PhD student in instream wood origin and provenance

University of Lausanne

Lausanne, , CH


UNIL is a leading international teaching and research institution, with over 5,000 employees and 15,500 students split between its Dorigny campus, CHUV and Epalinges. As an employer, UNIL encourages excellence, individual recognition and responsibility.


To complete the team, the Institute of earth surface dynamics of the Faculty of geosciences and environment opens a position of PhD student in instream wood origin and provenance.

Job information

Expected start date in position : 01.04.2020

Contract length : 1 year, renewable 1 x 3 years, maximum 4 years

Activity rate : 100%

Workplace : Lausanne-Mouline (Géopolis)

Your responsibilities

The PhD work will be developed in the context of the project “Towards a new understanding of fluvial ecosystems : integrating wood regime across multiple scales“, foudend by the SNSF Eccellenza Professional Fellowship Program.

Instream wood (i.e., downed trees, trunk, rootwads and branches, usually >1 m in length and >10 cm in diameter) significantly influences river morphology and sediment dynamics, and it plays an important role in supporting biodiversity, influencing the nutrient cycle, and providing a variety of physical habitats. Moreover, instream wood is an important element of the organic carbon budget. However, the transport of large quantities of instream wood during floods may enhance related damages. Instream wood research has grown considerably over the last years, but important gaps still exist. This project will address some of the most important ones.

In particular for this position the candidate will focus on where does wood come from, and hos is stored in the river network.

The PhD project aims at :

  • Assessing instream wood characteristics alond different alpine rivers
  • Studying the influence that different riparian forest stands has on instream wood characteristics distribution
  • Infering wood origin by applying dendrochemistry and fingerprinting at the watershed scale
Your qualifications

The chose candidate will have a master’s degree in biosciences, environmental sciences, forestry, geosciences, physical geography, ecology, engineering or ralated domain.

A requirement for this position is a good base in forestry, wood anatomy and fluvial morphology. Knowledge in statistics, GIS, and remote sensing are advantages.

Excellent skills in written and oral English are required.

What the position offers you

We offer a nice working place in a multicultural, diverse and dynamic academic environment. Opportunities for professional training, a lot of activities and other benefits to discover.

Contact for further information



Virginia Ruiz-Villanueva

e-mail : [email protected]

Your application

Deadline : 01.03.2020

Please, send your full application containing Motivation letter, Curriculum Vitae, copy of university degrees certificates and transcripts of marks awarded, an electronic version of a research output (MSc diploma thesis, research report, proceedings paper or other scientific publication) in Word or PDF.
Only applications through this website will be taken into account.

We thank you for your understanding.

Additional information

UNIL is committed to equal opportunities and diversity.