PhD student in High Mountain Glacio-Hydrology

Country: Switzerland;

City: Birmensdorf

Vacancy added: 12.10.2018

Employer: Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL


Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL

The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL is a part of the ETH domain. Approximately 500 people work on the sustainable use and protection of the environment and on the handling of natural hazards.


The newly established High Mountain Glaciers and Hydrology (HIMAL) group is looking for a

PhD student in High Mountain Glacio-Hydrology

to work in the recently funded ERC project RAVEN on Rapid Mass Losses of Debris-covered Glaciers in High Mountain Asia (HMA). You will study the response of debris-covered glaciers in HMA to a changing climate, and in particular the role that supra-glacial cliffs and ponds forming on the surface of debris-covered glaciers play in accelerating the melt and mass balance losses of these glaciers, and in their hydrology. You will test the hypotheses that inclusion of supraglacial cliffs and ponds into models of glacier hydrology will lead to revised estimates of glacier changes and future water availability in HMA. The project will require a combination of field data, remote sensing observations and glacio-hydrological models to simulate the hydrological response of four catchments across the climate and geomorphological gradient of HMA (Shimshal, Pakistan; Alaknanda, India; Langtang, Nepal; and Parlung, Tibet). Your main place of work will be the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL in Birmensdorf.

You hold a Master degree with a solid expert knowledge in physical hydrology, environmental engineering, (geo-) physics, atmospheric sciences, or a related field. Previous experience in computer modelling and scripting languages (e.g. Python, IDL, Matlab, R) is indispensable. The capability to develop new ideas independently is necessary, as are good English skills (both written and oral). Experience in high-alpine environments is desirable. You are a curious, self-reliant person who also likes to work in a team.


Please send your complete application to Sonja Näscher, Human Resources WSL. Francesca Pellicciotti (phone +41 (0)44 739 25 04, email: or Evan Miles, (email: will be happy to answer any questions or offer further information. The WSL strives to increase the proportion of women in its employment, which is why qualified women are particularly called upon to apply for this position. Please submit your application via the application portal only. Applications via e-mail or sent by post will not be considered.

Zürcherstrasse 111, CH-8903 Birmensdorf

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