The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology offers an outstanding opportunity for joining its newly created doctoral training unit (DTU) in hydrological sciences : HYDRO-
CSI : Towards a holistic understanding of river systems : Innovative methodologies for unraveling hydrological, chemical and biological interactions across multiple scales .
The total number of positions in this DTU is 14 embracing four complementary thematic clusters on (1) high frequency monitoring of hydrological processes, (2) new hydrological tracers, (3) remote sensing applied to hydrology, and (4) hydrological forecasts and predictions under change.
Academic partners are the TU Vienna (Austria), University of Luxembourg, Wageningen University (The Netherlands) and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany).
The DTU HYDRO-CSI is funded in the framework of the PRIDE scheme of the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), and coordinated by Dr. Laurent Pfister.
The main objective of the DTU HYDRO-CSI is to train a new generation of highly skilled experts with a view to contribute to solving some of the most pressing challenges related to water resources research and management : hydrological system complexity, non-
stationarity of boundary conditions, high-frequency monitoring of environmental processes, global change impact assessment.
The offered fully paid PhD position is embedded in cluster (2) of the DTU and focuses on viral particles as surface water tracers and source identification.
The position is envisaged to start between June 1st 2018 and December 1st 2018 and will extend over a maximum duration of 4 years.
The PhD candidate will be part of the Bioindicators and microbial biosensors’ research group of the Department of Environmental Research and Innovation (ERIN) at LIST.
Furthermore, the PhD candidate will be affiliated with the University of Luxembourg.
Albeit recent technological developments (e.g. field deployable instruments operating at high temporal frequencies), experimental hydrology is a discipline that remains measurement limited.
From this perspective, trans-disciplinary approaches may create valuable opportunities to enlarge the amount of tools available for investigating hydrological processes.
The ubiquitous character of bacteriophages in water has triggered countless applications as environmental tracers for studies in water quality, source tracing or prediction of waterborne pathogen occurrence.
They have been also widely used as biological tracer for investigating colloid transport and contamination of ground water systems.
However, there are only a few studies focusing on the employability of bacteriophages as surface water tracers (i.e. phage transport, system functioning) at the catchment scale.
We hypothesize that such viral particles can be a promising tool in catchment hydrology for tracing runoff sources and pathways across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales.
More specifically, we intend to focus on the rainfall-runoff events to detect hydrological connectivity between the riparian zone / river bank and the stream.
For this purpose, we propose to work with the F-specific RNA phages as virus models. These viruses from fecal origin are widely spread in aquatic environments and offer the potential to distinguish animal from anthropogenic fecal sources.
Experimental work will be conducted at different scales, from lab to field experiences. Thus, one of the main pillars of this PhD project consists in the combination of hydrological and microbial approaches to estimate the virus transport and water system functioning.
As the successful appointee, you will :
You will also take part in the PhD training offered at LIST and at the University of Luxembourg.
Place of employment and main place of work :