Job Openings

Two Ph.D. positions in the field of hydrogeophysics at the Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany

For our Institute of Bio- and Geosciences – Agrosphere (IBG-3), we are seeking two PhD students with degrees in hydrogeophysics, environmental engineering, or a related natural or earth science for two 3- year positions.

The Institute of Bio- and Geosciences – Agrosphere (IBG-3) conducts research to improve our understanding of hydrological and biogeochemical processes in terrestrial systems. A combination of experiments, modeling, and innovative observation technologies is used to bridge the gap between model, process, and management scale. Our research contributes to the sustainable and resourceconserving use of soils and water and to the quantification of the effect of climate and land use change on terrestrial ecosystems. We offer a competent and interdisciplinary working environment, as well as access to excellent experimental and modeling facilities.10

Job Description: Both positions focus on the improved conceptualization and parameterization of subsurface hydrological models using hydrogeophysical measurements. One student will work in a project dealing with the characterization, monitoring, and modeling of landslide-prone hillslopes for improved early warning of slope instability. In close collaboration with the University of Stuttgart, geophysical measurements and wireless sensor network data will be used to further develop and set up a physically based hydromechanical model (DuMuX) for slope instability. The second student will be part of project B6 of the SFB-TR32 ( Here, work will focus on the added value of large-scale geophysical measurements (EMI and GPR) to conceptualize and parameterize 1-D and 3-D soil-vegetation atmosphere models that will be used to investigate how subsurface patterns in soil properties propagate to the vegetation and atmosphere compartments.

For further information please contact Prof. Dr. J.A. (Sander) Huisman


University degree in engineering or a natural science, preferably with a focus on modeling subsurface processes with a good final grade (in the German system 2.0 or better)

Experience in programming with Matlab, Fortran, or C++

Very good knowledge of written and spoken English

Seeing working in an interdisciplinary team as a positive challenge

 Hydro-biogeophysical Ph.D. Position at Bordeaux INP, collaborative with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

A highly qualified and motivated Ph.D. candidate is sought to develop and implement methodologies for characterizing the presence and mobility of metal contamination through terrestrial systems using geophysical (particularly electrical) methods. Lab/field experimental and numerical methods will be used to quantify copper contamination (present in industrial sites and vineyards), as well as controls on copper transport through soils and plants. The Ph.D. candidate will work with a multidisciplinary group of scientists at Bordeaux INP (The ENSEGID-Bordeaux INP–EA 4592 in Bordeaux, France) and in the Earth Sciences Division of Berkeley Lab (Berkeley, Calif.) to collect and integrate aboveground and belowground hydrological, geochemical, vegetation, and geophysical data sets, with a focus on (1) documenting the geophysical signature of relevant hydrogeochemical processes and (2) improving understanding of controls on copper mobility in managed ecosystems. The degree will be granted from Bordeaux INP, and the candidate is expected to spend approximately half time at each partner institution.

Applications are required by 30 June 2015, with anticipated start date of 1 October 2015.

Essential for this position is a master’s degree in geophysics or geosciences (French candidates must have scores above 14/20); a willingness to perform laboratory, field, and numerical research; an ability to travel/live in Bordeaux and Berkeley; and an interest in working with a multidisciplinary team to understand complex, near-surface processes. Knowledge in soil or environmental sciences, airborne imaging, geochemistry, or electrical methods is desired.

The partner institutions are located in stimulating environments recognized for offering a high quality of life, excellent culinary opportunities, and abundant natural and historical beauty. The EA 4592 “Géoressources and Environment”–thème 2 in Bordeaux has expertise in environmental issues and approaches, with a particular focus on processes and methods associated with contaminated sites and hydrogeology. More information is available here. The Berkeley Lab Environmental Geophysics Group has expertise in a variety of methods and approaches and works within a collaborative environment to tackle complex terrestrial system challenges that require coupling of geophysics, hydrology, geochemistry, and biology. More information is available on the Earth Science Division website.

The Ph.D. will be co-funded by IDEX–University of Bordeaux (18 months) and by Berkeley Lab (18 months).

To apply, please contact Myriam Schmutz.