Doctorate in hydrological modelling in glacier-covered catchments

University of Bern
December 15, 2022
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
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Doctorate in hydrological modelling in glacier-covered catchments

100%, starting date: February 2023

The Hydrology group of the Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland, is looking for a doctoral candidate to collaborate on a SNFS- funded (www. research project.

The doctorate is offered in the frame of the research project “21st century evolution of small glaciers and their impact on regional hydrology in the Himalayas”, a project jointly conducted in a large Indo-Swiss collaboration by researchers of the ETH's Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW), the Hydrology Group of the University of Bern, Switzerland, the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India, and the Indian National Centre of Polar and Ocean Research. The project's ultimate goal is to quantify the hydrological relevance of small glaciers in the Himalayas, as many of them are anticipated to disappear in the coming decades because of climate change. The focus is on glaciers smaller than 2 square kilometers and on local to regional-scale hydrological impacts. The focus will be on the combination of both observational data and numerical modelling, as well as on the characterization of the relevance of small glaciers for water availability.

In the part of the project linked to this doctorate, the goal is to gain a better understanding of the contribution of small Himalayan glaciers to the discharge and water resources for local communities, and the evolution of the hydrological relevance of small glaciers in a changing climate. In-situ data acquired by the Indian project partners will be used along with climate and regional datasets to calibrate and run hydrological models. Meltwater from the glaciers will be provided by the glacier model (run by our partners from VAW) and integrated into the hydrological model, which can require some model adaptation. The project aims to account for part of the uncertainty related to hydrological modelling using different hydrological models.


Your task will be to run (and eventually modify) such numerical models, to assess their robustness and skill, to apply climate change scenarios, and to quantify the impact of glacier changes on water availability and streamflow variability. These model-based activities will target both the local and the regional scale, thus providing information that is relevant for individual mountain communities and regional decision-making.


The successful candidate holds a Master degree in environmental, earth, or climate sciences, environmental engineering, or related fields, and should have a keen interest in hydrological modelling over time scales of decades to centuries. Familiarity with a scripting language (preferably Python) is a must, as is experience in handling time series and geospatial data (such as digital elevation models or spatially-distributed climate data). A robust hydrological background is an additional asset. Fluently spoken English and a good level of English writing skills are a prerequisite.

We offer

The Institute of Geography of University of Bern (GIUB) is conducting top- quality research and teaching in the field of natural resources, and climate change impact analysis. The main focus of the Hydrology group is advancing the understanding and modelling of hydrological processes, including flow pathsand streamflow generation at multiple scales, development of new models for improved predictions of hydrological systems, and integration of novel data sources, such as satellite imagery and cutting-edge tracers, into those models and concepts. The working languages in our group are English, German, and French. For more information on our group and our activities, please visit https: // www. The successful candidate will enrole into the graduate school of the Oeschger Centre on Climate Change Research, OCCR, which offers additional training in climate sciences.

Note that a second doctorate focusing on glacier modelling is offered in the frame of the same research project. This second doctorate will be hosted by the Professorship of Glaciology, jointly operating at the ETH's Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW) and at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL). The position is advertised separately on the ETHZ job portal, https: //, position entitled "Doctorate in glacio-hydrological modelling”.

We are looking forward to receiving your application

in one pdf

until December 15, 2022. The application shall include a concise letter of motivation, your CV, copies of your diplomas and transcripts, the contact details for two persons willing to act as a reference, as well as a filled-in version of the form found at www. Applications have to be submitted using Bern University's portal www. The planned start date of the doctorate is February 2023.

For further information on the position (no applications), please contact Dr. Pascal Horton (


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