is the possibility for research stays abroad of up to 6 months based on international research collaboration.
  • In general, you should be highly motivated, have curiosity, autonomy, and an entrepreneurial attitude.
  • Applications must include a motivation letter with an outline of your research interests, a CV, a Master’s diploma, and a transcript with grades of all courses you took, and two recommendation letters with the contact information of referees.

We offer:

  • Top level interdisciplinary research at a research centre which enjoys an excellent reputation within Germany as well as internationally
  • Excellent technical facilities
  • Work in inter-disciplinary and multinational teams
  • Excellent links to national and international research networks
  • Support and optimal training courses by our graduate school (HIGRADE)
  • Remuneration in accordance with the TVöD public-sector pay grade 13 (65%)