Tailored opportunities: PhD position to investigate the dynamics of flowing stream networks at Lausanne, Switzerland


The networks of headwater streams dynamically expand in response to rainfall events or snowmelt, and they contract during extended dry periods.  Understanding these stream network dynamics can help us to gain important insights into water storage variations and streamflow generating processes.  This PhD project aims to identify physiographic and hydro-climatic factors that control stream network expansion and contraction in headwater catchments.  The project will combine traditional hydrological field work with cutting-edge technologies such as wireless sensor networks for real-time hydrological monitoring and on-site water sample analysis for high-frequency water quality monitoring.  A coherent theoretical framework will be developed which translates spatial information about the flowing stream network into hydrologic process understanding.

Your Responsibilities

  • Extensive fieldwork and lab work during the snow-free seasons of the first two years of the project
  • Perform statistical analyses of GPS, hydrologic and hydrochemical data
  • Use environmental tracers (stable water isotopes, solutes) to quantify flow pathways and source contributions to the flowing stream network
  • Report regularly to the collaborators and present research results at scientific meetings
  • Publish in international peer-reviewed journals


  • A Masters’ degree in a topic related to Hydrology, Hydrogeology, Earth System Science, Environmental Engineering, Geography, Environmental Physics or related relevant disciplines
  • Experience with field and lab work, good sense of direction
  • Programming skills (using e.g., Matlab, Python, Fortran or R)
  • Ability to demonstrate excellent oral and written communication skills in English; kn


The application deadline is November 1st 2019


Please send a cover letter describing why you are interested in the position, your CV, copies of relevant diplomas, two names of possible referees, and a writing sample in one single pdf file to jana.vonfreyberg19@usys.ethz.ch.

For further information, please contact Dr. Jana von Freyberg via e-mail: jana.vonfreyberg19@usys.ethz.ch.

Detailed information on this opportunity is available here.

If you need help in responding to this opportunity, please write your question in the comment box below.

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African Academic/Researcher

Science and Research by Africans for Africa

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