Open positions

We’re hiring! Four new positions open to join the ICE team:
PhD position in deep learning-aided glacier modelling
Start date: 01.05.2022 (flexible)
Contract: One year, and then two, two-year extensions up to five years maximum, 100%.
Review of applications will start on 14.03.2022 and will continue until the position is filled.

Project Description: Physical glacier modelling has become an efficient and necessary tool to predict the future evolution of glaciers and the resulting sea-level rise under climate change scenarios, or to reconstruct Quaternary glaciations worldwide. However, high computational expenses associated with the modelling of complex physical processes (i.e. the ice dynamics) strongly limit the potential of these models — especially in view of long time scales paleo applications. In recent years, deep-learning surrogate models have shown outstanding results at speeding-up physical models — including glacial processes — opening new perspectives for applications that are unreachable with traditional modelling.

Goal of the Thesis: i) to develop the Instructed Glacier Model (IGM, https://github.com/jouvetg/igm) – a newly introduced glacier model accelerated by deep-learning – by embedding new relevant physical processes in form of neural networks trained from data and/or state-of-the-art physical models and ii) to apply the improved model to the reconstruction of glacier extent, landscape and climate evolution in the European Alps during the last glacial cycles. The research involves a large diversity of fields including glaciology, physical and numerical modelling, machine learning, climatology, and geomorphology. The successful candidate will join the ICE (https://wp.unil.ch/ice/) group in the Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics which specializes in paleoenvironment and landscape evolution in a range of different environmental settings.

Candidate Profile: The chosen candidate will have a master degree either in Earth sciences, geophysics, physics, applied mathematics, machine learning, computer sciences, or a related field, and should have a sharp interest in the modelling of geophysical processes. Previous experience in machine learning, numerical modelling, and Python programming is an asset. Good writing and communication skills in English as well as the motivation to fruitfully collaborate within an interdisciplinary framework are essential. Knowledge in French language is preferable but not necessary.

Job description: The majority of the workload will be dedicated to the completion of the Ph.D. thesis, which includes model development, paleo glacier modelling applications, and the writing of peer-reviewed publications. Participation in internal and international meetings and conferences is expected, as well as the active participation in the research institute. A component of the workload will consist in assisting with teaching and research duties: teaching activities under the supervision of a professor, research work not directly related to the personal PhD topic, technical and administrative tasks related to the activities of the Institute.

The complete job advert an information on how to apply can be found here. Only complete applications made through this website will be considered. Please contact  Guillaume Jouvet (guillaume.jouvet@unil.ch) should you have any further questions.

PhD Student in Glaciology
Start date: 01.02.2022 (flexible)
Contract: One year, and then extensions up to four years maximum, 100%.
Application deadline: 10.11.2021

The majority of the workload will be dedicated to the completion of a Ph.D. thesis and peer-reviewed publications related to glacial erosion, subglacial sediment transport, arctic landform change, and glacier dynamics. This will be accomplished by utilizing and/or developing numerical models of the subglacial hydrology, sediment transport and ice dynamics, leveraging remote sensing datasets and conducting field trips to Greenland to collect records of sediment discharge. Participation in internal and international meetings and conferences is expected, as is actively participating at the research institute.

A smaller component of the workload (about 15%) will consist of assisting with teaching and research duties: teaching activities under the supervision of a professor, research work not directly related to the personal PhD topic, technical, and administrative tasks related to the activities of the Institute.

This position is opened in the context of a SNSF Ambizione project, in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at CalTech and the University of Houston.  Travel to these partner institutions may be required or recommended.

The complete job advert an information on how to apply can be found here. Please contact Dr. Ian Delaney (ian.delaney@unil.ch) should you have any further questions.

PhD position in Pleistocene–Holocene paleotemperature reconstruction using luminescence methods
Start date: 01.04.2022 (flexible)
Contract: Four years, 100%
Application deadline: 20.11.2021

A four-year fully-funded PhD position is available in the Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics (IDyST) at the University of Lausanne, focussing on the application of a paleothermometry method based on luminescence of bedrock quartz and feldspar. The reconstruction of absolute surface air temperatures during glacial and interglacial periods is essential to test and calibrate climate models. However, most climate archives and proxy data only allow for relative temperature fluctuations to be determined, for areas where such archives have been preserved. This PhD position aims to apply a recently developed luminescence paleothermometry method to selected sites in Europe and Africa with the goal of reconstructing surface air temperature patterns during the last glacial maximum and throughout the Pleistocene-Holocene transition.

This position is part of a 4-year project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and will involve close collaboration with other group members focussed on the development of the palaeothermometry method and numerical models for the technique’s application in paleoclimate research.
Prior experience in luminescence dating or luminescence research would be advantageous. The successful candidate will join the ICE group in the Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics which specialises in paleoenvironment and landscape evolution in a range of different environmental settings.

The complete job advert and information on how to apply can be found here. Please contact Dr. Christoph Schmidt (christoph.schmidt@unil.ch) or Prof. Georgina King (georgina.king@unil.ch) should you have any further questions.

Post-doctoral position in the development of a luminescence paleothermometry method
Start date: 01.04.2022 (flexible)
Contract: Four years, 100%
Application deadline: 20.11.2021

A four-year fully-funded post-doctoral position is available in the Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics (IDyST) at the University of Lausanne, focussing on experimental and modelling work to further develop and apply a paleothermometry method based on luminescence of bedrock quartz and feldspar. The SNSF-funded project will use a combination of luminescence signals with different thermal sensitivity to derive histories of absolute surface air temperatures since the last glacial maximum. Field sites are located across Europe and Africa.

Initial experiments and modelling results have demonstrated the capability of feldspar thermoluminescence in conjunction with inverse modelling to be used for reconstruction of bedrock temperatures across the Holocene and beyond. The current project aims at achieving a substantially higher accuracy and precision of the method through protocol optimisation and hence intense methodological research into luminescence sensitivity change, spectral composition of luminescence signals and the exploitation of a range of signals with intermediate thermal stability. The suitability of developed routines will be cross-checked against samples with known thermal history. Finally, the aim is to better quantify the offset between bedrock temperature and surface air temperature in various settings. The project will be supported by collaboration partners both at the University of Lausanne and outside Switzerland. The successful candidate will join the ICE group in the Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics which specialises in pairing empirical data with numerical modelling in the development of novel geochronological techniques for understanding paleoenvironment and landscape evolution.

The complete job advert an information on how to apply can be found here. Please contact Dr. Christoph Schmidt (christoph.schmidt@unil.ch) or Prof. Georgina King (georgina.king@unil.ch) should you have any further questions.