PhD Alpine Geomorphology and Sediment Provenance Research

Closing Date
WorkplaceBern, Bern region, Switzerland

PhD Alpine Geomorphology and Sediment Provenance Research

Join us in exploring how to improve predictions of sediment pathways and budgets in river basins. Sediment is critical for river, coastal and marine ecosystems, it generates natural hazards, debris flows and landslides, and forms floodplains with unique riparian functions for humans. However, much remains unknown about the details of where the sediment sources and sinks are in the landscape, the pathways that connect and activate them - especially insofar as quantitative predictions of sediment fluxes at the river basin scale are concerned.
We are an interdisciplinary collaborative team consisting of a hydrology-sediment modelling group (Molnar, ETH Zurich) and geology-geomorphology group (Schlunegger, University of Bern). We will develop a new physics-based hydrogeomorphological approach to analyze sediment pathways, combining distributed hydrology-sediment modelling and connectivity mapping with geological and geomorphological field observations, and sediment tracing in the Alpine Rhine (Switzerland) as a natural laboratory. We are building a team consisting of 3 PhD candidates (2 at ETH, 1 at UniBern) on a 4-year research project funded by the SNF to join us in this challenge. This call is for 1 PhD position at UniBern


The PhD candidate in Bern will be collecting field data in the Alpine Rhine for the characterization of source signals for bedload (measurements grain sizes, determination of the bulk petrography of the sediments) and suspension loads (measurements of cosmogenic nuclides, and determination of the bulk geochemistry and mineralogy), to develop sediment budgets, and to trace source signals through the channel network


You have a Master of Sciences degree in Geology or Physical Geography. You are motivated to research the Earth System with a combination of field, data analysis, and computational methods. We expect geological field experience, knowledge in GIS, basic modelling skills and a flair for computational techniques and sedimentary geochemistry. In addition, knowledge about rock types and geomorphology are required. This is a team research effort (2 PhD candidates at ETH in the field of hydrology, and the advertised PhD position at UniBern in Geomorphology and Sediment Provenance Research) - it is expected that you are willing and able to work with others, be creative, communicate, think critically and share your skills. Excellent command of English is required, and basic German is an advantage.

We offer

We offer a fully funded PhD position for four years, an international environment and state-of-the art lab facilities and computer infrastructure. Main supervision by F. Schlunegger (UniBe)

Please send your application materials by Email to Prof. Schlunegger . The application materials include
  • Motivation letter and research interests
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Academic transcripts from Bachelor and Master studies with grades
  • Contact information for 2-3 potential referees (no referee letters please)
    Deadline: 23 December 2022
    Start of Project: 1 April 2023

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In your application, please refer to and reference JobID 58890.

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