Postdoctoral Researcher in Ecohydrology

Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology

Belvaux, , LU


The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is offering a full time postdoctoral position in the framework of the newly funded FNR CORE project EFFECT: Vegetation effects on catchment travel times: Integration of ecohydrological separation in the Storage Selection (SAS) function framework.

This position is envisaged to start 1st June 2018 (starting date negotiable) for initially 24 months with a possibility of a 12 month extension of the work contract. The postdoctoral fellow will be part of the Catchment and Eco-Hydrology (CAT) research group at the Department of Environmental Research and Innovation (ERIN) at LIST.


The time a parcel of water spends within a catchment, from input until it leaves the catchment is the catchment travel time. Studying catchment travel time offers the opportunity for better understanding the underlying controls on how catchments store, mix, and release water. In recent years, it has been shown with stable water isotopes that vegetation relies on different pools of water compared to streamflow – the so-called ecohydrological separation. The EFFECT project will investigate the spatio-temporal pattern of tree water uptake and eco-hydrological separation in a small forested headwater catchment in Luxembourg using stable isotope tools. In a second step, this understanding will be included into catchment travel time modeling using SAS functions. The postdoctoral fellow will design and carry out a 24-months ecohydrological study of the spatio-temporal pattern of isotopic fluxes in a forest headwater with a focus on soil-plant-atmosphere. Furthermore, landscape and plant effects on tree water uptake depth will be determined from the stable isotope data. A last step will be the inclusion of the gained data and mechanistic understanding in catchment travel time modeling.

The EFFECT team consists of the principal investigator (Dr. Julian Klaus), the postdoctoral fellow, two master students, and a strong field and laboratory support for carrying out the project. Furthermore, a collaboration with the TU Delft (Prof. Markus Hrachowitz), Virginia Tech (Prof. Kevin McGuire), The University of Western Australia (Prof. Keith Smettem), and the Baptist University Hong Kong (Prof. K.P. Chun) exists. Research visits at TU Delft and Virginia Tech are foreseen.

Ideally, this position will be filled with someone who has a strong background in ecohydrological field work and stable water isotope methods. Understanding of physical and biological aspects of plant-environment interactions and water-vapor equilibrium methods for determining isotopic composition of water pools is a big advantage. Experience in hydrological modeling is an asset. The formal requirement will be a PhD in Ecohydrology, Hydrology, Plant Physiology, or Environmental science/engineering (or similar). A selection of the following experience and skills is considered beneficial for this position:

  • Field and lab experience in isotope hydrology and ecohydrology
  • Strong background in environmental statistics and geostatistics
  • Programming skills for data analysis (e.g. R, Matlab)
  • Knowledge/experience in hydrological modeling
  • A publication track record that is appropriate for the career level



PhD in Ecohydrology, Hydrology, Plant Physiology, or Environmental science/engineering (or similar)
Excellent skills in scientific writing and presenting

Required seniority

  • Scientific publication record appropriate for the career level
  • Presentations at international scientific meetings


  • Field and lab isotope ecohydrology
  • Quantitative skills (statistics, sampling design, data analysis)
  • Programming skills (e.g. Matlab, R)


  • The work language is English
  • English skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing


  • No restrictions apply as to the nationality of the candidates
  • Candidates shall be available for starting their position by 1st June 2018
  • Driving licence class B

Place of employment and main place of work

  • Primary supervisor at LIST: Dr. Julian Klaus
  • Primary work location:  Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), Belvaux, Luxembourg
  • Duration and location of secondment/s: Visit at TU Delft (Netherlands) and Virginia Tech (USA), the candidate must be eligible to travel the USA


The application can be submitted via LIST’s job portal: If there are any questions regarding the procedure please contact our HR office ([email protected]). The application must include:

  • A motivation letter oriented towards the position and research field and experience
  • A current scientific CV, which includes full contact details
  • Two reference letters or full contact details of two referees
  • A copy of PhD degree or a statement of the PhD supervisor about the progress of the PhD

Applications will be reviewed on-going until the position is filled. The main criterion for selection will be the existing skills, knowledge, and research career potential of the applicant, match with the project, and fulfilment of the above mentioned qualifications. Candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.