In the hub Water, Climate and Future Deltas researchers from varying disciplines at Utrecht University cooperate with external partners to design and evaluate pathways to sustainable delta development. The hub will provide policy makers and delta managers with the essential scientific basis for informed decision-making on pathways towards sustainable deltas. Finding pathways to sustainable delta development requires understanding both the external drivers of change and the functioning and interaction of natural and social systems that can be managed in a delta. Therefore, the hub comprises three research lines that together are required for sustainable development:
- understanding the global external drivers of change that deltas will be facing in the future, such as climate and sea-level change, socio-economic and technological change, hydrological changes and how these translate to delta-scale scenarios. The result will be integrated scenarios of changes that determine the boundary conditions for delta pathways in the future;
- understanding the functioning and interaction of natural and social systems that can be managed in a delta. Using this system understanding we develop models to predict the impacts of the external drivers or management measures on a delta;
- designing and evaluating the actions, knowledge and instruments to develop pathways for long-term development leading to resilient deltas, using the scenarios, knowledge and models from the first two research lines.
The hub will work together closely with stakeholders in a co-creative process across a range of delta environments with long-term challenges, both in the Netherlands and internationally.
Postdoc 1 (1.0 FTE, 1.5 years, Faculty of Geosciences)
The Copernicus Institute seeks a candidate for the project: “Global drivers of change for future deltas”.
The world will face a number of sustainable development issues during the 21st century, including climate change, biodiversity loss but also alleviating poverty and hunger. Deltas play an increasingly important role in this. Deltas, however, are not isolated. Via the use of model-based global scenarios it is possible to describe many of the connections between the global level, the level of global regions and specific deltas, including the urban and rural areas within these. This includes both so-called “baseline scenarios” without new response strategies and “challenge scenarios” that outline the required transitions to meet long-term sustainability goals. The Postdoc is expected to look into tools to translate key global scenarios such as the SSPs to the level of deltas and elaborate them further to address the specific data needs in Part B and C of the research programme. This will, among others, involve information on land use, energy use, air pollution, water demand and pollution, population growth and economic activities. It will also involve the connections between these.
The Postdoc will apply downscaling tools for global models, and also further specify the scenarios in terms of, for instance, the role of urban and rural areas, and allocating water demand and water supply to the grid level. As part of the project, the Postdoc will also look into options to scale-up the new information generated in the project back into the scenarios.
We are looking for applicants who:
- hold a PhD in the fields of environmental modeling, systems analysis, or other relevant disciplines;
- have experience in large-scale or global environmental and socio-economic modelling;
- are familiar with global scenario analysis;
- are able to work and conceptualize from global to delta scale.
Additional information about the vacancy for Postdoc 1 can be obtained from Prof. dr. D. van Vuuren, via +31 30 253 32 59 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Copernicus Institute, please visit: Copernicus.
Postdoc 2 (1.0 FTE, 2 years, Faculty of Science)
The Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht (IMAU) and the Department of Physical Geography seek a candidate for the project: “Sea-level changes in delta regions around the world”.
Until recently, sea level projections were mainly focused on a global scale, and uncertainties were poorly constrained and limited to climate change. At the same time many regions suffer from human induced subsidence, and hence relative sea level changes that are sometimes larger than climate-driven changes. In this project we explore possibilities to address both human and climate related sea level changes for future warm climates.
The Postdoc will use climate models and hydrological models to generate sea level projections in delta regions in order to combine all human impact on sea level in those regions. A consistent framework needs to be created to address key uncertainties in projections for delta regions with a special focus on the Mississippi, Mekong and Rhine-Meuse delta.
We are looking for a candidate to work on sea-level projections building on the work done in our institutes over the last few years. We seek applicants who:
- have a strong background in glaciology/geophysics at PhD level;
- have experience with numerical (climate) models and programming on UNIX-based computer systems;
- are familiar with sea level modeling and projections.
Additional information about the vacancy for Postdoc 2 can be obtained from: Dr. R.S.W. van de Wal via +31 30 253 32 59 or email@example.com. For more information about the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht, please visit the IMAU website. For more information about the Department of Physical Geography, please visit: Physical Geography.
Postdoc 3 (0.8 FTE, 3 years, Faculty of Geosciences)
The Departments of Earth Sciences and Physical Geography seek a candidate for the project: “Linking upstream source areas to deltas: tracing the hydro-geochemical input across scales”.
This project focuses on development of global change scenarios for sediment and nutrient loading of rivers and transport through deltas to coastal marine ecosystems through modelling, as part of the programme line A (Scenario Development) of the Water, Climate and Future Deltas hub. This project will contribute to a better understanding of the fate of water, sediment and nutrients that are supplied to deltas by identifying relevant time scales and legacy effects and pathways for sustainable development of delta regions under plausible future scenarios of global change.
The main objective is to implement the five Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) scenarios in the PCR-GLOBWB-IMAGE Global Nutrient Model framework. This includes a range of activities:
- prepare the global input data for climate history and future scenarios to run the hydro-geochemical models;
- prepare the global scenarios for the construction of dams, nutrient cycles in agriculture, aquaculture, and nutrient discharge associated with urban wastewater, in collaboration with the IMAGE team of the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency;
- perform the global model runs for the SSP scenarios and analyze the data with a focus on sedimentation of reservoirs and the impact of nutrient legacies from soils, aquifers and sediments on water quality;
- use the downscaled climate and land use and nutrient data to run the hydro-geochemical models at the scale of focus individual river basins and deltas.
We are looking for applicants who:
- hold a PhD in Hydrology, Environmental or Agricultural Sciences or a related field;
- have a strong modeling background, proven computer programming skills;
- have experience with large spatial and temporal datasets.
Additional information about the vacancy for Postdoc 3 can be obtained from Lex Bouwman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rens van Beek (email@example.com). For more information about the Department of Earths Sciences, please visit: Earth Sciences. For more information about the
Department of Physical Geography, please visit: Physical Geography.
Postdoc 4 (0.8 FTE, 3 years, Faculty of Geosciences)
The Departments of Physical Geography and Biology seek a candidate for the project: “Mitigating subsidence and GHG emissions in Holocene deltas under global change”.
This Postdoc position is part of research line B and aims to calculate the interactive effect of climate change and human interventions to regional net land subsidence rates and related greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The Postdoc will evaluate, select and couple existing mechanistic models on relevant delta processes determining land subsidence. Based on the model insights and climate change scenarios derived from research line A, this Postdoc Researcher can develop sustainable delta management measures to mitigate subsidence and its related negative impacts in a range of global deltas (including Rhine-Meuse delta, Mekong delta, Mississippi delta).
Important aspects of this study considering measures in different regions around the world is societal cost-benefit analysis and financing of the proposed measures since these aspects determine the support and feasibility of possible measures. The results of this sub-project should contribute to the analyses of future development of deltas.
The research steps to be taken in this project are:
- literature review on drivers and processes of land subsidence and associated GHG emissions;
- selection of suitable mechanistic models to simulate these processes;
- collecting information for determination of relevant input parameters;
- coupling selected models in a model train;
- using the model, evaluate measures to mitigate subsidence and GHG emissions;
- predicting future delta subsidence and GHG emissions in the short (years-decades), and the long (50 years-centuries) term, under different scenarios for climate, sea-level and socio-economic development.
We are looking for applicants who:
- hold a PhD degree in Physical Geography, Soil Science or another relevant research field;
- have affinity with physical, biological and chemical processes in soil and shallow groundwater systems;
- have a strong track record in modeling of groundwater and soil processes at different spatial scales;
- have experience in using large spatial and temporal datasets.
Additional information about the vacancy for Postdoc 4 can be obtained from Dr. E. Stouthamer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr. ir. M. Hefting (email@example.com). For more information about the d
Department of Physical Geography, please visit: Physical Geography. For more information about the Department of Biology, please visit: Biology.
Postdoc 5 (0.8 FTE, 3 years, Faculty of Geosciences)
The Copernicus Institute and the Department of Physical Geography seek a candidate for the project: “Design and Evaluation of Pathways of Future Development of Deltas”.
This Postdoc position falls within research line C that focuses on design and evaluation of pathways, and finding pathways to sustainability. This theme will integrate information, knowledge and instruments developed in other parts of the programme and will explore how we can use this to find sustainable pathways. To gain insight and experience in how these integrative exercises in the hub should be done, this task is initially done for a limited number of (existing) cases. One of these is in The Netherlands, a second case is to be found in a delta elsewhere. These cases allow addressing a specific challenge, real-world data, and including delta/water managers and local stakeholders.
The Postdoc Researcher will work in the third line of the hub that investigates pathways of change and develops and tests management strategies for deltas using scenarios, knowledge and models from the first two lines. The following activities are foreseen:
- design and evaluate pathways for a case, based on existing knowledge and models, to explore the method of pathway design and analysis;
- develop a conceptual model that explores how to integrate results from other components of the research programme;
- develop methods to evaluate different pathways and to identify sustainable strategies. Work closely work together with stakeholders in a co-creative process across a range of delta environments in the Netherlands and abroad.
We are looking for applicants who:
- have a PhD in a subject that relates to finding pathways to sustainability in an interdisciplinary approach;
- are able to work together closely with stakeholders in a co-creative process across a range of delta environments in the Netherlands and abroad;
- are able to organize activities and processes for ‘living labs’ to estimate hazards, to develop tailor-made decision support tools and science–policy communication tools for the chosen deltas and define novel strategies towards a sustainable future for these deltas;
- have hands-on experience in developing or working with Integrated Assessment Modeling, Decision Support Systems, Serious Gaming or other decision support tools;
- have affinity with science-policy processes, stakeholder involvement or participatory decision making.
Additional information about the vacancy for Postdoc 4 can be obtained from Prof. dr. M.J. Wassen (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Prof. dr. H. Middelkoop (email@example.com). For more information about the Copernicus Institute, please visit: Copernicus. For more information about the Department of Physical Geography, please visit: Physical Geography.