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PhD student in Physical Geography: Water-related risks from Hydro-climatic and Land-use changes

The Department of Physical Geography is one of the major departments within the Faculty of Science. The department has approximately 135 employees and educates approximately 2 000 students annually. Education is oriented towards geography, geosciences, biology-earth sciences, and environmental protection. The main research areas are: Biogeography and Geomatics, Climate science and quaternary geology, Environment, resource dynamics and management, Geomorphology and glaciology, and Hydrology, Water resources and permafrost.

Project description
We seek a PhD candidate for a research project in hydrology, focusing on water-related risks from past-to-present and expected future hydro-climatic and land-use changes, and their quantitative assessment; water-related risks include, e.g., droughts, floods, separately and related to other environmental changes, e.g., in vegetation. The PhD project combines research on risk identification and quantification, and possible approaches for risk reduction and prevention leading to a more resilient and sustainable development. The project is data-intensive and will require use and quantitative analysis of regional and global datasets to assess magnitudes and frequencies of historical extreme hydro-climatic events, and their changes in and across different regions of the world. In addition, the project will require data analysis for land use and their changes. Investigation of potential reduction-prevention measures for water-related risks should include actions inspired/supported by or copied from natural ecosystem functions (commonly termed Nature-Based Solutions, NBS).

The PhD candidate is expected to compile, map, and quantitatively analyze various spatiotemporal datasets of relevance in 
1) determining realistic scenarios of climate, land-use and hydrological changes, and of water-related risks associated with these changes; 
2) evaluating performance and trade-offs of possible NBS for mitigating the risks under different change scenarios; and 
3) investigating possible improved planning and management methods and strategies in relation to such risks that can lead to a more resilient and sustainable development. The work will have quantitative focus and include interdisciplinary and international collaborations.

Qualification requirements
In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

In order to meet the specific entry requirements, and to fulfil the general syllabus for doctoral studies in the field of Physical Geography, the candidate for this position should have obtained a MSc, acquired a total of 240 higher education credits (of which at least 60 at advanced level), or acquired in some alternative fashion, the equivalent knowledge in geoscience, environmental science or other relevant natural or engineering science.

Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. The primary assessment criteria in appointing a doctoral student should be the capacity to benefit from the training.

The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their capacity to benefit from the training and successfully complete the program. The following criteria will be used to assess this capacity: the candidates’ documented knowledge in the field of research, written and oral proficiency in English, the capacity for analytical thinking, the ability to collaborate, as well as creativity, initiative, and independence. The assessment will be based on previous experience and grades, the quality of the degree project, references, relevant experience, interviews, and the candidate’s written motivation for seeking the position.

The main assessment criteria applied are the candidate's ability to independently perform integrative data compilations, modelling and quantitative analysis for water changes and related risks based on diverse available datasets. Preference will be given to those with a strong quantitative background and experience from integrated analysis of hydrology with land-use and climate changes, and/or ecosystem functions and services, and from working with Geographical Information Systems and national and international databases. Candidates must be self-motivated, committed and enthusiastic about working with quantitative and collaborative research in the field of this position. The PhD dissertation will be written in English.

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at: www.su.se/rules.
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