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OSVITA » » 25.06.2009 | Vacancy Doctoral Fellowship, FWO project, Belgium

25.06.2009 | Vacancy Doctoral Fellowship, FWO project, Belgium

A PhD fellowship (2 years, renewable for another 2 years) is available on a research project that seeks to improve our understanding of the transport of dissolved organic matter from agricultural land to surface water at the scale of small catchments.

All natural waters contain organic matter in the form of Dissolved Organic Matter (DOM) The dissolved organic matter (DOM) affects a suite of processes in surface water and soils because it provides energy and nutrients for the biota and it affects the bioavailability of trace metals and organic pollutants. In addition, DOM plays a role as electron donor in denitrification in riparian zones, and leads to the formation of unwanted disinfection byproducts
in drinking water production.


DOM can be transported to surface water by surface flow, subsurface flow, and baseflow, The fate of DOM differs along these flow paths, and the hydrology of a catchment thus affects the concentration and composition of the DOM that reaches the surface waters. To assess the relative importance of flow paths for transport for DOM from soil to surface water, DOM transport processes will be monitored in two areas with very distinct soilscapes: one set of
measurements will be conducted in a 117-ha agricultural catchment in the erosion-prone siltloam belt in central Belgium. Another set of observations will be made in a small (10-50 ha) headwater catchment (Rollesbroich catchment, mainly grassland) in the Eifel region near Aachen, Germany. Research at the second field site will be carried out in close collaboration with the Agrosphere Institute at the Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany.
To model DOM fluxes and pathways from the soil to surface water, the candidate will build on modelling approaches that describe surface run-off and 3-D water flow in the saturated and unsaturated zone of small catchments.
Keywords: hydrology, soil water flow, runoff, sediment, surface flow, subsurface flow Link: http://ees.kuleuven.be

Financing: available

Type of position: PhD scholarship

Source of Funding: FWO project

Duration: 4 years

Candidates should have master degree (or equivalent) that is relevant for the research topic. Candidates should be interested in process research, field experimentation and numerical modeling. Strong motivation, good analytical skills, and the ability to function well in a team are essential. Candidates should be fluent in English, both written and spoken.
Review of applications will begin July 15, 2009 and continue until the position is filled.


This is a PhD position at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in a collaborative research project between the Division Soil and Water Management (Prof. Jan Diels, Prof. Jan Vanderborght) and the Division Physical and Regional Geography (Prof. Gerard Govers).

Start Date: 1 September, 2009


How to apply:
Please send your CV and a short motivation by Email to the 3 promoters of the project
(Diels/Vanderborght/Govers). Prof. Dr. Gerard Govers, Gerard.Govers@ees.kuleuven.be, +32 16 326423

Application Deadline: July 15, 2009

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