PhD in Hydrometeorological Modeling via AGU

Université Laval

Quebec City, QC, CA

PhD project – Construction of a Hydrological Surface Model for Forest Tundra Applications in Northern Canada

Where You Will Study

Université Laval (UL) is the oldest French-language university in North America. UL is a comprehensive university boasting some 48,000 students—a quarter of them graduates—as well as 17 faculties, 60 departments and schools, and nearly 400 undergraduate and graduate programs in every field of knowledge. Université Laval offers strong graduate programs in northern research. Although graduate studies at Université Laval can be carried out in English, the candidate will be strongly encouraged to learn French. Université Laval is located in Quebec City, but the experimental site supporting the proposed PhD work is located near Umiujaq, at the frontier between the Canadian boreal forest and tundra.

What You Will Do

Work is underway to construct an experimental hydrological surface model around three components that emanates either from the Soil, Vegetation, and Snow (SVS) land surface model under development at Environment and Climate change Canada or from the Maximization of the Entropy Production (MEP) method. The First component of this hydrological surface model consists in the MEP energy balance model, which was shown to realistically simulate land surface fluxes over a wide range of climates and vegetation covers. The second and third components are the soil and the snow modules of the SVS land surface model. This PhD specifically aims to improve the soil and snow modules. SVS soil module needs to account for the discontinuous permafrost commonly present in the Canadian forest tundra, while a multilayer physical snowpack scheme is proposed in replacement for the actual SVS snow module. It should include advanced parameterizations of the physical processes governing the snowpack evolution, as well as specific developments for Arctic snow. The candidate will closely collaborate with another PhD student focused on collecting and analyzing experimental data at the research site (see Fig. 1) near Umiujaq, Canada (56.5°N, 76.5°W), along the coast of Hudson Bay. This work is part of the highly funded Sentinel North program, designed to develop innovative tools in optics-photonics and improve our understanding of the northern environment and its impact on human beings and their health.

What You Need

Academic background:

•           MSc degree in hydrometeorology or closely related discipline

•           Experience in physically-oriented hydrometeorologic modeling

•           Demonstrated record of research and publication

•           Ability to conduct graphical and statistical analyses

•           Strong skills in written and oral communication of research results, in English and in French

Technical/computational skills:

•           Strong competence in FORTRAN

•           Strong competence with data, program and file management in UNIX

•           Competence with analysis and scripting in MATLAB or similar analysis language

•           Demonstrated skill in working with large and heterogeneous datasets

•           Familiarity with super-computing environments (e.g., computing clusters)


Please send an email to Prof. François Anctil ([email protected]) and Prof. René Therrien ([email protected]) with your CV, a short motivation letter, examples of previous research (M.Sc. thesis or published papers), as well as the names of two referees.

Supporting documents