Postdoctoral position on Snow and glacier hydrology in the French Alps

Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France. The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.

Work environment, missions and activities

You will work for the RiverLy laboratory at INRAE (Lyon) research unit which includes experts in hydrological modelling, streamflow ecosystems and eco-hydrology. More specifically, you will be part of the ECOFLOWS team specialised on ecohydraulic relationships with a strong expertise on aquatic invertebrates.

You will work jointly with snow and glacier hydrological specialists from the IGE reasearch unit (Grenoble) and the Snow research Center from Meteo-France and CNRS (Grenoble), where your workplace will be located.

The retreat of mountain glaciers worldwide is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, with climate change predicted to drive continued ice loss throughout the twenty-first century. Sustained reduction in ice melt contributions to proglacial stream network is rapidly altering their geomorphological, hydrological and ecological characteristics, with implications for freshwater biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services downstream. The post-doctoral position presented here is part of the BERGER project funded by the Auvergne Rhone Alpes region and dedicated to explore the links between climate-induced changes in snow- and ice-fed streams, and biological species living within these streams. It makes use of the hydrological model J2000, that has been in previous work coupled to  the machinel-learning based regional glacier model ALPGM

You will adapt and run the J2000 hydrological model coupled to ALPGM, over 3 high-mountain catchments with different alpine climates and glacier cover fractions : the ARVE catchment at Chamonix (202km2, 32% glacier cover), the DORON at Pralognan-la-Vanoise catchment (70km2, 13% glacier cover), and the ARVAN catchment at Saint-Jean-d‘Arves (58km2, 3% glacier cover). The glaciers involved here benefit from nearby in-situ observations of meteorological conditions and mass-balance observations from the GLACIOCLIM observatory (, that jointly with available gauging station data will allow for multi-objective model calibration of the model.

- By using regionnaly downscaled meteorological forcings for the recent past (S2M reanalysis, and for future projections to the horizon 2100 (ADAMONT ensemble projections,,, you will be able to explore the evolution of water resource and glacier-melt contributions in headwater catchments under different settings of glacier coverage, altitude, size, and local climate.


- Along with this analysis, you will assist the understanding of the effect of streamflow conditions on invertebrate communities within the streamflows, by providing relevant hydrological indices in collaboration with the eco-hydrological partners of the project.

- Relevant results may be presented to local water stakeholders and regional agencies.


you may participate to field campains on glaciers or in the downstream rivers for mass balance monitoring and aquatic species sampling, both assisted with experts from the field.


Training and skills


Formation recommandée / Eductation

- background in hydrology

Connaissances souhaitées / Skills

- good skills in programming and data analysis

- background in hydrology

Expérience appréciée /Experience

- PhD or previous experience of research or research engineering in hydrology (preferably snow hydrology)

Aptitudes recherchées/ others

  • ability and interest to team-work
  • communication skills (notably to non-research audiance)
  • French speaking prefered but not mandatory

INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from (depending on the type of contract and its duration):

- up to 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: trainingcareer advise;
social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
sports and cultural activities;
- collective catering.