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Periglacial geomorphology

  • // Switzerland
  • University/Institute Name University of Lausanne
  • University/Institute Name Faculty of Geosciences & Environment
  • Attendance Type On Campus
  • Position Duration4 years
  • Position Funding Type
  • Application deadlineExpired

Position Details (PhD Program)


UNIL is a leading international teaching and research institution, with over 5,000 employees and 17,000 students split between its Dorigny campus, CHUV and Epalinges. As an employer, UNIL encourages excellence, individual recognition and responsibility.


With the support of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Universities of Fribourg (UniFr), Lausanne (UNIL) and Zurich (UZH), and the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) in Davos are launching the RoDynAlpS project, the first comprehensive and consistent study of past, present and regional evolution of rock glaciers in Switzerland. Through the combination of region-wide remote sensing analyses, integrative field-based studies and detailed numerical modelling, the project will provide a complete framework for understanding the dynamics of rock glaciers in the context of climate change.

The Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics opens a Doctoral Student SNSF position in periglacial geomorphology.

Read more about the project : RoDynAlpS – Open positions

Job information

Expected start date in position : 01.05.2023 or upon agreement

Contract length : 1 year, renewable maximum 4 years

Activity rate : 100%

Workplace : Lausanne Mouline (Geopolis building)

Your responsibilities

The assessment of the current state of rock glaciers requires a complete inventory as well as region-wide kinematic data. The kinematic characterization and standardized mapping of rock glaciers in Switzerland constitutes therefore an important task of this project. To this aim, you will combine, harmonize and update the existing inventories, compile new ones for the missing regions and derive creep rates based on Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (InSAR). Using this newly produced dataset of rock glacier occurrences, characteristics and creep rates, you will perform statistical analyses in relation with the local topo-climatic factors at the regional scale, in order to identify and weight the drivers controlling rock glacier velocities at the regional scale. Special attention will be given to rock glaciers particularly sensitive to climate change, such as past and current destabilized rock glaciers. In collaboration with other researchers involved in this project, you will also define standards for the production of consistent long-term velocity time series combining photogrammetry-derived, InSAR-derived and in-situ measured data.

Your qualifications

  • MSc degree in geomorphology, geosciences, or equivalent.
  • Strong background in mountain geomorphology and experience in the field of permafrost creep and rock glacier dynamics.
  • Excellent skills in GIS and statistics, including the mastering of GIS and programming softwares (ArcGIS, R).
  • Having already worked with InSAR data is an advantage.
  • Work experience in high-mountain terrain is beneficial.
  • Excellent written and spoken English skills. French in an asset.
  • Able to work both independently and collaboratively in an international, interdisciplinary environment.

What the position offers you

We offer a nice working place in a multicultural, diverse and dynamic academic environment. Opportunities for professional training, a lot of activities and other benefits to discover.

Contact for further information

Dr. Christophe Lambiel

[email protected]

Your application

Evaluation of applications will start January 10th 2023 and continue until the position is filled.

We look forward to receiving your online application as a single pdf file including the following documents :

  • Cover letter specifying your interest for this position and previous related experience
  • Curriculum Vitae summarizing education, positions and academic work
  • Copies of educational certificates
  • Copy of university degrees
  • An electronic version of a research output (MSc diploma thesis, scientific publication)
  • Contact information for at least two academic references

Only applications through this website will be taken into account.
We thank you for your understanding.

Research Skills Required

Computer/Software Skills Required

Research Areas & Fields of Study involved in the position

Which language proficiency is required?

Applicant type required for this position

Position Start Date

May 1, 2023