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Bayi Glacier in Qilian Mountain, China (Credit: Xiaoming Wang, distributed via

Job advertisement MSc/PhD/Postdoc: geochemistry and computational hydrogeology

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European Geosciences Union

MSc/PhD/Postdoc: geochemistry and computational hydrogeology

MSc/PhD/Postdoc: geochemistry and computational hydrogeology

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. logo

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.


Midreshet Ben-Gurion, Israel


Relevant divisions
Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology & Volcanology (GMPV)
Hydrological Sciences (HS)

Full time

Student / Graduate / Internship

Full scholarship and stipend for duration of program

Preferred education
Undergraduate degree

Application deadline
Open until the position is filled

31 January 2024

Job description

We seek students for a high-impact project combining geochemical analysis, numerical flow and transport model development, and Bayesian uncertainty quantification.

Scenario: In part of the northern Negev desert, scarce water resources have become increasingly saline and undrinkable. The extent and mass of the current chloride plume, which is multi-kilometer scale, is unknown, and it is a matter of great importance to characterize the degree of groundwater contamination and source history, and to predict future contamination at springs that source potable water from this aquifer. Due to the great depth of the water table, inaccessible terrain, and irregular past data collection, there is too little information about the plume to perform traditional model calibration. We will instead be assimilating an ensemble of fuzzily characterized, mutually incommensurable proxy data, including isotopic proxies for groundwater age, approximate arrival times and degree of dilution of indicator elements at springs, precipitation history, fragmentary point measurements of solute breakthrough, and production data. Using a Bayesian framework and Monte Carlo sampling, we will develop a stochastic model of regional-scale flow and transport: enabling predictions and quantifying uncertainty. Beyond developing a model of a specific site, we seek to advance the state of the art in stochastic groundwater model calibration and selection. The research will involve development of numerical solute transport and data assimilation codes and, depending on student skill, may involve in depth theoretical explorations of optimal model characterization under extreme uncertainty: a major open problem in the geosciences. A field component will focus on collection of groundwater samples and isotopic analyses to constrain parameters.

We anticipate hiring at the PhD level for the computational/analytical component and at the MSc level for the field and laboratory work, but our primary objective is to hire excellent people. Precise project goals will be tailored to student competencies. The research will be based at the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and at nearby field sites, with an anticipated starting date of March 2023. Full scholarship and housing are provided for the duration of the relevant program. Applications will be accepted until position(s) filled.

Requirements: ability to think clearly and independently, conscientiousness, BSc or MSc in a quantitative discipline.

How to apply

To apply, or for further details, please send CV and relevant transcripts:

Scott K. Hansen (
Anat Bernstein (