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  3. Postdoctoral researcher “Changing lakes on the Tibetan plateau” (0.8 – 1.0 FTE)

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Postdoctoral researcher “Changing lakes on the Tibetan plateau” (0.8 – 1.0 FTE)

Utrecht University's Faculty of Geosciences is looking for a Postdoctoral researcher "Changing lakes on the Tibetan plateau". Are you interested? Then please read the full profile and apply.

9 maanden geleden


Domplein, Utrecht, Utrecht
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
32 - 40 uur
€ 3123 - € 3389 per maand


The Faculty of Geosciences is looking for a Postdoctoral researcher "Changing lakes on the Tibetan plateau". The Tibetan Plateau (TP) plays an essential role in the water supply to Asia’s large river systems and, as the largest and highest mountain plateau in the world, it drives the Asian monsoon and influences global circulation patterns significantly. Climate change is hitting the TP harder than elsewhere, which will affect the water cycle and may have an impact on millions of people living downstream. The TP contains many large lakes unconnected to the river system, which have undergone extreme water volume changes in recent decades. Therefore, these so-called endorheic lakes can be seen as a gauge of global warming because the strong trends in lake volume can only be explained by climate induced changes in their closed drainage basins.

In this research the goal is to disentangle the main drivers of change in the lake water cycle. More specifically, we aim to reveal whether lake volume changes are attributable to precipitation and evaporation change, increased glacial melt or permafrost degradation. To this end, you will use new remote sensing datasets together with modelling (machine learning and process based) and field measurements. The novelty of the project lies in the smart integration of these techniques. Unravelling the drivers of climate-induced changes will have large applicability in high-mountain and cold regions across the globe.
In this project there is an exciting opportunity to work on different spatial scales. At the small-scale focus you will concentrate on the Paiku Co lake and the objective is to reconstruct the water balance of this catchment in great detail based on field observations and detailed modelling of hydrology. A field expedition is also part of the project. At a larger scale you will be working on permafrost and glacio-hydrological modelling in combination with remote sensing to understand lake changes for the entire plateau. The project is conducted in partnership with the Institute for Tibetan Plateau Research, and international experts on permafrost modelling and glacier change.


You are invited to apply if you:

  • hold a PhD degree in a relevant area, such as hydrology, glaciology, meteorology and/or permafrost or a closely related field;
  • have an excellent publication record;
  • are experienced in numerical modelling, field-data collection and handling of large datasets;
  • are willing and capable of undertaking fieldwork in remote and high locations;
  • are able to demonstrate excellent English language proficiency. We require a qualification English at C1 level (CEFR or comparable to level 3 of the Lecturer Assessment Grid) or prepared to obtain this level by training.
Our Department is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its workforce, and we strongly welcome women to apply.


We offer a temporary position for the total duration of 2.5 years. The starting salary - depending on previous qualifications and experience - ranges from €3,123 to €3,389 (scale 10 according to the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment, and will increase yearly according to the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8% and a year-end allowance of 8.3% per year. In addition, Utrecht University offers excellent secondary conditions, including an attractive retirement scheme, (partly paid) parental leave and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). Find out more about working at Utrecht University on our website.

Additional information

More information about the position can be obtained from Prof. Dr. W.W. Immerzeel, via W.W.Immerzeel@uu.nl.