PhD: Reconstructing human induced land-cover change during the Holocene
We are looking for a motivated student with a background in geography,
archaeology, earth sciences, biology, environmental studies and/or related
fields to join a new, interdisciplinary research team at the Ecole
Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland
(http://arve.epfl.ch). This is a fully-funded Ph.D. research studentship for
up to four years with an attractive living-wage salary. The general research
focus of the team is on the role of the Earth's land surface in influencing
and possibly amplifying abrupt climate change. Our research encompasses
soils science, environmental physics, biogeochemistry, hydrology, climate
modelling and remote sensing.
The doctoral project will be defined in collaboration with the student, but
will be aimed at reconstructing land-cover change at continental scales
during the Holocene. This will mainly involve the compilation and
computer-based analysis of large spatial datasets, including
palaeoecological and archaeological data. The applicant will also be
expected to undertake some socio-economic modeling of pre-industrial
societies. Research aims include the role of early agricultural societies
in determining land-cover change and its impact on climate. A background in
palynology and environmental archaeology is desirable, together with a
working knowledge of GIS and spatial analysis. Much of the work will be
computer-based, and the applicant will need a general competency and
willingness to work with computers.
In addition to research, Ph.D. students at the EPFL must complete about one
semester worth of taught courses as part of their doctoral training.
The working language in the group is English, the doctoral dissertation will
be written in English, and fluency in both written and spoken English is
essential. French is the language spoken in and around Lausanne. Students of
all nationalities will be considered and residence permits for non-Swiss
students can be arranged.
Lausanne is a small city of about 150,000 inhabitants, located on the north
shore of Lake Geneva in western Switzerland. Situated between the high
plateau of the Jura and the foothills of the Alps, Lausanne has a mild,
Atlantic-influenced climate, with warm summers and cool winters. There is
enormous opportunity for outdoor sports based from Lausanne, and because of
the excellent public transport network in Switzerland, it is possible and
practical to reach most parts of the country without a car.
Employment is contingent on entry to the EPFL doctoral program. General
information on the EPFL's graduate school is available at http://phd.epfl.ch
For more information please contact Dr Basil Davis [log in to unmask] Tel
+41 216 93 80 38 or Prof Jed O. Kaplan [log in to unmask]
Consideration of applications will begin immediately, and will continue
until the position is filled. The expected start date is summer 2010. To
apply please email a covering letter detailing your skills and motivation
for the post, together with your CV to [log in to unmask]
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