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Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology opens a new PostDoc position

Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology opens a PostDoc position for 8 months (October 2020 – May 2021) in following thematic areas (alternatively); 1) Atmospheric circulation and/or extreme climate and weather events, 2) Natural hazards and risks with focus on slope processes, 3) Runoff processes and catchment hydrology, 4) Numerical modelling of past climate-glacier interaction and 5) Response of woody plants to climate change.

1) Atmospheric circulation and/or extreme climate and weather events

(Climatology group, responsible person: Radan Huth, radan.huth@natur.cuni.cz, Miloslav Muller, muller@ufa.cas.cz)

The meteorology & climatology group focuses in its research on extreme hydrometeorological events, such as thunderstorms, extreme rainfall, and heat waves, and their circulation and thermodynamic precursors, on variability of atmospheric circulation and its association with surface temperature and precipitation, and on the detection of climate change. Currently we have seven PhD students with the topics of their theses covering all of these subjects.

The post-doc position will focus on future long-term changes (trends) in short-term temperature variability, as expressed in terms of day-to-day variations and/or intraseasonal standard deviation, as simulated by climate (both global and regional) models. The objective of the study will be to assess the ability of climate models to simulate short-term temperature variability and the processes governing it (e.g., atmospheric fronts, radiation heating / cooling, atmospheric circulation) and to evaluate the degree of robustness of their future projections as simulated by the models.  Alternatively, any topic falling within the above subjects, in particular the analysis of extremes and their circulation-related preconditioning, and the analysis of atmospheric circulation itself, would be feasible.


2) Natural hazards and risks with focus on slope processes

(Geomorphology group, responsible person: Vit Vilimek, vilimek@natur.cuni.cz)

The announced position will focus on the quantitative assessment of gravitational mass wasting processes in areas characterized by clay- and siltstone lithologies. In particular, the work is addressing shallow and deep-seated landslides as well as related debris and/or earth flows that lead to the development of badland areas and release sediments to the local drainage systems.

The research will concentrate on the numerical modelling of the above cited mass wasting processes using state of the art modelling techniques. Therefore, physically based approaches are preferred coupling the source with the sink areas. The integrated model should be calibrated and validated in study regions using the existing dataset. For the soil- and geo-mechanical data a short fieldwork stage is planned together with the respective lab analysis. The candidate will analyses the climatic time series and landuse dynamics over the last decades in order to develop specific climate change and landuse change scenarios. The calibrated mode will then be applied using the developed future scenarios. The planned activity is thus, contributing to a sustainable future landuse and/or the development of respective coping and mitigation strategies for shallow and deep-seated landslides.


3) Runoff processes and catchment hydrology

(Hydrology group, responsible person: Jakub Langhammer, jakub.langhammer@natur.cuni.cz)

Hydrology research groups focus on the hydrological processes in the context of climate change, land-use changes, and human activity. Our research is focused on a catchment scale, mostly in the montane and rural environment, dealing with flood and drought hydrology, snow hydrology, hydromorphology, water quality as well as with limnology. For more detailed information on the group and our recent research projects, please visit http://hydro.natur.cuni.cz/.

The topic of the post-doc research project should fit the scope of the research group and has to be complementary to the recent research projects of our group. The proposed post-doc position should be in line with the following general topics:

  1. Hydrological effects of climate and land-use changes in montane catchments. Changing dynamics of hydrometeorological extremes in montane catchments, stemming from climate change and forest disturbance as principal recent drivers of runoff regime changes in a mid-latitude montane environment.
  2. Role of ecosystem restorations in the mitigation of hydrological extremes. The research is focused on the effects of land and stream restorations on mitigation of droughts and floods. The research will be focused primarily on the headwater areas, benefiting from experimental monitoring.
  3. Snow hydrology. The research aims on the snowpack dynamics in relation to climate change, monitoring of snow fraction on the runoff in montane catchments, the memory effect of the catchments, water balance and groundwater storage.
  4. Other subjects, fitting to the scope of the hydrology research team and relevant to the experience of the candidate.


4) Numerical modelling of past climate-glacier interaction

(Past glacial and periglacial environments; group members: Zbyněk Engel, Marek Křížek, Martin Margold; contact person/adress: Martin Margold, martin.margold@natur.cuni.cz)

The focus of the proposed postdoc position is numerical modelling of mountain glaciation in the Hercynian Mountains of central Europe (from the Vosges to the eastern Sudetes) using a coupled ice flow - surface mass balance model. The numerical modelling work will aim to improve our understanding of one or more of the following topics: (1) the extent of mountain glaciation in central Europe during different periods of the Pleistocene and the climatic conditions under which the mountain glaciers developed, (2) the character and temperature regime of past mountain glaciation, (3) the influence of snow redistribution by wind on the position of glacial cirques.

The research will be done in collaboration with Dr Harry Zekollari, TU Delft. 

Our group focuses on glacial and periglacial landforms, processes, and chronologies. Our main research topics are past periglacial landscape and mountain glaciation in central Europe, present-day activity of periglacial and glacial processes in selected mountain areas and polar regions (e.g. the High Tatras, Tien Shan, Svalbard, James Ross Island, Graham Land in Antarctica), and  Quaternary environmental and landscape changes including, among others, the Late Pleistocene deglaciation of the North American Ice Sheet Complex (see http://prfdec.natur.cuni.cz/~kfggsekr/rggg/topics.html). There are currently five doctoral students and one postdoc in our group.


5) Response of woody plants to climate change

(Dendrochronology group, responsible person: Vaclav Treml, treml@natur.cuni.cz)

Dendrochronology group deals mainly with dendroecological issues, especially with climate effects on tree/shrub growth at various temporal scales (from wood phenology till long series with annual resolution). We work with ring widths, wood-anatomical time series, wood phenology data (xylogenesis), and recently also with carbon stable isotopes. There are currently two doctoral students, several master students and one technician in the lab. For scope of dendrochronology lab please see e.g. https://www.researchgate.net/lab/Charles-University-Lab-of-Tree-ring-Research-Vaclav-Treml.

The focus of proposed post doc position is as follows (one of the following options):

  1. Working with tree-ring width data, wood anatomical data, wood phenology data and VS-Lite model to explain decrease in growing season length at treelines from subtropics till Arctic (based on our own data, data from IDTRB and data from wood phenology database)
  2. Working with newly developing database of tree ring data covering Czech Republic to produce spatially detailed information on current state and trends in main limiting climatic factors of tree growth (using VS-Lite model)
  3. Other subjects interesting both for candidate and for our lab


Eligibility criteria

  • Ph.D. or other appropriate level 8 ISCED (International Standard Classification of Education) qualification completed within the last seven years.
  • The applicant must have resided outside the Czech Republic at least for 2 years of the last 3 years.
  • The applicant must have had at least 2 published, peer-reviewed research outputs in the last 3 years. Outputs must be registered in the Thomson Reuters Web of Science, Scopus or ERIH PLUS database as well as “article”, “book”, “book chapter”, “letter” and “review”.
  •  All research activities will be conducted in English; knowledge of the Czech language is not required.

Conditions and selection procedure

Selection process:

Selection will be based on the relevance of candidates’ professional interests and experience, excellence in research achievements.

Position duration, starting date and remuneration:

The position duration is 8 months, starting on 1st October, 2020 and ending on 31th May, 2021. The gross monthly salary is 62 237 CZK (approx. 2 468 EUR) including health insurance and social insurance coverage. The job status is full-time - 40 hours per week.

Required application materials: 

  • Cover letter including a personal statement of research interests
  • Curriculum vitae with the list of publications
  • Letter of recommendation

How to submit application materials: 

Please send email with the required application materials to the project coordinator, Mr. Miroslav Kotrc: miroslav.kotrc@natur.cuni.cz, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague. 

Application deadline:

The application deadline is April 2, 2020. Subsequently, the applications´ review will begin immediately. Successful candidates will be informed by April 30, 2020.

Published: Feb 27, 2020 02:00 AM

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