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PhD - Development of an eco-hydrological model to study agricultural practices in arid lands and their relevancy for adaptation to climate change (M/F)

This offer is available in the following languages:
Français - Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : lundi 30 mai 2022

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General information

Reference : UMR5001-CATPOD-001
Date of publication : Monday, May 9, 2022
Scientific Responsible name : Jean-Martial Cohard
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2022
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

This recruitment is proposed within the framework of the "international program 2022" of the CNRS.
The objective of the PhD is to build a new modeling framework to quantify the potential benefits and impacts of climate change adaptation strategies for land restoration, ecosystem health and watershed functions. The model will be applied to Sahelian case studies for which we already have observations to constrain the model.

The PhD student will develop a dynamic vegetation module for the integrated hydrological model ParFlow-CLM. This will consist of:

- Understand the new features of CLM5 compared to CLM3.5 currently in ParFlow, and select the most relevant features related to Parflow.
- Couple the Functionally Assembled Terrestrial Ecosystem Simulator (FATES) model with the version CLM. FATES is a dynamic vegetation model that can simulate vegetation competition and coexistence and can be used to simulate plant growth and ecosystem evolution from a bare soil state (Fisher et al., 2015). FATES has already been coupled with the latest version of CLM (CLM5), we will use the coupling that has been demonstrated through CLM5 as a guide for the ParFlow-CLM coupling.
- Evaluate of the model on AMMA-CATCH datasets, especially in the Sahelian zone. These datasets include all necessary observations on vegetation and water fluxes. This development will provide a unique integrated ecohydrological modeling framework that can be applied to a wide range of climate change adaptation strategies.
- Apply of the new model to the case of micro-dams (Niger) or pond networks (Sonoran Desert, AZ, USA), techniques used in drylands to limit runoff, promote local infiltration and vegetation establishment.

Skills :
- Strong background in hydrology, hydrogeology and/or surface flows (soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfers)
- Scientific programming (Python, R, Fortran, C) and Unix environment (shell)
- Preliminary experience in hydrological modeling
- Ability to work in a team, as the work relies on many disciplines for which it will be necessary to consult experts
- Ability to read and synthesize scientific literature in English.

Work Context

The Institute of Environmental Geosciences (IGE) is a public research laboratory under the supervision of CNRS, IRD, Grenoble Alpes University (UGA) and Grenoble-INP. It works on climate change and the anthropization of our planet in the polar, mountain and intertropical regions, which are particularly sensitive and have major societal stakes.
It brings together 260 people, including 160 permanent members (researchers, teacher-researchers, engineers and technicians) and about 100 staff on fixed-term contracts (PhD students, researchers and IT). The laboratory also welcomes each year several tens of trainees and scientific visitors. The laboratory is located on two sites on the Grenoble university campus (Glaciology building and OSUG-B - Maison Climat Planète).
The IGE is one of the main laboratories of the Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers de Grenoble (OSUG), a federative structure of the INSU.

The PhD is funded by the CNRS-Uaz bilateral program. It will be co-supervised by Laura Condon (University of Arizona, US) and Jean-Martial Cohard (Université Grenoble Alpes). The PhD will be based mainly in France, at the IGE within the PHyREV team, but visits to Dr Condon's group are planned. Both groups include several multicultural PhD students working with the Parflow model. This will provide an efficient and emulative scientific environment.

Constraints and risks

This thesis will be done in close collaboration with the University of Arizona (Tucson, USA Az). Stays are planned.
The research will be carried out in either French or English, however it is expected that the non-French speaking candidate will strive to learn the basics of French in order to facilitate communication and integration into the laboratory.

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