PhD Position Environmental Hydro(geo)logy in the Dutch Caribbean via EURAXESS

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft, , NL



A 4-year PhD position, financed by the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO), is available within the recently awarded research project SEALINK: Land, Sea, and Society: Linking terrestrial pollutants and inputs to nearshore coral reef growth to identify novel conservation options for the Dutch Caribbean.

SEALINK ( intends to provide a comprehensive understanding of the relation between land-based pollution and coral reef health in the Dutch Caribbean. A total of 9 PhD positions in varying scientific disciplines are available now including the one advertised here at TU Delft.

This PhD student at TU Delft on chemical hydro(geo)logy together with a fellow PhD student on physical hydro(geo)logy at WUR aim within SEALINK to improve the mechanistic understanding of how exactly various pollutants (e.g. nutrients, organic micro-pollutants, pathogens, sediments) reach the sea via run-off overland and via groundwater flow underground.

With the aim to ultimately support effective land and water (including sanitary) management at the focus islands of Curaçao and St. Eustatius. These 2 PhD students will work closely together during collaborative and extensive field work campaigns (about 3 months every year through CARMABI in Curaçao and CSNI at St. Eustatius). Both state-of-the-art and novel field measurement methods including geophysics, tracer tests, and radon isotope analysis will be applied. The field data will be modelled with numerical (ground)water flow and pollutant transport models.

You will be mainly supervised by daily supervisor dr. Boris van Breukelen (TU Delft) and be in regular contact with dr. Victor Bense (WUR). Various SEALINK supervisors and collaborators will provide additional specific expertise.

This PhD position at TU Delft will focus on mapping of groundwater and run-off water quality, tracing of water flows and pollutants along pathways from land into sea (including submarine groundwater discharge), and mathematical modelling linking pollution sources like leaking sewage infrastructure, to (ground)water quality, and pollutant fluxes from land to sea.

The PhD position at WUR will focus on the extensive measuring and modelling of groundwater recharge and the overland and subsurface water fluxes from land to sea. Both PhDs will assess with models the potential effects of various management scenarios.