Postdoc position to model non-perennial stream networks

École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Lausanne, Switzerland 🇨🇭

Your mission :
The Watershed Research Lab at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is seeking a postdoctoral researcher to model non-perennial stream networks in Swiss headwater catchments.
Stream networks are important flow pathways along which water transports solutes and sediments, and thus are essential for local and regional biodiversity. Field observations in headwater catchments have shown that many low-order streams are non-perennial, depending on hydro-climatic factors and on the catchments’ landscape and subsurface characteristics. As a result, headwater stream networks expand and contract over time. The spatial extent and associated water and solute fluxes of these transient stream networks are not yet well modelled, thus making it difficult to predict potential ecohydrological impacts of land-use management and climate change on headwater tributaries.

In the TempAqua project, we collect novel, high-frequency measurements of water and solute fluxes in different catchments to gain detailed insights into the mechanistic links between non-perennial stream networks and catchment hydrological, biogeochemical and ecological processes. The postdoctoral researcher will implement this process understanding into a functional model, and identify those channel reaches that are likely to permanently fall dry under future climate change, thus providing important information for targeted monitoring and protection of headwater ecosystems.

Main duties and responsibilities include :

  • Implement a spatially-distributed representation of the changing linkages between surface and subsurface hydrological processes and the associated stream network geometry into a mechanistic modelling framework
  • Model the short-term changes of flowing stream length and discharge at our study sites under current and future climatic conditions
  • Test the upscaling- and transferability capability of the model

Your profile :

  • PhD in hydrology, hydrogeology, environmental sciences or engineering, or a related field
  • Experience in spatially-distributed hydrological modelling
  • Independence, innovative thinking, efficient working style
  • Interest in getting involved in teaching and supervising activities (PhD and MSc students)

We offer :

  • A world-class research and training environment at EPFL Lausanne with access to state-of-the-art research facilities
  • Additional affiliation with the Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape research (WSL) in Birmensdorf near Zurich
  • Collaborations with watershed hydrologists, ecohydrologists and hydrological modelers at both institutes
  • A flexible working schedule (part-time possible)
  • Highly competitive salary

Start date :

  • April 1st 2023 or earlier
  • Application deadline is February 1st 2023
  • Apply online by sending your documents in a SINGLE PDF (information on your research experiences and interests, motivations to pursue this position, your CV, copies of relevant diplomas, 2-3 references)
  • If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact

Term of employment :
Fixed-term (CDD)

Work rate :

Duration :
1 year contract renewable
The project duration is 2 years

Remark :
Only candidates who applied through EPFL website or our partner Jobup’s website will be considered. Files sent by agencies without a mandate will not be taken into account.

Reference :
Job Nb 2721





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development