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Leopold-Franzens University of Innsbruck: PhD student position in snow hydrological modelling

The Department of Geography at the Faculty of Geo- and Atmospheric Sciences at the Leopold-Franzens University of Innsbruck seeks to fill a

PhD student position in snow hydrological modelling (snow/canopy interaction)

to start on October 1, 2022. Project duration is 3 years.

We seek an individual who pursues innovative research in the field of distributed snow hydrological modelling. The successful candidate should be particularly interested in the combination and assimiliation of remote sensing data (including unmanned aerial vehicle data such as thermal infrared imagery and topographic LiDAR) with physically-based simulations of snow/canopy interaction processes in Alpine mountain forests, in order to improve traditional leaf-area-index-parameterizations for the modelling of snow processes in forests.
The position is embedded in a consortium project which is financed by the „Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz“. The project investigation areas are the Bavarian National Parks „Berchtesgaden“ and „Bayerischer Wald“. The overarching goal of the project is to identify hotspots and refuges of climate change and its effects in the Bavarian National Parks.

The successful candidate will be member of the working group „Human-Environment Systems Research“ at the Department of Geography at the Faculty of Geo- and Atmospheric Sciences at the Leopold-Franzens University of Innsbruck, lead by Prof. U. Strasser. As an outcome of the scientific track of snow hydrological modelling of the group, the open source snow model openAMUNDSEN has been developed (https://github.com/openamundsen/openamundsen). This model should be applied
and further developed in the project.


  • Research at the snow/canopy interface to quantify the processes of accumulation,
  • ablation and redistribution of snow inside the canopy
  • Processing and analysis of remote sensing data (UAV/LiDAR) and
  • micrometeorological station recordings from inside the canopy and the open
  • Application and further development of the openAMUNDSEN snow model
  • Evaluation of simulation results
  • Close cooperation with the project partners
  • Scientific publication of research methods and results


  • Master degree in one of the geosciences, in forestry or in hydrology
  • Experience in hydrological modelling
  • Experience in programming (Python would be an advantage)
  • Experience in automated information extraction from remote sensing
  • Systemic thinking and interpersonal communication skills for team work
  • fluency in English, and at least basic knowledge of German
  • strong motivation to achive a PhD degree

The successful candidate will enter a 3-year working contract for 30 h per week. Workplace will be Innsbruck/Austria. A salary according to the „Kollektivvertrag“ (Austrian Collective Labor Agreement for university personnel) with a wage of € 2.293
/month (14 times) is foreseen.

Leopold‐Franzens‐University Innsbruck seeks to increase the proportion of females in the faculty. Applications from qualified female scientists are therefore especially encouraged.

Please send your digital application per email to ulrich.strasser@uibk.ac.at. Application deadline is August 18th.

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