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Job advertisement PhD Position in Microwave Remote Sensing of Vegetation

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European Geosciences Union

PhD Position in Microwave Remote Sensing of Vegetation

PhD Position in Microwave Remote Sensing of Vegetation


Delft University of Technology

Delft, Netherlands


Relevant divisions
Biogeosciences (BG)
Geosciences Instrumentation and Data Systems (GI)
Hydrological Sciences (HS)

Full time

Student / Graduate / Internship

See details below

Required education

Application deadline
5 May 2024

12 April 2024

Job description

Changes in sub-daily water content contain the fingerprint of vegetation health. They reveal how well the vegetation can respond to biotic and abiotic stress (e.g. changing temperature and vapor pressure deficit, water, fungi, insects, disease) and disturbances (e.g. fire, human activity) and how resilient it is to climate variability and extremes. This project is motivated by our ambition to develop a sub-daily satellite radar mission to observe vegetation functioning and health, and to improve our ability to predict how it will change due to climate change and human impact.

You will be part of a team of 2 PhD students and 2 Post-docs who will combine ground-based experimental data, satellite data, radiative transfer modeling, vegetation modeling and data science to:

- Establish an international network of ground-based GNSS sensors to provide continuous microwave observations of vegetated ecosystems.
- Improve fundamental understanding of microwave interactions with vegetation
- Address the challenge of disentangling contributions from internal and surface water, geometry and other effects that can become increasingly relevant and inter-connected at sub-daily scales.
- Inform, and contribute to the design of a sub-daily radar satellite mission
- Develop modeling and retrieval techniques to capture sub-daily signature of vegetation health.
- Translate insights gained to the exploitation of current radar satellite missions.

You will be supervised by Professor Susan Steele-Dunne, with expertise in microwave remote sensing of vegetation. You will be part of the M-WAVE group at the Department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing (TU Delft) and collaborate with academic and industry research partners from across Europe. In addition to an exciting research project and a friendly and stimulating work environment, there are generous funds available to support scientific travel.

We are looking for curiosity-driven Earth Observation enthusiasts with strong analytical and quantitative skills who enjoy computational data analysis, scientific discussion and collaboration. You must have a Master’s degree in Earth sciences, physics, applied mathematics, engineering, remote sensing or a closely-related field. You must have demonstrated programming skills (preferably Python or Fortran).

You are expected to work independently as well as part of a diverse team, including international research partners. You are expected to communicate fluently in English (oral and written) and to present your results to the scientific community as peer-reviewed publications and presentations at international conferences and meetings.
Additional details can be found here

How to apply

Please apply before 5 May 2024 via this website

Your application should include:
- Motivation letter
- Detailed Curriculum Vitae
- Complete list of grades/transcripts
- Contact information for 2 references
- Abstract of your MSc. thesis (or link to MSc. thesis if already available)