Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


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Three PhD positions in glaciology and glacierised catchment hydrology
Birmensdorf, Switzerland
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research (WSL)
  • Graduate Position

The HIMAL (High Mountain Glaciers and Hydrology) group at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research (WSL), led by Francesca Pellicciotti, is looking to fill  three PhD positions in glaciology and hydrology of high mountain catchments, within two SNSF funded projects

1)    PASTURE (Glacier retreat and its impact on mountain ecosystems and agriculture in Peru) – 1 PhD position

The PhD student will simulate energy and mass fluxes, water-vegetation interactions and catchment response to climate in the two most glacierised catchments of Peru (Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Vilcanota), using a novel, hyper-resolution land surface model.

2)    RENOIR (REsolving the thickNess Of debris on earth’s glacIers and its Rate of change) – 2 PhD positions

PhD1 will work on reconstructing the supraglacial debris thickness of all glaciers on Earth, and evaluate its changes at the catchment and global scales, through a combination of field measurements, energy-balance modelling, and large-scale remote sensing.

PhD2 will leverage the new debris thickness estimates generated by companion PhD1 to assess the impact of debris on projections of glacier and catchment hydrology change.

In both projects you will be working in a highly international, interdisciplinary team, and both projects involve fieldwork at a number of study sites, in the Andes (PASTURE) and globally (RENOIR).

The HIMAL group led by Francesca Pellicciotti ( looks at changes in glaciers and water resources in the main mountain regions of the world, with a strong focus on modelling past and future processes and changes. We investigate glacier processes across scales, leveraging modelling, field work and remote sensing, and study the hydrology of high elevation catchments with both glacio-hydrological models and new, hyper-resolution land surface models. We currently have numerous projects in High Mountain Asia and the Andes. 

For questions, please contact Francesca Pellicciotti (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 

Please apply using the online forms. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled, and we will start interviewing in May.

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